University of Limerick
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Cohabitant protection on relationship breakdown in Ireland: A lesson in illusory justice?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-01, 09:02 authored by Kathryn O'SullivanKathryn O'Sullivan

The issue of how best to respond to the needs of cohabitants on relationship breakdown continues to generate significant discussion. Law reform and parliamentary bodies in jurisdictions as disparate as England and Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, and Alberta, Canada have each recently reflected on their laws in this regard, advancing proposals for reform. Almost all of these international bodies considered the statutory cohabitation scheme adopted in Ireland. However, despite being in place for over a decade, there has been no thorough examination of emerging case law under its Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 nor any investigation into the effectiveness of the system in protecting vulnerable cohabitants on relationship breakdown. Relying on the latest jurisprudence and available data, this article takes the first step in addressing this lacuna in the literature. Having identified serious limitations in the regime, particularly its stringent eligibility requirements, it presents the first meaningful research to tease out how the Irish scheme could be improved and presents a proposal for reform.



International Journal of Law, Policy and The Family 37(1), ebad017


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