Criminal Justice Act 2007

49.

Destruction of records.

49.— The Act of 1984 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 8:

“8.— (1) Where a person (in this section referred to as ‘the requester’) has had records taken in pursuance of powers conferred by section 6 or 6A of this Act or section 12 of the Act of 2006, and proceedings for an offence to which section 4 applies—

( a) are not instituted against the requester within the period of twelve months from the date of the taking of the records, and the failure to institute such proceedings within that period is not due to the fact that he or she has absconded or cannot be found, or

( b) have been so instituted and—

(i) the requester is acquitted,

(ii) the charge against the requester in respect of the offence concerned is dismissed under section 4E of the Criminal Procedure Act 1967, or

(iii) the proceedings are discontinued,

he or she may request the Commissioner to have the records concerned destroyed or their use limited.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)( b)(ii), a charge against the requester in respect of the offence concerned shall be regarded as dismissed when—

( a) the time for bringing an appeal against the dismissal has expired,

( b) any such appeal has been withdrawn or abandoned, or

( c) on any such appeal, the dismissal is upheld.

(3) Such a request shall be made in writing to the Commissioner and shall—

( a) contain sufficient particulars in relation to the request to enable the records to be identified, and

( b) set out the reasons for the request.

(4) The Commissioner shall, as soon as may be, acknowledge receipt of the request in writing.

(5) The Commissioner shall, as soon as may be but not later than 4 weeks after receipt of the request, decide whether to grant or refuse to grant the request or whether to grant it in part and shall cause the requester to be notified in writing of the decision and the date on which it was made.

(6) Where the Commissioner decides to refuse the request or grant it only in part, the requester may within 8 weeks beginning on the date of the decision, appeal to the District Court against the decision.

(7) An appeal under subsection (6) shall—

( a) be on notice to the other party to the proceedings,

( b) set out reasons for the appeal, and

( c) be heard otherwise than in public.

(8) On appeal, the court may have regard in particular to—

( a) the results of analysis (if any) of the records concerned,

( b) any previous convictions of the requester, and

( c) whether, in all the circumstances, it would be unjust not to allow the appeal.

(9) The court may make such order as it sees fit on the appeal, including an order—

( a) for the destruction of the records, or

( b) an order authorising their retention for such purpose or period as it may direct.

(10) An appeal from a refusal or grant of an order of destruction of the District Court shall lie to a judge of the Circuit Court at the instance of the requester or the Commissioner, and the appeal shall be heard otherwise than in public.

(11) Where an order for the destruction of any records is made under this section, the Commissioner shall cause the requester to be notified in writing as soon as the records have been destroyed.

(12) The jurisdiction conferred on the District Court under this section shall be exercised by the judge of that Court assigned to the district court district where the requester resides.

(13) Nothing in this section shall—

( a) prevent or restrict the exercise of powers conferred by section 6 or 6A of this Act or section 12 of the Act of 2006, or

( b) pending the conclusion of proceedings under this section, prevent or restrict use of the records for the purpose of other proceedings or of a criminal investigation.

(14) This section does not apply to records taken inpursuance of powers conferred by section 6 of this Act or section 12 of the Act of 2006 before the commencement of thissection.

(15) In this section—

‘Act of 2006’ means Criminal Justice Act 2006;

‘Commissioner’ means the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána;

‘records’ means a photograph (including a negative), fingerprints and palm prints taken in pursuance of the powers conferred by section 6 or 6A of this Act or section 12 of the Act of 2006 and every copy and related record thereof.”.