ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association launched a policy document this week seeking the introduction onto the Statute book of a Perjury Act, similar to that enacted in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The Department of Finance is currently considering methods designed to reduce the cost of insurance to Irish businesses, and although the Competition Authority (among others) have called for the introduction of a specific criminal law offence of perjury, we have a situation where liars are not being punished by the Courts.
Many members have suffered from untrue allegations and fraudulent claims; defending them is not always the option taken by the insurance company and case are settled rather than incurring costs.
The proposal from ISME is outlined in greater detail here
We have had discussions with the legal team assisting ISME and received confirmation that the proposal would also cover actions against false claims for defamation. We are aware of a growing “business” in claiming that a “customer” making a number of suspicious actions designed to initiate a response from shop staff. They will always have a “witness” to the conversation and subsequently allege defamation (slander) and seek damages. The proposal would require that in advance of initiating proceedings, the solicitor for the plaintiff must obtain an affidavit (sworn oath) attesting to the truthfulness of the complaint. Is it is subsequently found to be untrue, a prosecution for perjury can be initiated.Back to news