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Legal loophole sewn up: Cross border driving bans recognised

Posted in [Blog New Legal Developments ] on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

A legal loophole which enabled driver’s to escape a cross-jurisdictional driving ban between Ireland and the United Kingdom has recently been addressed, bringing about significant changes to those facing driving bans on one or other side of the border. The change in the Law came into effect on the 1st of August, 2017. The effect of this is that it places the Road Safety Agreement (which was signed by both the Irish and United Kingdom governments in 2015), on a legal footing and ultimately implements a ban on both sides of the boarder.

Previously, if a driver holding a driving licence in the Republic of Ireland was prosecuted and disqualified in Northern Ireland, the driving prohibition would neither extend nor be enforceable within his home jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland. This was indeed the case likewise for drivers holding a licence in Northern Ireland who are prosecuted and disqualified in the Republic of Ireland. As a result of this legal loophole, the disqualification from driving was not extraterritorial and thus did not apply in the driver’s resident jurisdiction. Extraterritorial jurisdiction refers to the legal ability of a government to exercise authority beyond its normal boundaries. This ultimately rendered such a ban irrelevant for many drivers.

The United Kingdom’s decision to pull out of an EU directive on cross-border driver disqualifications and instead opting to introduce national legislation meant that Ireland had to introduce similar national legislation. There was also a requirement for both Ireland and the UK to sign an international agreement between the two countries.

The new agreement is contained within the Road Traffic Act 2016 at Part 7, namely The Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

Sarah McNulty



Sarah joined Cantillons in 2015, having graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Civil Law Degree from University College Cork. She successfully completed her Law Society FE-1 Examinations and thereafter, completed the Law Society of Ireland Professional Practice Courses at Blackhall Place, Dublin.

Sarah gained invaluable experience in medical negligence litigation, having spent three years in the Medical Negligence Department and has been involved in a diverse range of cases including birth injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, surgical errors, fatal claims and defective medical device claims. Sarah also has experience with Inquests and the Coroner’s Court.

Now working in General Litigation Department, Sarah places a particular importance on client care and advises clients in relation to all aspects of civil litigation; to include personal injury claims, accidents at work, road traffic accidents, public liability claims, defamation, data protection breaches and assault claims.

Sarah is a valued contributor to our weekly column published in a local newspaper and in addition, has had numerous legal blogs published on our website.


  • Honours Bachelor of Civil Law Degree
    Completed Law Society Professional Practice Courses at Blackhall Place, Dublin

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Sarah McNulty


Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

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