Monday 23 July 2018

Court will hear bank bailout challenge

Stock image
Stock image

Tim Healy

FOUR shareholders who lost their High Court challenge to the State's recapitalisation of Irish Life & Permanent under emergency law are entitled to bring an appeal concerning how the courts should consider powers that may be provided for under future emergency legislation, a judge has ruled.

Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley said the case raised issues of "exceptional public importance" for reasons including the "unprecedented" nature of the "exceptional" law permitting the ILP recapitalisation - the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010, and the incursions into rights of shareholders.

While the Minister for Finance opposed any appeal for reasons including the 2010 Act has expired, the Oireachtas may in the future consider other emergency legislation is desirable, she said.

It was "entirely possible" to conceive of emergency situations that might arise in the future, affecting the vital interests of the State, that may not be related to banks and their resources and it would be in the public interest to have an "authoritative analysis" of the criteria to be applied by a court when considering similar powers.

The judge said yesterday that she would permit an appeal on issues including whether she had correctly interpreted and applied the terms of the 2010 Act in dismissing the shareholders' case.

The shareholders - Piotr Skoczylas, his company Scothstone Capital Fund Ltd, Gerard Dowling and Padraig McManus - challenged the direction order obtained by then Minister Michael Noonan from the High Court under which he effectively nationalised ILP.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business