Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

Powers relating to witnesses and documents.

16

16.—(1) For the purposes of an investigation, a commission may do any or all of the following:

( a) direct in writing any person to attend before the commission on a date and at a place and time specified in the direction and there to give evidence and to produce any document that is in the person's possession or power and is specified in the direction;

( b) direct a witness to answer questions that it believes to be relevant to a matter under investigation;

( c) examine a witness on oath or affirmation or by use of a statutory declaration or written interrogatories;

( d) examine or cross examine any witness to the extent the commission thinks proper in order to elicit information relevant to a matter under investigation;

( e) direct a witness to produce to the commission any document that is in his or her possession or power and is specified in the direction;

( f) direct in writing any person to—

(i) provide the commission with a list, verified by affidavit, disclosing all documents in the person's possession or power relating to a matter under investigation, and

(ii) specify in the affidavit any of the listed documents that the person objects to producing to the commission and the basis for the objection;

( g) direct in writing any person to send to the commission any document that is in the person's possession or power and is specified in the direction;

( h) direct a person who made a statement or answered a question while being interviewed by a person appointed under section 8 to provide the commission with a sworn statement in a form acceptable to it confirming, if such is the case—

(i) that the statement was made or the answer given by him or her voluntarily, and

(ii) that to the best of his or her knowledge the content is true and accurate;

( i) give any other directions that appear to the commission to be reasonable.

(2) The powers of a commission under subsection (1) may be exercised by any member authorised in accordance with section 15(3) by the commission's rules and procedures to receive evidence on its behalf, and for that purpose a reference in subsection (1), (3), (6), (8) or (9) of this section to “a commission” or “the commission” is to be read as a reference to the authorised member.

(3) A person who attends, whether voluntarily or otherwise, before a commission is entitled to be paid by the specified Minister such amount in respect of the expenses of his or her attendance as is determined in accordance with guidelines prepared by that Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance and after consulting with the commission.

(4) The rules of court relating to the discovery of documents in proceedings in the Court apply with any necessary modifications in relation to the disclosure of documents under subsection (1)(f).

(5) Where a statement made or an answer given to a person appointed under section 8 is confirmed in accordance with a direction under subsection (1)(h) of this section, the statement or answer is considered to have been received as evidence by the commission.

(6) Where a person does not comply with a direction given by a commission under this section, the Court may, on application by the chairperson or, if the commission consists of only one member, by the sole member—

( a) order the person to comply with the direction, and

( b) make any other order the Court considers necessary and just to enable the direction to have full effect.

(7) If a person against whom an order is made under subsection (6)(a) fails to comply with the direction specified in the order, the Court may deal with the matter as if it were a contempt of the Court.

(8) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a direction under subsection (1)(a) to attend before a commission is guilty of an offence.

(9) The failure of a person to comply with a direction under subsection (1)(a)

( a) may be punished as a contempt even though it could be punished as an offence, and

( b) may be punished as an offence even though it could be punished as a contempt,

but the person is not liable to be punished twice.

(10) In subsection (3)“expenses” does not include any legal costs.

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C4

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Finance” and “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 2, 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 6-9.

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of any functions transferred by this Order are transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

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5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

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Schedule 1

Enactments

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Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

(1)

(2)

(3)

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No. 23 of 2004

Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

Sections 3, 8, 16, 17(1) and (4) and 23

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