Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013


Number 33 of 2013


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS (INQUIRIES, PRIVILEGES AND PROCEDURES) ACT 2013

REVISED

Updated to 16 May 2017


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 (33/2013). It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Act 2017 (7/2017), enacted 16 May 2017, and all statutory instruments up to and including Patent (Amendment) Rules 2017 (S.I. No. 206 of 2017), made 19 May 2017, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 33 of 2013


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS (INQUIRIES, PRIVILEGES AND PROCEDURES) ACT 2013

REVISED

Updated to 16 May 2017


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

This Act is not collectively cited with any other Act.

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1996, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Court of Appeal Act 2014 (18/2014)

All Acts up to and including Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Act 2017 (7/2017), enacted 16 May 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 (Commencement) Order 2013 (S.I. No. 362 of 2013)

All statutory instruments up to and including Patent (Amendment) Rules 2017 (S.I. No. 206 of 2017), made 19 May 2017.


Number 33 of 2013


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS (INQUIRIES, PRIVILEGES AND PROCEDURES) ACT 2013

REVISED

Updated to 16 May 2017


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Section

1. Short title and commencement.

2. Interpretation — general.

3. Expenses.

4. Laying of regulations.

5. Repeals.

PART 2

Types of Inquiries that may be Conducted

Chapter 1

Section 7, section 8, section 9, section 10 and section 11 inquiries, etc.

6. Application of Chapter 1.

7. Power of committee to conduct inquiry by way of recording evidence, etc.

8. Power of committee to conduct inquiry into legislative functions of either House or both Houses.

9. Power of committee to conduct inquiry into removal, etc., of certain officeholders.

10. Power of committee to conduct inquiry into conduct of member of House.

11. Power of committee to conduct inquiry into conduct of certain officeholders, etc.

12. Proposal by committee to conduct Part 2 inquiry.

13. Setting of terms of reference for Part 2 inquiry.

14. Finding of failure to co-operate with Part 2 inquiry.

Chapter 2

Section 16 inquiry

15. Application of section 16.

16. Committee may conduct investigation into charge under Article 12.10 of Constitution.

PART 3

Part 2 Inquiries to Observe Fair Procedures

17. Findings of fact not to directly impugn person’s good name other than certain persons.

18. Privileges and immunities of witnesses.

19. Guidelines relating to procedures of Part 2 inquiry.

20. Power of chairman of committee to give directions, etc.

21. Member not to be committee member where perception of bias might arise.

22. Rights of witness to Part 2 inquiry, etc.

23. Action to be taken where good name of person is directly impugned.

24. Right to good name of person in respect of whom committee is entitled to make finding that directly impugns good name.

25. Other persons identified in evidence.

26. Notice of intention to exercise powers under Part 6 relating to compellability.

27. Standard of proof.

28. Duty to inform witness of committee’s powers and to advise witness, etc.

29. Evidence given or sent to committee not admissible in certain proceedings.

30. Preservation of relevant material.

31. Inquiry to be held in public.

32. Offences — Part 3.

Chapter 3

Part 2 inquiry expenses

53. Oireachtas Commission to issue guidelines in respect of Part 2 inquiry expenses.

54. Payment by Oireachtas Commission of Part 2 inquiry expenses.

55. Award of Part 2 inquiry expenses against third parties, etc.

Chapter 4

Private bill legal costs

56. Oireachtas Commission to issue guidelines in respect of private bill legal costs.

57. Awarding of private bill legal costs (promoter) to promoters.

58. Awarding of private bill legal costs (petitioner) to petitioners.

59. Proceedings for recoupment of private bill legal costs.

60. Provisions supplementary to sections 57 and 58.

61. Certificate of costs.

Chapter 5

Miscellaneous

62. Further application of Part 5.

63. Power of Oireachtas Commission to specify form of documents.

64. Offences — Part 5.

PART 6

Compellability, Privileges and Immunities in Relation to Part 2 Inquiries

65. Definition of “direction”.

66. Application of Part 6.

67. Powers of committee to obtain evidence.

68. Scope of section 67.

69. Application of section 67 to members of judiciary, etc.

70. Relevant evidence.

71. Exemption of certain evidence, etc., from section 67.

72. Declarations in relation to directions.

73. Provisions supplementary to section 67.

74. Saver and restriction of Official Secrets Act 1963.

75. Offences — Part 6.

PART 7

Compellability, Privileges and Immunities in Relation to Other Committee Business

Chapter 1

Definitions and application of Chapters 2 and 3

76. Definitions — Part 7.

77. Application of Chapters 2 and 3.

Chapter 2

Privileges and immunities, etc.

78. Privileges and immunities of witnesses.

79. Guidelines relating to procedures of other committee business.

80. Other persons identified in evidence.

81. Evidence given or sent to committee not admissible in certain proceedings.

82. Offences — Chapter 2.

Chapter 3

Directions that may be given by committee conducting other committee business and related matters

83. Powers of committee to obtain evidence.

84. Scope of section 83.

85. Relevant evidence.

86. Exemption of certain evidence, etc., from section 83.

87. Declarations in relation to directions.

88. Provisions supplementary to section 83.

89. Saver and restriction of Official Secrets Act 1963.

90. Offences — Chapter 3.

Chapter 4

Oireachtas Commission may pay expenses of witnesses, etc.

91. Oireachtas Commission may pay reasonable expenses of witnesses, etc.

PART 8

Privilege and Immunity of Committees and Members of Houses and Restriction of Evidence of Certain Persons

92. Privilege and immunity of committees, etc.

93. Restriction on evidence, etc., of certain persons.

PART 9

Applications to High Court in Relation to Relevant Proceedings, etc.

94. Application to Court for directions on matter relating to relevant proceedings.

95. Provisions that apply where committee resolves that publication of relevant report could prejudice criminal proceedings, etc.

96. Court’s role in award of third party legal costs, etc., under sections 48, 55 , 57 and 58.

97. Court may set aside section 50 or 59.

98. Reference to Court concerning Part 2 inquiry legal costs or private bill legal costs.

99. Application to Court where person fails to comply with direction under section 67(1) or 83(1).

100. Appeal to Court against certain direction under section 67(1) or 83(1).

101. Disapplication of section 94(5)(a) or (b), or 100(2)(b), to committee in certain circumstances.

102. Court’s discretion to hear certain matters otherwise than in public.

103. Provisions supplementary to sections 94 to 102.

PART 10

Privilege in Relation to Private Papers and Confidential Communications

104. Interpretation — Part 10.

105. Protected communications of member.

106. Disclosure of communication.

107. Determining what constitutes private paper or confidential communication.

108. Guidelines.

109. Former or deceased member of House.

110. Disclosure of private paper by way of evidence.

111. Offences — Part 10.


Acts Referred to

Bill of Rights 1688

1688 (1 Will. & Mary sess. 2) c. 2

Broadcasting Act 2009

2009, No. 18

Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

1998, No. 22

Civil Service Regulation Act 1956

1956, No. 46

Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

2004, No. 23

Committee of Public Accounts of Dáil Éireann (Privilege and Procedure) Act 1970

1970, No. 22

Committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Compellability, Privileges and Immunities of Witnesses) Act 1997

1997, No. 17

Committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Compellability, Privileges and Immunities of Witnesses) (Amendment) Act 2004

2004, No. 16

Committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Privilege and Procedure) Act 1976

1976, No. 10

Companies Act 1963

1963, No. 33

Companies Act 1990

1990, No. 33

Companies Acts

Comptroller and Auditor General and Committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Special Provisions) Act 1998

1998, No. 47

Court Officers Act 1926

1926, No. 27

Courts of Justice (District Court) Act 1946

1946, No. 21

Courts of Justice Act 1924

1924, No. 10

Defamation Act 2009

2009, No. 31

Defence Act 1954

1954, No. 18

Ethics in Public Office Act 1995

1995, No. 22

Freedom of Information Act 1997

1997, No. 13

Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003

Garda Síochána Act 2005

2005, No. 20

House of Commons Costs Taxation Act 1847

1847 (10 & 11 Vict.) c. 69

House of Commons Costs Taxation Act 1879

1879 (42 & 43 Vict.) c. 17

House of Lords Costs Taxation Act 1849

1849 (12 & 13 Vict.) c. 78

Houses of the Oireachtas (Laying of Documents) Act 1966

1966, No. 10

Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993

1993, No. 10

Local Government Act 2001

2001, No. 37

Official Languages Act 2003

2003, No. 32

Official Secrets Act 1963

1963, No. 1

Oireachtas Witnesses Oaths Act 1924

1924, No. 53

Ombudsman Act 1980

1980, No. 26

Parliamentary Attendance Act 1514

1514 (6 Hen. 8) c. 16

Parliamentary Costs Act 1865

1865 (28 & 29 Vict.) c. 27

Parliamentary Costs Act 1867

1867 (30 & 31 Vict.) c. 136

Parliamentary Costs Act 1871

1871 (34 & 35 Vict.) c. 3

Parliamentary Privilege Act 1471

1471-72 (11 & 12 Edw. 4) c. 80 [P.R.O. vol. 3]

Parliamentary Privilege Act 1512

1512 (4 Hen. 8) c. 8

Parliamentary Privilege Act 1603

1603 (1 Jas. 1) c. 13

Parliamentary Privilege Act 1737

1737 (11 Geo. 2) c. 24

Parliamentary Privilege Act 1770

1770 (10 Geo. 3) c. 50

Parliamentary Witnesses Act 1858

1858 (21 & 22 Vict.) c. 78

Parliamentary Witnesses Oaths Act 1871

1871 (34 & 35 Vict.) c. 83

Private Bill Costs Act 1924

1924, No. 52

Public Service Management Act 1997

1997, No. 27

Select Committee on Legislation and Security of Dáil Éireann (Privilege and Immunity) Act 1994

1994, No. 32

Statute Law Revision Act 2007

2007, No. 28

Statute Law Revision Act 2009

2009, No. 46

Statute Law Revision Act 2012

2012, No. 19

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997

1997, No. 39

Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts 1921 to 2011

Witnesses (Public Inquiries) Protection Act 1892

1892 (55 & 56 Vict.) c. 64


Number 33 of 2013


HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS (INQUIRIES, PRIVILEGES AND PROCEDURES) ACT 2013

REVISED

Updated to 16 May 2017


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXERCISE BY EITHER HOUSE OR BOTH HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS (OR BY A COMMITTEE OF EITHER HOUSE OR BOTH HOUSES) OF A POWER TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY INTO SPECIFIED MATTERS, TO PROVIDE FOR MATTERS RELATING TO COMPELLABILITY, PRIVILEGE AND PROCEDURE IN THE HOUSES (AND IN COMMITTEES OF EITHER HOUSE OR BOTH HOUSES), AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS.

[24 th July, 2013]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS: