The new bankruptcy provisions contained in the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 were commenced yesterday. The Act has been in force since 2 August.

The new provisions allow for automatic discharge on the 12th anniversary of a bankruptcy adjudication order and a reduction in the period for application for discharge from bankruptcy to five years from 12 years.

According to the Government's legislation programme, a Personal Insolvency Bill will be published in 2012 to "provide a new framework for settlement and enforcement of debt and for personal insolvency". Publication of legislation reforming the personal bankruptcy regime in Ireland was mandated by the EC, ECB and IMF Memorandum of Understanding which the Irish State entered into under the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland. Publication of legislation is required by the first quarter of 2012.