Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009

8.

Tracking devices.

8.— (1) Notwithstanding sections 4 to 7 , a member of the Garda Síochána, F11 [ a designated officer of the Ombudsman Commission, ]a member of the Defence Forces or an officer of the Revenue Commissioners may, for a period of not more than 4 months or such shorter period as the Minister may prescribe by regulations, monitor the movements of persons, vehicles or things using a tracking device if that use 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 use a tracking device if he or she believes on reasonable grounds that—

( a) F12 [ the requirements of subsection (1) , (1A) , (2) or (3) , as the case may be, of section 4 ] are fulfilled and that surveillance is justified having regard to the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) of section 4(5) , but that the use of a tracking device would be sufficient for obtaining the information or evidence in the circumstances concerned, and

( b) the information or evidence sought could reasonably be obtained by the use of a tracking device for a specified period that is as short as is practicable to allow the information or evidence to be obtained.

(3) A superior officer to whom an application under subsection (2) is made shall approve such use of a tracking device 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 and that the conditions specified in subsection (2) apply.

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

(5) An approval under this section permits the member or officer concerned, accompanied by any other person whom he or she considers necessary, to place the tracking device and remove it at the end of its use, without the consent of a person who owns or is in charge of the vehicle or thing on which it is placed.

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

(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 tracking device that is approved to be used,

( b) the person who, or the vehicle or thing that, is to be monitored,

( c) the name of the member of the Garda Síochána, F11 [ 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 use approved.

(8) Without prejudice to the maximum period for which an approval granted under this section may have effect, the superior officer who approves the use of a tracking device under this section may vary that approval, or any condition attached to it, at any time before the expiry of that approval.

(9) A superior officer who approves the use of a tracking device under this section shall make a report as soon as possible and, in any case, not later than 7 days after its use has ended, 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 monitoring.

(10) A report under subsection (9) 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,

F11 [ ( 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.

(11) The Minister may, in the interests of the protection of the privacy and other rights of persons, the security of the State, and the aims of preventing the commission of, and detecting, arrestable offences, make regulations prescribing a period of less than 4 months as the maximum period for which approvals granted under this section may have effect, and such regulations may prescribe different periods in respect of different purposes or circumstances.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F11

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

F12

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

Editorial Notes:

E6

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).

E7

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).

E8

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. 4 and sch.

E9

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 S ochána) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 275 of 2009), reg. 4 and sch.