Forestry Act 2014

PART 8

Offences and Penalties

27.

Offences and penalties

27. (1) A person who, in applying for a grant, registration, licence or approval under the relevant statutory provisions—

(a) furnishes information, or

(b) makes a statement,

that he or she knows to be false or misleading in a material respect, shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person who contravenes a condition of a licence granted under the relevant statutory provisions (for which contravention an offence is not provided elsewhere in this Act) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) A person who fails to comply with a notice, direction or requirement under the relevant statutory provisions shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) A person who contravenes a provision of regulations made under this Act that is declared to be a penal provision shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) A person who obstructs or interferes with an authorised officer in the course of exercising a power conferred on him or her under the relevant statutory provisions or a warrant under section 24(6) or impedes the exercise by the authorised officer of such power, or fails or refuses to comply with a requirement of an authorised officer or to answer a question asked by an authorised officer pursuant to a power conferred by the relevant statutory provisions, or in purported compliance with such requirement or in answer to such question gives information to the authorised officer that he or she knows to be false or misleading in any material respect, shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) A person who falsely represents himself or herself to be an authorised officer shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) A person who forges or utters knowing it to be forged a record, licence, registration, approval, authorisation, notice, order, certificate or other document purporting to be issued, granted or given under the relevant statutory provisions (in this section referred to as “a forged document”) shall be guilty of an offence.

(8) A person who alters with intent to defraud or deceive, or utters knowing it to be so altered a record, licence, registration, approval, authorisation, notice, order, certificate or other document purporting to be issued, granted or given under the relevant statutory provisions (in this section referred to as “an altered document”) shall be guilty of an offence.

(9) A person who has, without lawful authority, a forged document or an altered document in his or her possession shall be guilty of an offence.

(10) A person who, without the permission of the Minister, causes or permits to be done to any tree (other than an exempted tree) any act or thing that causes or is calculated or likely to cause irremediable damage, death or decay to it, shall be guilty of an offence.

(11) A person who intentionally or recklessly sets fire to a tree, or otherwise causes a fire in a forest, shall be guilty of an offence.

(12) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section (other than subsection (10) or (11)) shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €25,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

(13) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (10) or (11) shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €200 for every tree in respect of which the offence was committed (but which total penalty shall not exceed €5,000) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

(14) When imposing any penalty the court shall have regard to the risk or extent of damage to trees or the physical, natural or cultural environment arising from the act or omission constituting the offence.

(15) On conviction for an offence under the relevant statutory provisions, the court, in addition to any other penalty (including any fine imposed)—

(a) may order any apparatus or equipment used to commit the offence to be forfeited to the Minister, and

(b) where trees and timber have been duly seized and, on application to it by the prosecution, may order the forfeiture to the Minister of all such trees and timber resulting from unlawful felling or removal of trees.

(16) Where a person is convicted of an offence under the relevant statutory provisions the court shall, unless it is satisfied that there are special and substantial reasons for not so doing, order the person to pay to the Minister the costs and expenses measured by the court, incurred by the Minister in relation to the investigation, detection and prosecution of the offence, including costs and expenses incurred in the taking of samples, the carrying out of tests, examinations and analyses and in respect of the remuneration and other expenses of employees, consultants and advisers engaged by the Minister.