Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020
Performance of functions of registrar and Superintendent Registrar by staff of Ard-Chláraitheoir in certain exceptional circumstances
31. The Act of 2004 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 8:
“8A. (1) A Superintendent Registrar of a registration area may make a request in writing to an tArd-Chláraitheoir (in this section referred to as a ‘request’) that an tArd-Chláraitheoir issue a direction (in this section referred to as a ‘direction’) that the relevant functions of registrars and Superintendent Registrars in the registration area to which the request relates are to be performed in accordance with this section.
(2) Where an tArd-Chláraitheoir receives a request under subsection (1), he or she shall issue a direction in relation to a registration area where he or she is satisfied that—
(a) it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances, and
(b) it is necessary to do so in order to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of infection of Covid-19.
(3) Where an tArd-Chláraitheoir issues a direction in relation to a registration area—
(a) any relevant functions of a registrar or Superintendent Registrar of the registration area to which the direction relates shall be performed by such members of staff of an tArd-Chláraitheoir as an tArd-Chláraitheoir may specify, and
(b) a reference in a relevant provision—
(i) to a registrar or to a Superintendent Registrar shall be read as a reference to a member of staff of an tArd-Chláraitheoir specified under paragraph (a), and
(ii) to an tArd-Chláraitheoir shall, notwithstanding section 8(6), be read as a reference to an tArd-Chláraitheoir.
(4) A direction shall specify—
(a) the day on which it comes into effect, and
(b) the day on which it shall cease to have effect,
and, subject to subsection (5), the direction shall cease to have effect in relation to the registration area on the latter date.
(5) Notwithstanding the date on which a direction is specified to cease to have effect under subsection (4), a direction shall cease to have effect upon the earlier of—
(a) such date as may be specified by an tArd-Chláraitheoir in a written notice to the Superintendent Registrar of the registration area to which the direction relates, or
(b) the date on which this section ceases to be in operation in accordance with subsections (6) or (7), as the case may be.
(6) This section shall, subject to subsections (7) and (8), continue in operation until 31 May 2020.
(7) The Government—
(a) at the request of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
(b) after consultation with any other Minister of the Government as he or she considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that Minister of the Government, and
(c) having had regard to the matters referred to in subsection (9),
may, from time to time, by order declare that the period of time specified in subsection (6) shall continue in operation for such period or periods as may be specified in the order concerned.
(8) An order under subsection (7) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
(9) When making an order under subsection (7), the Government shall have regard to the following:
(a) the nature and potential impact of Covid-19 on individuals, society and the State;
(b) the capacity of the State to respond to the risk to public health posed by the spread of Covid-19;
(c) measures taken in order to comply with, or as a consequence of, Government policy;
(d) the need to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of resources;
(e) the need to ensure the continuity of a well-functioning registration service.
(10) In this section—
‘Covid-19’ means a disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and specified as an infectious disease in accordance with Regulation 6 of, and the Schedule to, the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 ( S.I. No. 390 of 1981) or any variant of the disease so specified as an infectious disease in those Regulations;
‘relevant function’ means a function of a registrar or a Superintendent Registrar under a relevant provision;
‘relevant provision’ means Part 3 or Part 5.”.