Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009

7.

Approval for surveillance in cases of urgency.

7.— (1) A member of the Garda Síochána, F9 [ a designated officer of the Ombudsman Commission, ] a member of the Defence Forces or an officer of the Revenue Commissioners may carry out surveillance without an authorisation if the surveillance has been approved by a superior officer in accordance with this section.

(2) A member or officer referred to in subsection (1) may apply to a superior officer for the grant of an approval to carry out surveillance if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that F10 [ the requirements of subsection (1) , (1A) , (2) or (3) , as the case may be, of section 4 ] are fulfilled and that the surveillance is justified having regard to the matters referred to in section 4(5) , but that, before an authorisation could be issued—

( a) it is likely that a person would abscond for the purpose of avoiding justice, obstruct the course of justice or commit an arrestable offence or a revenue offence, as the case may be,

( b) information or evidence in relation to the commission of an arrestable offence or a revenue offence, as the case may be, is likely to be destroyed, lost or otherwise become unavailable, or

( c) the security of the State would be likely to be compromised.

(3) A superior officer to whom an application under subsection (2) is made shall approve the carrying out of such surveillance as he or she considers appropriate, having regard to the information in the application, if he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an authorisation would be issued under section 5 but that one or more of the conditions of urgency specified in subsection (2) apply.

(4) An approval may be granted subject to conditions, including as to the duration of the surveillance.

(5) An approval under this section permits the member or officer concerned, accompanied by any other person whom he or she considers necessary, to enter, if necessary by the use of reasonable force, any place for the purposes of initiating or carrying out the approved surveillance, and withdrawing the approved surveillance device, without the consent of a person who owns or is in charge of the place.

(6) A superior officer who approves the carrying out of surveillance under this section shall, as soon as practicable and, in any case, not later than 8 hours after the surveillance has been approved, prepare a written record of approval of that surveillance.

(7) A written record of approval shall be in such form as the relevant Minister may prescribe by regulations and shall include—

( a) particulars of the surveillance device that is approved to be used,

( b) the person who, or the place or thing that, is to be the subject of the surveillance,

( c) the name of the member of the Garda Síochána, F9 [ designated officer of the Ombudsman Commission, ] member of the Defence Forces or officer of the Revenue Commissioners to whom the approval is granted,

( d) the conditions (if any) subject to which the approval is granted,

( e) the time at which the approval is granted, and

( f) the duration of the approved surveillance.

(8) The member or officer shall not carry out surveillance under this section for a period of more than 72 hours from the time at which the approval is granted.

(9) The superior officer who approved the carrying out of surveillance may vary that approval, or any condition attached to it, at any time before the expiry of the period of 72 hours.

(10) ( a) If the superior officer who approved the carrying out of surveillance believes on reasonable grounds that surveillance beyond the period of 72 hours is warranted, he or she shall, as soon as possible but in any case before the expiry of that period, make an application under section 4(4) for an authorisation to continue the surveillance.

( b) Where an application under section 4(4) has been made and the period referred to in paragraph (a) would, but for this paragraph, expire during the hearing of the application, it shall be deemed not to expire until the determination of the application.

(11) A superior officer who approves the carrying out of surveillance under this section shall make a report as soon as possible and, in any case, not later than 7 days after the surveillance concerned has been completed, specifying the grounds on which the approval was granted, and including a copy of the written record of approval and a summary of the results of the surveillance.

(12) A report under subsection (11) shall be made to—

( a) in the case of a member of the Garda Síochána, a member of the Garda Síochána of the rank of Assistant Commissioner,

F9 [ ( aa ) in the case of a designated officer of the Ombudsman Commission, the chairperson of the Ombudsman Commission, ]

( b) in the case of an officer of the Defence Forces, a general officer within the meaning of section 2> (as amended by section 2( b) of the Defence (Amendment) Act 1979) of the Defence Act 1954, and

( c) in the case of an officer of the Revenue Commissioners, an officer of the Revenue Commissioners of the rank of Assistant Secretary.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F9

Inserted (27.04.2015) by Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015 (3/2015), s. 13(f)(i), (iii), (iv), S.I. No. 150 of 2015.

F10

Substituted (27.04.2015) by Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015 (3/2015), s. 13(f)(ii), S.I. No. 150 of 2015.

Editorial Notes:

E2

Power pursuant to subs. (7) exercised (6.02.2017) by Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 (Written Record of Approval) (Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 46 of 2017).

E3

Power pursuant to subs. (7) exercised (17.02.2010) by Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 (Written Record of Approval) (Defence Forces) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 80 of 2010).

E4

Form of written record of approval for purposes of section prescribed (27.07.2009) by Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 (Written Record of Approval) (Revenue Commissioners) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 290 of 2009), reg. 3 and sch.

E5

Form of written record of approval for purposes of section prescribed (20.07.2009) by Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 (Written Record of Approval) (An Garda Síochána) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 275 of 2009), reg. 3 and sch.