Criminal Justice Act 2011

16.

Privileged legal material.

16.— (1) In this section “privileged legal material” means a document which, in the opinion of the court concerned, a person is entitled to refuse to produce or to give access to it on the grounds of legal professional privilege.

(2) If a person refuses to produce a document or give access to it pursuant to an order of a judge of the District Court under section 15 on the grounds that the document is privileged legal material, a member of the Garda Síochána may apply to a judge of that Court for a determination as to whether the document is privileged legal material.

(3) A person who refuses to produce a document or give access to it pursuant to an order of a judge of the District Court under section 15 on the grounds that the document is privileged legal material may apply to a judge of the District Court for a determination as to whether the document is privileged legal material.

(4) A person who refuses to produce a document or give access to it pursuant to an order of a judge of the District Court under section 15 on the grounds that the document is privileged legal material shall preserve the document and keep it in a safe and secure place pending the determination of an application under subsection (2) or (3) and shall, if it is so determined not to be privileged legal material, produce it in accordance with the order.

(5) Pending the making of a final determination of an application under subsection (2) or (3), the judge of the District Court may give such interim or interlocutory directions as the judge considers appropriate including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, in a case in which the volume of documents that are the subject of the application is substantial, directions as to the appointment of a person with suitable legal qualifications possessing the level of experience, and the independence from any interest falling to be determined between the parties concerned, that the judge considers to be appropriate for the purpose of—

( a) examining the documents, and

( b) preparing a report for the judge with a view to assisting or facilitating the judge in the making by him or her of his or her determination as to whether the documents are privileged legal material.

(6) An application under subsection (2), (3) or (5) may, if the judge of the District Court so directs, be heard otherwise than in public.

(7) Notice of an application under subsection (2) shall be served on the person to whom the order concerned relates and notice of an application under subsection (3) shall be served on the member of the Garda Síochána who seeks to compel the production of the document concerned or to be given access to it.

(8) An appeal against the determination of a judge of the District Court under this section shall lie to the Circuit Court and no further appeal shall lie from an order of the Circuit Court made on an appeal under this section.

(9) Rules of court may make provision for the expeditious hearing of applications to a judge of the District Court, and any appeals against the determinations of such a judge, under this section.

(10) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this section relating to the awarding, and payment, of costs to or by any party pursuant to an application or an appeal under this section.