Periods of Cohabitation Prior to Commencement of Legislation May be Relied on to be Qualified Cohabitant

Grainne McMahon, Content Editor (Ireland)

November 16, 2021

CD v BB [2021] IEHC 684 (High Court, Stack J, 22 October 2021)

The High Court finds that a person may be a ‘qualified cohabitant’ where some or all of the period of cohabitation relied upon took place prior to the commencement of the governing legislation, on the grounds that: (a) permitting the taking into account of pre-commencement periods of cohabitation does not mean the legislation has retrospective effect; (b) the legislation did not have retrospective effect in this case, and the presumption against retrospective legislation therefore did not apply; and (c) the applicant was entitled to rely on pre-commencement periods of cohabitation for the purpose of bringing herself within the definition of ‘qualified cohabitant’ under the rules of statutory interpretation.

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