Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Departmental Legal Cases Data

Photo of Jonathan O'BrienJonathan O'Brien (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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307. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of financial settlements reached by her Department and statutory bodies within her remit nationally; the number which included confidentiality clauses in each of the past five years by organisation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44061/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Chief State Solicitor's Office  (CSSO) provides litigation, advisory and conveyancing services to Government Departments and Offices. Generally, the CSSO provides legal representation in relation to  court cases taken against the Minister for Employment Affairs and  Social Protection.

Where it is considered appropriate to do so, the CSSO may enter compromise agreements with the legal representatives of individuals who have applied to the Courts seeking, for instance, a Judicial Review of an executive decision, typically related to their entitlements under Social Welfare legislation, and/or damages arising from such decisions.  The terms of settlement in those instances may include a clause setting out that the applicant and their legal representatives agree not to disclose or reveal the contents of the settlement.  The Deputy will appreciate that this is a routine practice in litigation and many factors are taken into consideration when settling a case, including the opportunity cost of defending the case further, the plaintiff's wish for confidentiality, etc. 

The CSSO, rather than my Department, would retain the records of Court cases settled.


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