ISME Welcomes The Regional Group Motion To Reinstate The Perjury And Related Offences Bill 2018

The Courts, the Gardaí and the DPP have turned a blind eye to perjury for far too long.

Dublin, 29th July 2020

ISME welcomes the decision of the Regional Group of independent TDs to reinstate the Perjury Bill originally introduced by Senator Pádraig Ó’Céidigh and which lapsed with the 32nd Dáil.

ISME has campaigned for the introduction of a statutory perjury offence for four years, and we were delighted to see former Senator Ó’Céidigh progress the bill as far as he did.

While perjury is a common law offence in Ireland, it is very difficult to prosecute and therefore rarely is. The result is that parties to civil litigation, family law and tribunal witnesses can lie with impunity, as they are never prosecuted.

Enacting a statutory offence of perjury will not, on its own, be enough to reduce the cost of insurance or to tackle white collar crime. The fact is that the Courts, the Gardaí and the DPP have turned a blind eye to perjury for far too long.

Despite the fact that swearing a false affidavit in a personal injuries action was codified as a criminal offence in Section 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004, ISME is not aware of a single prosecution in the 16 years this offence has been on the statute book. This must change.

Exaggerated and false personal injuries claims place a burden of hundreds of millions of euros annually on motorists, home owners, charities, sporting bodies and business owners through excessive insurance costs.

Welcoming tonight’s motion from the Regional Group to reinstate the Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018, ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said;  

‘Tackling this will require a culture change among our Judiciary, the DPP, and our Gardaí in treating lying for personal gain, monetary or otherwise, for the criminal offence that it is.

ISME will be specifically engaging with the Policing Authority on this matter. In the meantime, we reiterate our call to the TDs of the 33rd Dáil to enact this bill as soon as possible.’