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Debt Management and Debt Enforcement - Law Reform Commission

Debt Management and Debt Enforcement - Law Reform Commission

The role of imprisonment

The role of imprisonment • McCann + Enforcement of Court Orders (Amendment) Act 2009: – Imprisonment because of inability to pay a debt abolished – Imprisonment retained for “won’t pay” debtors, as a last resort where other enforcement mechanisms have failed • A continued role for imprisonment? – McCann: imprisonment of “won’t pay” constitutionally permissible if confined to a last resort – Can imprisonment be justified even in the case of “won’t pay” debtors?

• Holistic approach Conclusions • Acknowledge reality of consumer debt: “Can’t Pays”, “Won’t Pays” and everything between • Prevent and cure the social problem of over-indebtedness • Transform the law’s attitude from a judicial, legalistic approach to a non-judicial, pragmatic approach with clear and relevant rules and principles • Provide relief, rehabilitation and a fresh start for the overindebted • Ensure balance and proportionality in enforcement

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