A new bill in Ireland will allow people to be released from bankruptcy after five years rather than the current 12 years if certain conditions are met, reports the Irish Times.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has published a Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 providing for a number of legislative changes relating to domestic violence, immigration, the victims of trafficking, alcohol licensing, “good Samaritans” and family maintenance as well as bankruptcy.

Early reforms to the Bankruptcy Act 1988 will reduce the application period to the court for the release from bankruptcy and also automatically end bankruptcy on the 12th anniversary of the adjudication order. This will release 300 people from bankruptcy who currently exceed the 12 years.

More extensive reforms are to follow in a Personal Insolvency Bill, which is expected in early 2012 and is being drawn up in the context of a commitment under the EU-IMF funding deal.

To be considered for release from bankruptcy after five years, the bankrupt will have to have discharged the expenses, fees and costs of the bankruptcy and the preferential payments.

Also, the court will have to be confident that the bankrupt's estate has been fully realized and all property acquired after the bankruptcy has been disclosed.