Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed that Sinn Féin’s Multi-Party Action Bill will be debated tonight in the Dáil. The Sinn Féin TD said the Bill will give those directly affected by the tracker mortgage scandal the opportunity to take a collective action against the banks in the Courts.

Crowe hopes that all political parties and those in none will actively support the legislation and facilitate its passage through the Oireachtas in order to ensure that those who suffered because of these rogue banking practises can be get justice.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“This piece of legislation is a potential game changer in how the Courts deal with cases where large categories of people are affected by a particular injustice or inequity.

“There are numerous examples, including victims of the tracker mortgage scandal, but also victims of defective medical products or victims of fraud on an institutional basis, who could potentially benefit from this legislation.

“Currently, the only real option for victims is for a test case to proceed and then related cases to follow subsequently, on the basis of that legal precedent.

“Our model has significant advantages over that and would in turn reduce the cost of litigation, reduce duplication and the thorny issue of the cost of representation, make better use of court time and resources, and crucially improve access to justice by citizens.

“I believe that this will allow for people to proceed on the basis of strength in numbers, and will encourage and galvanise many more to become part of an action where previously the constant fear of costs may have made it impossible to proceed in taking an action.

“Ireland is currently lagging way behind comparable jurisdictions in not having an avenue to justice similar to this. This legislation could potentially have a similar impact and outcome as processes such as the Class Action in the United States or the Group Legal Order in Britain.”

Deputy Crowe continued:

“The manner in which the banks have treated the victims of the tracker mortgage scandal has been scandalous, and unfortunately the Central Bank and the light touch Government approach has essentially allowed them to operate in this manner.

“They have taken advantage of the inescapable fact that those affected are often not in a financial position to take an action themselves, because of the huge costs involved

“We want to give those affected by the tracker mortgage scandal and other group injustices the ability to take on the banks and other institutions and we hope that all political parties will support this legislation.”