This week the Court will hear three cases relating to testacy, delegation of ministerial function and summary judgment

The Court will reopen this week. There are three cases listed for hearing: McCormack & Anor v Duff & Anor,  Dunnes Stores v The Central Statistics Office & Ors and ACC Bank plc v Hanrahan. There are no cases listed for judgment, yet.

McCormack & Anor v Duff & Anor

On Wednesday (18 June 2014) a five judge panel will hear an appeal from the High Court decision by Herbert J (here) in McCormack & Anor v Duff & Anor. The Plaintiffs are executors of a will; they successfully applied to the High Court for an injunction restraining the Defendants from intermeddling in the assets of the estate.

Antonia Senzio made a will in Ireland in July 2005, appointing the Plaintiffs as executors. He had an estate which was valued in excess of €10 million, and he sought the advice of a number of professionals in drafting his will. He was, at the time, co-owner with his brother of a property in Italy. He made no mention of that property in his Irish will. He and Peter, though, had made wills in Italy determining that, on the death of one, the other would become full owner of the co-owned property. In August 2005 his brother Peter died unexpectedly. Antonio, by agreement with others who may have had a claim to it, became full owner of the property in Italy.

In September 2006, Antonio made a will in Italy, revoking any other will previously made, determining the distribution of his Italian property; no mention was made of his estate in Ireland. The second defendant was the beneficiary of that will. After Antonio’s death, the first defendant illegally claimed and received proceeds from the Italian estate.

In the High Court, Herbet J held that, on construction, Antonio did not intend the Italian will to revoke the Irish will–just to revoke his previous Italian will, and that it is for the Italian courts to determine the validity of the Italian will. He ordered the first defendant to repay the Plaintiffs €79,116 plus interest for the assets that she removed from the estate. And  granted the Plaintiffs an injunction against the Defendants from intermeddling in the estate.

There was a number of other issues. The appeal is listed for hearing for two days.

Dunnes Stores v The Central Statistics Office & Ors

In the High Court (here) O’Neill J rejected Dunnes application for certiorari that the CSO acted ultra vires in making the Statistics (Balance of Payments and Financial Accounts) Order 2005. That Order obliges Dunnes to report statistical information to the CSO quarterly. Dunnes claimed that the Statistics Act 1993 required the Taoiseach or Minister for State at the Department of An Taoiseach to determine the frequency of submissions of such statistics. A three judge panel will hear the appeal on Wednesday.

ACC Bank plc v Hanrahan & Anor

In the High Court (here), Barr J refused to grant ACC summary judgment for €1.8 million against Hanrahan as she raised a number of defences against ACC’s claim, including: that an ACC employee had assumed a duty of care and breached that duty; that a default interest payment was in fact a penalty; that ACC had not applied the proceeds from the sale of property against the debt; and that there is a question as to whether ACC had validly waived a condition precedent which may void the loan contract.

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