Ombudsman for Children Act 2002

Attendance before other committees of Houses of Oireachtas.

19

19.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Ombudsman for Children shall, at the request in writing of a committee, attend before it to account for the general administration of the office of the Ombudsman for Children as may be required by the committee.

(2) The Ombudsman for Children shall not be required to account to a committee for any matter—

( a) relating solely to an individual complaint made to him or her under this Act in relation to an action, or

( b) which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(3) Where the Ombudsman for Children is of opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give account before a committee is a matter to which subsection (2) applies, he or she shall inform the committee of that opinion and the reasons therefor and, unless the information is conveyed to the committee at a time when the Ombudsman for Children is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(4) Where the Ombudsman for Children has informed a committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (3) and the committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

( a) the Ombudsman for Children may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in a summary manner for a determination as to whether the matter is one to which subsection (2) applies, or

( b) the chairperson of the committee may, on behalf of the committee, make such an application,

and the High Court may determine the matter.

(5) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (4) , the Ombudsman for Children shall not attend before the committee to give account for the matter the subject of the application.

(6) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (2) applies, the committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1) in relation to the matter, but if the High Court determines that subsection (2) does not apply, the Ombudsman for Children shall attend before the committee to give account for the matter.

(7) In this section “committee” means a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas, other than—

( a) the Committee referred to in section 18 ,

( b) the Committee on Members' Interests of Dáil Éireann, or

( c) the Committee on Members' Interests of Seanad Éireann,

or a subcommittee of such a committee.