The Law Reform Commission Publishes Plain English version of its Consultation Paper on The Liability of Clubs, Societies, and other Unincorporated Associations

By GavinWalsh, Tuesday, 17th January 2023 | 0 comments
Filed under: 2022.


The Law Reform Commission has published a Plain English version of its Consultation Paper on The Liability of Clubs, Societies, and other Unincorporated Associations.

Please find the full media release for this publication here.


The Plain English version  is designed to generate participation by the general public  in the consultation process and to encourage debate on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper. The Law Reform Commission is eager to receive responses from all quarters, particularly from those who are involved in activities carried out by unincorporated clubs and associations.


Commissioner Richard Barrett says that the issues raised and analysed in the Consultation Paper are relevant to thousands of people engaged in non-profit, community activities throughout the country:

“There are over 17,000 unincorporated bodies functioning in Ireland, providing  valuable community services in areas including sport, social services, emergency relief and cultural activities. Society benefits greatly from the contribution from members of organisations engaged in these activities, which is largely based on voluntarism. However, there are legal issues which can arise for members of these organisations, and for those dealing with them, which are not widely known, or appreciated; for example, the fact that individual members have potential liability for things that might go wrong, such as injury, or damage, to third parties.”

The key problem with the law of unincorporated associations is that such bodies are not recognised in law as having a legal existence separate from their members. This gives rise to many difficulties, including the fact that the club or association cannot sue, or be sued in their own name: legal action must be taken against the membership as a whole. Another issue that arises is that individual members of clubs or associations cannot sue their own club, even in cases of negligence.

The Plain English Summary has achieved the NALA Plain English Mark. That means that it meets international plain English standards.


The Commission invites members of the public and interested bodies to share their views by submitting their responses to a series of questions set out in the document. You can reply to some or all of the questions in the Consultation Paper.  You can also give us any other information that you think might be important for making new laws about liability of clubs, societies and other unincorporated associations. Please let us know your views:


Post: Law Reform Commission Styne House Upper Hatch Street Dublin 2 Ireland D02 DY27

Phone: 01 637 7600