ISME calls on Dáil to introduce a Perjury Act
A perjury statute will change judicial culture
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association today (June 22nd) launched its policy document on the need for a Perjury Act. The Department of Finance is currently considering a range of measures to combat the excessive cost of insurance. Despite being lobbied hard by ISME to do so, the Department is not considering the introduction of a statutory offence of perjury as one of these measures. Today’s policy launch sets out why we believe the enactment of a Perjury Act is an essential component in the fight against white-collar crime in general; and for lower insurance costs in particular.
ISME Chairman Ciaran Murtagh said “It is completely unacceptable that Irish law facilitates the rip-off of Irish businesses and Irish motorists through false and exaggerated claims. We call on Minister Charlie Flanagan to introduce this law this autumn.”
While the introduction of a Perjury Act will not, by itself, reduce the cost of insurance, it will:
1. Reduce the number of blatantly false and exaggerated claims before the Injuries Board and the courts
2. Make more practicable the prosecution and conviction of plaintiffs producing false and exaggerated claims before the Injuries Board and the courts
3. Reduce the social and cultural tolerance of perjury among citizens and the judiciary, in much the same way as Road Traffic legislation has progressively improved driver behav-iour and reduced fatalities over time.
Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh on today’s policy launch said “In England and Wales, where a Perjury Act is in effect, a person found guilty of giving false testimony to a court can be fined or sent to prison, or both. We badly need a similar act in this country to protect businesses from falsified claims and to help bring about an environment where spurious claims are discouraged,”.
Commenting on today’s policy launch, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell (pictured) said “We are alone among common-law jurisdictions in not having a statutory offence of perjury. This is wrong. It has to change.”