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


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

9.— (1) Subject to sections 12(1) and 13(1) , a committee may conduct an inquiry into the removal or proposed removal of an officeholder (howsoever described) pursuant to a relevant provision.

(2) The committee, in exercise of the power to conduct a section 9 inquiry, may—

( a) record evidence,

( b) report the evidence,

( c) subject to subsection (4), make findings of fact (if any), including findings of fact that directly impugn the good name of the officeholder to whom the inquiry relates or of relevant misbehaviour, and

( d) subject to subsection (4), make recommendations (if any) arising from one or both of the following:

(i) those findings of fact;

(ii) findings of fact made by another committee in conducting another Part 2 inquiry if the terms of reference for that other Part 2 inquiry expressly state that its findings of fact may be used in other Part 2 inquiries.

(3) Nothing in this section shall require a section 9 inquiry to be conducted before a resolution referred to in a relevant provision has been passed in circumstances where no breach of fair procedures would be occasioned by not conducting the inquiry.

(4) The committee shall not have the power referred to in paragraph (c) or (d)(i) or (ii) of subsection (2) unless the terms of reference for the section 9 inquiry expressly state that the committee has that power.

(5) Subject to section 66 , the committee shall not have the power to send for persons, papers or records unless—

( a) that power has been conferred upon it pursuant to the applicable rules and standing orders, and

( b) the resolution under section 13(1) for the section 9 inquiry specifies that that power has been or will be conferred upon the committee.

(6) In this section “relevant provision” means—

( a) Article 33.5 of the Constitution,

( b) Article 35 of the Constitution,

( c) section 39 of the Courts of Justice Act 1924, section 20 of the Courts of Justice (District Court) Act 1946 or any other enactment relating to the removal of a judge in his or her capacity as a judge,

( d) section 2(3)( b) of the Ombudsman Act 1980,

( e) section 9(2)( f) of the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993,

( f) section 21 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995,

( g) paragraph 2( b) of the Second Schedule to the Freedom of Information Act 1997,

( h) paragraph 2( b) of the Second Schedule to the Official Languages Act 2003,

( i) section 68(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005,

( j) section 10(5) or 84(5) of the Broadcasting Act 2009, or

( k) any other enactment relating to the removal of an officeholder and which requires a resolution of either House or both Houses for such removal, whether or not the officeholder concerned may also be removed from office by virtue of a provision referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (j).