Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

Request for recovery of legal costs necessarily incurred and certain other expenses.

24

24.—(1) Where a witness requests a commission to direct that all or part of the legal costs necessarily incurred by the witness in connection with its investigation be paid by the specified Minister, the commission may—

( a) if satisfied as to the matters specified in subsection (2) of this section and that the payment comes within the guidelines prepared under section 23 , direct that such amount of those costs as it considers reasonable be paid to the witness, or

( b) if not so satisfied, refuse to give such direction.

(2) Before a direction is given under subsection (1), the commission is to be satisfied that—

( a) the legal costs were necessarily incurred, and

( b) the level and amount of those costs are reasonable.

(3) For the purpose of satisfying itself as to the matters specified in subsection (2), the commission shall consider all relevant factors, including—

( a) the nature, complexity and extent of the evidence given to the commission by the witness,

( b) the nature, complexity and volume of any documents or list of documents provided by the witness to the commission,

( c) whether evidence given by or relating to the witness was given in private or in public,

( d) whether the witness was cross examined by or on behalf of other persons,

( e) whether there has been any improper failure by the witness to co-operate with the commission in its investigation and, if so, the degree of failure, and

( f) any potential consequences for the witness arising from the publication of the commission's report.

(4) After considering all relevant factors, the commission may direct that a witness be paid less than the maximum amount provided for in the guidelines prepared under section 23 in respect of any legal costs necessarily incurred by the witness.

(5) If a witness who has incurred heavy expenses (other than legal costs) because of—

( a) the nature, volume or location of the documents produced by the witness,

( b) the location outside the State from which the witness travelled to attend before the commission, or

( c) any other factor not within the control of the witness,

requests payment of all or part of those expenses, the commission may, on being satisfied that they were necessary in the circumstances, direct that such amount of the expenses as it considers reasonable be paid by the specified Minister.

(6) On receiving a direction under this section, the specified Minister may request the commission to review the direction if he or she considers that the amount specified in it is excessive having regard to—

( a) in the case of a request for payment of legal costs necessarily incurred, the guidelines prepared under section 23 and relevant factors referred to in subsection (3) of this section, and

( b) in the case of a request for payment of expenses incurred as described in subsection (5), the ability of the witness who made the request to pay those expenses.

(7) On receiving a request to review a direction under this section, a commission may—

( a) reduce the amount specified in the direction, or

( b) confirm that amount.

(8) The specified Minister shall, in accordance with a direction of a commission, pay to a witness requesting payment of legal costs or other expenses—

( a) the amount specified in the direction, or

( b) if that amount is reduced under subsection (7), the reduced amount.