Solicitors (amendment) act, 1960

Enactment Date22 November 1960
Act Number37


Number 37 of 1960.


SOLICITORS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1960.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and collective citation.

2.

Commencement.

3.

Interpretation.

4.

Meaning of “solicitor” in the Principal Act and this Act.

5.

Repeals.

PART II

Disciplinary Provisions in Relation to Solicitors

6.

Disciplinary Committee.

7.

Inquiry by the Disciplinary Committee into the conduct of a solicitor alleged to have committed misconduct.

8.

Proceedings before the High Court in relation to a report brought before the Court under section 7.

9.

Removal at his own request of name of solicitor from the roll.

10.

Restoration of name of solicitor to the roll.

11.

Jurisdiction of High Court in relation to a solicitor in respect of whom order striking his name off the roll was purported to have been made under section 18 of the Principal Act.

12.

Finality of orders of the High Court.

13.

Exercise of jurisdiction of the High Court under sections 8, 9, 10 and 11.

14.

Privilege in respect of certain proceedings under the Principal Act and this Act.

15.

Powers of the Disciplinary Committee as to taking evidence, etc.

16.

Rules as to procedure in relation to applications to the Disciplinary Committee.

17.

Filing of orders made by the High Court or the Disciplinary Committee and notice of certain orders made by the High Court.

18.

Application of Bankers' Books Evidence Acts, 1879 and 1959.

PART III

Control of Solicitor's Property and Compensation to Clients in Certain Cases

19.

Power of Society to deal with documents of certain solicitors.

20.

Control of banking accounts of solicitors.

21.

Compensation for loss due to dishonesty of solicitor or clerk or servant of solicitor.

22.

Contributions to the Compensation Fund by solicitors.

23.

Arrangements with the Incorporated Law Society of Northern Ireland.

24.

Regulations for purposes of Part III.

PART IV

Miscellaneous

25.

Transfer to the President of the High Court of certain functions of the Chief Justice under the Principal Act, and rules of court in relation to the exercise of those functions.

26.

Amendment of section 49 of the Principal Act.

27.

Amendment of section 73 of the Principal Act.

28.

Amendment of the Sixth Schedule to the Principal Act.

29.

Penalty for false evidence, etc.

30.

Service of documents.

31.

Provisions as to accountants' certificates.

32.

Provisions in relation to certain accounts kept by a solicitor at a bank.

33.

Additional extraordinary members of the Council.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Provisions of the Principal Act Repealed

SECOND SCHEDULE

Provisions having effect for the purposes of sections 8 (2) (a) and 19 (5) (a) of this Act

THIRD SCHEDULE

Provisions in relation to the Compensation Fund

Act Referred to

Solicitors Act, 1954

1954, No. 36


Number 37 of 1960.


SOLICITORS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1960.


AN ACT TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE SOLICITORS ACT, 1954 . [22nd November, 1960.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

PART I

Preliminary and General

Short title and collective citation.

1.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1960.

(2) The Principal Act and this Act may be cited together as the Solicitors Acts, 1954 and 1960.

Commencement.

2.—This Act shall come into operation as follows:

(a) section 31 shall come into operation on such day as the Minister for Justice, by order made on the request of the Society, appoints,

(b) the remainder of this Act shall come into operation on the passing of this Act.

Interpretation.

3.—(1) In this Act—

“the Compensation Fund” means the Compensation Fund established under section 69 (repealed by this Act) of the Principal Act;

“the Disciplinary Committee” has the meaning assigned to it by section 6 of this Act;

“documents” includes deeds, wills, papers, books of account, records, vouchers and correspondence;

“the former Disciplinary Committee” means the committee constituted by section 13 (repealed by this Act) of the Principal Act;

“misconduct” includes—

(a) the commission of treason or a felony or a misdemeanour,

(b) the commission, outside the State, of a crime or an offence which would be a felony or a misdemeanour if committed in the State,

(c) the contravention of a provision of the Principal Act or this Act or any order or regulation made thereunder,

(d) conduct tending to bring the solicitors' profession into disrepute;

“the Principal Act” means the Solicitors Act, 1954 ;

“the Solicitors' Accounts Regulations” means the regulations relating to accounts made by the Society for the purposes of section 66 of the Principal Act.

(2) In this Act, references to the Principal Act shall, where the context so requires or permits, be construed as references to the Principal Act as amended by this Act.

(3) This Act shall be construed as one with the Principal Act.

Meaning of “solicitor” in the Principal Act and this Act.

4.—In the Principal Act and this Act, “solicitor”, where the context so permits or requires, includes a former solicitor or a deceased solicitor.

Repeals.

5.—(1) The provisions of the Principal Act set out in column (1) of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in column (2) of the said Part I.

(2) The provisions of the Principal Act set out in column (1) of Part II of the First Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in column (2) of the said Part II, but shall continue to apply to any case where, in the opinion of the Society, the loss arose before the passing of this Act.

PART II

Disciplinary Provisions in Relation to Solicitors

Disciplinary Committee.

6.—(1) The President of the High Court shall, from time to time as occasion requires, appoint, from amongst the members of the Council and such former members of the Council as are practising as solicitors, a disciplinary committee (in this Act referred to as the Disciplinary Committee) consisting of not less than seven and not more than ten persons.

(2) A member of the Disciplinary Committee may resign his office by letter sent by registered post to the President of the High Court and his resignation shall take effect on the date on which the letter is delivered.

(3) The President of the High Court may remove a member of the Disciplinary Committee, may fill a vacancy therein and, subject to the limits stated in subsection (1) of this section, may increase or reduce the number of persons thereon.

(4) The Disciplinary Committee may act notwithstanding one or more than one vacancy in their membership.

(5) The Society shall defray any costs or expenses incurred by the Disciplinary Committee.

(6) The quorum of the Disciplinary Committee shall be three.

(7) A member of the Disciplinary Committee, who was a member of the Council at the date of his appointment, may act on the Disciplinary Committee notwithstanding the fact that he has ceased to be a member of the Council.

Inquiry by the Disciplinary Committee into the conduct of a solicitor alleged to have committed misconduct.

7.—(1) An application by another person or by the Society for an inquiry into the conduct of a solicitor on the ground of alleged misconduct shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be made to and heard by the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with rules made under section 16 of this Act.

(2) Where an application in relation to a solicitor is duly made under this section and the Disciplinary Committee, after consideration of the application, are of opinion that there is no prima facie case for inquiry, they shall so inform the applicant in writing and shall take no further action in relation to the application.

(3) Where an application in relation to a solicitor is duly made under this section and the Disciplinary Committee, after consideration of the application, are of opinion that there is a prima facie case for inquiry, the following provisions shall have effect—

(a) they shall proceed to hold an inquiry;

(b) on completion of the inquiry, the Disciplinary Committee shall embody their findings in a report to the High Court, specifying therein the nature of the application and the evidence laid before them and any other matters in relation to the solicitor which they may think fit to report, including their opinion as to the fitness or otherwise of the solicitor to be a member of the solicitors' profession having regard to the contents of the report;

(c) if the Disciplinary Committee find that there has been misconduct on the part of the solicitor in respect of any matter complained of in the application or that the solicitor has not answered satisfactorily the allegations against him, the Society shall bring the report before the High Court.

(4) Where an application is made under this section, the Disciplinary Committee may, at any stage of the proceedings in relation to the application and before making a report to the High Court, postpone the taking of any steps or further steps in the matter for a specified period and, if they do so, then, if before the expiration of that period the applicant applies to the Disciplinary Committee for leave to withdraw the application, the Disciplinary Committee may, if they think fit, allow the application to be withdrawn and, if they do so, no further action shall be taken by them in relation to the application.

(5) The Society—

(a) shall be entitled to make an application to the Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the provisions...

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