Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014

23.

Accountability of Director to other Oireachtas Committees

23. (1) In this section, “Committee” means a Committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee referred to in section 22 or a Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann) or a subcommittee of such a Committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Director shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of the Commission.

(3) The Director shall not be required to give account before a Committee for any matter which is or has been or may be at a future date, the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(4) Where the Director is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account before a Committee is a matter to which subsection (3) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of the opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at the time when the Director is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(5) Where the Director has informed a Committee of this opinion in accordance with subsection (4) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) in so far as it relates to the subject matter of that opinion—

(a) the Director may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, apply to the High Court in summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (3) applies, or

(b) the chairperson of the Committee may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine the matter.

(6) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (5), the Director shall not attend before the Committee to give account for the matter that is the subject of the application.

(7) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (3) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) but if the High Court determines that subsection (3) does not apply, the Director shall attend before the Committee to give account for the matter.