The Personal Insolvency Act 2012 makes provision for the automatic discharge of a bankruptcy, subject to certain conditions, after three years from the date of adjudication. This is a reduction from the previous 12 years discharge period.
I believe that the period of three years for automatic discharge is a reasonable one and represents a balance between the legitimate interests and expectations of creditors and debtors. The period is broadly in line with the European norm in regard to discharge from insolvency. The length of the discharge in other jurisdictions, including the UK, is not a matter over which I have control. However, as I indicated during the Oireachtas debates on the passage of the Personal Insolvency Act, I will keep all matters under review, including this particular issue.
Under the provisions of the EU Regulation on insolvency proceedings of 2000, a company or natural person may apply to a court for the opening of insolvency proceedings in any Member State of the EU. In determining an application for the opening of an insolvency proceeding, the Regulation requires that a court should determine the centre of main interest of the applicant in the context of assuming jurisdiction. It is a matter for the court to satisfy itself that the provisions in its national law in this regard have been observed. For example, the UK Courts can and have refused or revoked insolvency proceedings where an abuse has been detected.