Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Amendment) Act 2005

Amendment of section 14 (powers of Investigation Committee) of Principal Act.

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9.—Section 14 of the Principal Act is amended by adding the following subsections after subsection (7):

“(8) The chairperson of the Committee may direct in writing a person whom the Committee considers to be in possession or control of evidence or a document that is required by the Committee—

( a) to make an affidavit setting out or exhibiting the evidence or document and to furnish the affidavit and any exhibits referred to in it to the Committee not later than such date as may be specified in the direction for that purpose, or

( b) to give, by notice in writing furnished to the Committee not later than 6 days after the date of the direction or such later date, notified to the person in writing by the chairperson, as the Committee may determine, the particulars specified in the direction in relation to the evidence or document.

(9) The chairperson of the Committee may, in relation to evidence or a document that is required by the Committee—

( a) deliver interrogatories in writing, signed by the chairperson, to a person whom the Committee considers to be in possession or control of the evidence or document for the examination of the person, and

( b) direct the person in writing to make an affidavit answering the interrogatories and to furnish it to the Committee not later than the date specified in the direction for that purpose.

(10) The evidence contained, and, as appropriate, any exhibit referred to, in a document or affidavit furnished to the Committee pursuant to subsection (1), (8) or (9) or in a notice furnished to it pursuant to subsection (8) may be received by the Committee as prima facie evidence of the matters to which it relates.

(11) The chairperson of the Committee may direct in writing a person whom the Committee considers to be in possession or control of a document required by the Committee to admit—

( a) the document, or

( b) the contents of the document,

or both, saving all just exceptions, by notice in writing furnished to the Committee not later than such date as may be specified in the direction for that purpose, and, if a person admits the contents of a document pursuant to a direction under this paragraph, those contents may, in relation to the person, be received by the Committee as prima facie evidence of the matters to which they relate.

(12) Where a person, without just cause or excuse, does not comply with a direction under subsection (1), (8), (9) or (11) the chairperson of the Committee may direct that the whole or part of the costs, as taxed by a Taxing Master of the High Court, of—

( a) a person appearing before the Committee (including the person to whom the first-mentioned direction was given), or

( b) the Committee,

in relation to proof of the matters specified in that direction shall be borne by the person to whom it was given.

(13) Subsection (12) is in addition to, and not in substitution for, section 20A (inserted by the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 ).

(14) Evidence of a conviction of a person of an offence whose ingredients consist of or include abuse of a child in an institution during the relevant period in relation to the Committee shall be received by the Committee as evidence of abuse of the child in the institution during the relevant period aforesaid.”.