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Court lifts stay on proceedings against bank in special liquidation

By: Mark Tottenham BL, on July 8th, 2013

Quinn v. Irish Bank Resolution Corporation [2013] IEHC 116 (High Court, Ryan J, 15 March 2013)

High Court grants order lifting stay on proceedings against bank where special legislation liquidating bank had placed stay on all proceedings without stating whether and in what circumstances the stay should be lifted.

Meaning and effect of special legislation - s. 6(2)(a) of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act, 2013 - liquidation of bank - leave of court required to proceed with action against bank in special liquidation - whether stay on proceedings had effect of terminating them - agreement by parties that court could and should lift stay on proceedings - no legitimus contradictor - interpretation and construction of section of legislation - constitutionality of section - Section 5 of the Interpretation Act 2005 - rule against absurdity - literal interpretation - whether statutory stay to be temporary or permanent - whether plaintiffs would be deprived of constitutional right by imposition of permanent stay.

Quotation from judgment (courtesy of the Courts Service of Ireland):

“The curious situation thus arises on the motion that there is no dispute between the parties as to what the result, that is, my decision, should be on the interpretation of section 6(2)(a). They are both in agreement that there is indeed a stay which was imposed on the making of the special liquidation order but they say that the legislation must be read as envisaging or at least permitting an application to this Court to lift the stay and let the case continue. They also agree that it is appropriate that the court should lift the stay. They argue that the stay is a temporary measure that was imposed under the Act and that it makes no sense to construe the provision in any other way.”

Full Text on Court Services Website>

Key Cases Cited

East Donegal Cooperative Livestock Mart Limited v. Attorney General [1970] I.R. 317
McDonald v. Bord na gCon (No.2) [1965] I.R. 217
Edison First Power Limited) v. Central Valuation and Another [2003] U.K.H.L 20; 2003 4 All E.R. 209
Brennan v. Attorney General [1983] I.L.R.M. 449