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

20.

Power of chairman of committee to give directions, etc.

20.— (1) The chairman of the committee shall be entitled to give such directions as he or she considers appropriate to avoid a contravention of this Act from occurring in the conduct of the Part 2 inquiry.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) or section 23(1) , directions under subsection (1) may include—

( a) a direction to a witness to cease giving evidence or, after such cesser, to start giving evidence again, or

( b) a direction to a committee member to cease particular questioning.

(3) Without prejudice to any other action that may be taken in respect of a breach of privilege by a committee member during the course of the conduct of the Part 2 inquiry, the House may by resolution remove a committee member from the committee—

( a) for contravening a direction given to him or her pursuant to subsection (2)(b), or

( b) in the event of it being established, in accordance with the rules and standing orders of the House, that the member has, otherwise than by virtue of a contravention referred to in paragraph (a), contravened a requirement of this Act applicable to the inquiry.

(4) The House may by resolution remove a committee member from, or add a member of the House to, the committee in accordance with the rules and standing orders of the House.

(5) A member who has been added to the committee after the committee has started conducting the Part 2 inquiry shall have regard to—

( a) each interim report (if any) of the committee made by the committee before he or she became a committee member, and

( b) evidence received by the committee before he or she became a committee member.

(6) The removal of a committee member shall not for that reason alone invalidate the proceedings of the Part 2 inquiry up to the point of such removal and the inquiry may continue to be conducted without the former committee member.

(7) A failure by a person to comply with a direction given under this section shall not of itself prejudice the further conduct of the Part 2 inquiry.