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Cabinet backs bill to amend FSPO legislation
Minister Michael McGrath Pic: RollingNews.ie

13 Dec 2023 / legislation Print

Cabinet backs bill to amend FSPO legislation

The Cabinet has approved the publication of a bill that will amend the legislation that underpins the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO).

The amendments were required to enable the FSPO to continue carrying out its functions in line with the Constitution.

The need for the changes arose after a Supreme Court decision in the Zalewski case, which centred on the Workplace Relations Commission and its quasi-judicial role.

The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill also clarifies that customers of financial-service providers who have left the Irish market will continue to be able to access the existing services and consumer protections afforded by the FSPO.

‘Legal clarity’

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said that the bill, once enacted, would provide “enhanced legal clarity” for the statutory operation of the FSPO.

In Zalewski v Adjudication Officer and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Ireland, and the Attorney General, the Supreme Court held that the exercise of powers by adjudication officers was the administration of justice under article 34 of the Constitution.

The administration of justice is normally preserved for the courts. The Supreme Court found, however, that the administration of justice as carried out by the WRC’s adjudication service was permissible, as the administration of justice was limited.

The ruling led to legislation that allowed the WRC to continue to exercise its functions.

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