The Judgments Convention & the Maintenance Orders Act 1974

EU & International Affairs 01/07/1988

The EEC Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the Judgments Convention) is given the force of law in the State by the Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (European Communities) Act, 1988 (No. 3 of 1988). The Convention is now in force (since 1 June 1988) between Ireland and Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Maintenance orders come within the scope of the Convention. Subject to the provisions of the Convention and the transitional provisions contained in Article 34 of the 1978 Accession Convention (see Third Schedule to the 1988 Act) a maintenance order made on or after 1 June 1988 in another Contracting State will be enforceable in Ireland, and vice-versa.

Under an Agreement between the Irish and British Governments special provisions exist for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of maintenance orders between Ireland and the United Kingdom. The relevant Irish provisions are contained in the Maintenance Orders Act, 1974. The two Governments have agreed to continue the Agreement in operation after the entry into force of the Judgments Convention for both countries (i.e. 1 June 1988). As a result

  • in a case which comes within the scope of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1974, the provisions of that Act will apply, and
  • in a case which is outside the scope of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1974, but within the scope of the Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgements (European Communities) Act, 1988, the provisions of the 1988 Act will apply.

Law Division,
Department of Justice