Criminal Justice Act 2007

42.

Special inquiries relating to Garda Síochána.

42.— The Act of 2005 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 42:

“Special inquiries relating to Garda Síochána.

42.— (1) The Minister, with respect to any matter considered by him or her to be of public concern, may by order appoint a person to—

( a) inquire into any aspect of administration, operation, practice or procedure of the Garda Síochána, or the conduct of its members, and

( b) make a report to the Minister on the conclusion of the inquiry.

(2) A person who, in the Minister’s opinion, has the experience, qualifications, training or expertise appropriate for the inquiry may be appointed to conduct the inquiry.

(3) The Minister shall specify the terms of reference of the inquiry in the order under subsection (1) and may, by order, made at any time before the submission of the final report, amend those terms for the purpose of clarifying, limiting or extending the scope of the inquiry.

(4) For the purpose of the inquiry, the appointed person—

( a) may require a member of the Garda Síochána, or any other person, who possesses information or possesses or controls a document or thing that is relevant to the inquiry to provide the information, document or thing to the appointed person, and

( b) where appropriate, may require the member or other person to attend before the appointed person for that purpose.

(5) The member or other person shall co-operate with the inquiry and answer fully and truthfully any question put to him or her by the appointed person.

(6) Where the member or other person fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (4), the High Court may, on application by the appointed person and on notice to the member or other person—

( a) order the member or person to comply with the requirement, and

( b) include in the order any other provision it considers necessary to enable the order to have full effect.

(7) If the member or other person fails to comply with such an order, the Court may treat the failure for all purposes as if it were a contempt of the Court.

(8) A failure by the member to comply with a requirement under subsection (4) may be the subject of disciplinary action in accordance with the Disciplinary Regulations.

(9) Any information, document or thing provided by a person in accordance with a requirement under subsection (4) is not admissible in any criminal proceedings against the person, and this shall be explained to the person in ordinary language by the appointed person.

(10) The Minister may publish all or part of any report received under this section.

(11) This section applies even if the matter considered by the Minister to be of public concern arose before the passing of this Act.

(12) The power to order an inquiry under this Act is additional to any power conferred by this or another Act relating to inquiries or investigations.

(13) In this section—

‘appointed person’ means a person appointed under this section to conduct an inquiry;

‘criminal proceedings’ does not include disciplinary proceedings.”.