Lawlor v Flood

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeChief Justice,Hon. Mrs. Justice Denham,Mr JUSTICE FRANCIS D MURPHY
Judgment Date08 October 1999
Neutral Citation[1999] IESC 67
CourtSupreme Court
Docket Number[S.C. No. 149 of 1999]
Date08 October 1999
LAWLOR v. FLOOD

BETWEEN:

LIAM LAWLOR
Applicant/Respondent

and

MR. JUSTICE FEARGUS FLOOD, THE SOLE MEMBER OF THETRIBUNAL OF INQUIRY into CERTAIN PLANNING MATTERS ANDPAYMENT
Respondent/Appellant

[1999] IESC 67

HAMILTON C.J.

DENHAM J.

BARRINGTON J.

KEANE J.

MURPHY J.

149/99

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis

Tribunals

Tribunals; statutory interpretation; extent of powers given by legislation to the appellant; two orders made by the appellant had been quashed in the High Court: an order that the respondent attend before counsel for the tribunal and answer questions; and an order that the respondent disclose by affidavit any company of which he was a shareholder or director or in which he had a beneficial interest; statutory interpretation of s.4, Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1979; whether the appellant can delegate the power to question witnesses; whether the appellant can require the swearing of an affidavit; whether s.4 gives the appellant greater powers than a High Court Judge.

Held: Appeal dismissed.

Lawlor v. Flood - Supreme Court: Hamilton C.J., Denham J., Barrington J., Keane J., Murphy J. - 08/10/99 - [1999] 3 IR 107

Section 4 of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1979 does not give a tribunal powers in excess of that of the High Court and as the High Court could not make the orders impugned in this case it was clear that they were made in excess of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court so held in dismissing the appeal.

Citations:

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMDT) ACT 1979 S4

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(1)(a)(a)

RSC O.39 r4

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(1)(b)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(4)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMDT) ACT 1997 S2

EAST DONEGAL CO-OPERATIVE V AG 1970 IR 317

LYNCH, STATE V COONEY 1982 IR 337

ROYAL COMMISSION ON TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY 1966 (SALMON COMMISSION) PARAS 12 & 13

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(1)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(2)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMDT) ACT 1979 S3

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(3)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMDT) ACT 1997 S4

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMDT) ACT 1979 S5

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S2(e)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S2(d)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S2(b)

HAUGHEY V MORIARTY UNREP SUPREME 28.7.1998

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(1)(a)

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT 1921 S1(1)(c)

HOWARD V COMMISSIONERS OF PUBLIC WORKS 1993 ILRM 665

CRAIES ON STATUTE LAW 7ED 65

MAXWELL INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES 29

GOODMAN V HAMILTON 1992 2 IR 542

KIBERD V HAMILTON 1992 2 IR 257

REDMOND V FLOOD 1999 1 ILRM 241

KELLY 9 NATURAL LAW FORUM 103

HEALY, STATE V DONOGHUE 1976 IR 350

BLN V GLOVER 1973 IR 388

HAUGHEY, IN RE 1971 IR 217

1

Judgment of the Chief Justicehanded down on the 8th day of October 1999

2

The Respondent herein is Mr. Liam Lawlor T.D. who is and was at all relevant times a member of Dail Eireann and will be hereinafter referred to as Mr. Lawlor.

3

The Appellant herein is the Hon. Mr. Justice Feargus Flood who is and was at all relevant times the Sole Member of the Tribunal of InquiryintoCertain Planning Matters and Payments having been appointed thereto by Instrument of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government dated the 4th day of November 1997 as amended by further Instrument dated the 15th day of July, 1998 and who will hereafter be referred to as the Sole Member.

4

These Instruments were made in pursuance of Resolutions passed by Dail Eireann on the 7th day of October, 1997 and by Seanad Eireann on the 8th day of October, 1997 and by further Resolutions passed in Dail Eireann on the 1st day of July, 1998 and by Seanad Eireann on the 2nd day of July, 1998 extending the terms of reference of the tribunal.

5

The terms of reference of the tribunal material to the present appeal are set out in section A subsection 5 of the Resolutions passed on the 7th day of October, 1997 and are in the following terms:-

"In the event that the tribunal in the course of its inquiries is made aware of any acts associated with the planning process committed on or after the 20th June, 1985 which may in its opinion amount to corruption, or which involve attempts to influence by threats or deception or inducement or otherwise to compromise the disinterested performance of public duties, it shall report on suchacts and shall in particular make recommendations as to the effectiveness and improvement of existing legislation governing corruption in the light of its inquiries."

6

In the course of his conduct of the said Inquiry, the Sole Member, did on the 26th day of April 1999 make three orders directed to Mr.Lawlor.

7

The first of such orders was in the following terms :-

"IT IS ORDERED pursuant to section 4 of the Tribunals of Inquiry ( Evidence) Act 1979that Liam Lawlor T.D. of "Somerton", Lucan, County Dublin do attend at the offices of the Tribunal to answer questions put to him by Counsel to the Tribunal relating to matters being inquired into by the Tribunal, at a date and time to be agreed with a Tribunal Solicitor or, in default of such agreement, at a date and time to be fixed by me (the Sole Member)." (Hereinafter referred to as "the firstorder").

8

The second of the said orders was in the following terms:-

"IT IS ORDERED that Liam Lawlor T.D. of"Somerton", Lucan, County Dublin do on or before the 10th day of May 1999 furnishto a Solicitor acting for the Tribunal at the Offices of the Tribunal into Certain Planning Matters and Payments, State Apartments, Upper Yard, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 an affidavit stating the name(s) of any company(s) of which was [sic] between 1st January 1987 and 31st December 1994 a shareholder or director or in which he had a beneficial interest and giving details of any such shareholding or directorship."(Hereinafter referred to as "the second order").

9

The third of these orders was in the following terms:-

"On the 26th day of April 1999, the Sole Member furtherorderedas follows:-"

10

IT IS ORDERED that Liam Lawlor T.D. of "Somerton",Lucan,County Dublin do on or before the 18th day of May 1999 or within such other period as may be allowed by the Tribunal make discovery of and produce to a Solicitor acting for the Tribunal at the Offices of the Tribunal into Certain Planning Matters and Payments, State Apartments, Upper Yard, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2:-

11

1. All documents relating to any accounts held by or on behalf or for the benefit of Mr. Liam Lawlor, whether in his own name orotherwise, in any bank, building society or other financial institution, either within or outside the state between the 1st day of January 1987 and the 31st day of December 1994, including (but not confined to) statements of account, correspondence, cheque counterfoils, paid and returned cheques, deposit receipts, withdrawal receipts and deposit books and records.

12

2. All documents and records relating to the payment to Mr. Liam Lawlor of any monies by Arlington Securities plc. and/or Mr. Thomas Gilmartin or by anybody on their behalf.

13

3. All documents and records relating to the negotiation of any cheques given to Mr. Liam Lawlor by or on behalf of the said Arlington Securities plc. and/or Mr. Thomas Gilmartin.

14

4. All documents and records relating to the provision of any services by Mr. Liam Lawlor to the said Arlington Securities plc. and/or Mr. Thomas Gilmartin including (but not confined to) contracts, correspondence, memoranda, reports, advices, minutes of meetings orinstructions."(Hereinafter referred to as the "thirdorder").

15

On the 20th day of May 1990, Counsel on behalf of Mr. Lawlor sought and was granted leave of the High Court (Kelly J.) to apply by way of an application for judicial review for the following reliefs:-

16

(a) A Declaration that he was entitled to be furnished by the Respondent (the Sole Member) with the text of allegations made against him or statements adverse to him in sufficient detail to permit him now to address such allegations or statements to the extent necessary and in particular to make detailed submissions in respect of any order contemplated by the learned Respondent (Sole Member);

17

(b) An Order quashing the first order referred to above;

18

(c) An Order quashing the third order referred to above;

19

(d) An Order quashing the second order referred to above.

20

The grounds upon which relief was sought were as set forth in the Statement of Grounds dated the 19th day of May 1999 as follows:-

21

i "(i) The Order referred to at Paragraph (2) above of the learned Respondent was made without or in excess ofjurisdiction.

22

(ii) The Order referred to at Paragraph (3) above of the learned Respondent was made without or in excess of jurisdiction.

23

(iii) The Order referred to at Paragraph (4) above of thelearnedRespondent was made without or in excess of jurisdiction having regard to its scope.

24

(iv) If which is denied the learned Respondent had jurisdiction to make the said several Orders or any of them, the said Orders were made other than in due course of law and without regard to the natural and constitutional rights of the Applicant in that they were made without furnishing to the Applicant any or any reasonable detail of the factual basis said to require them to be made so that the Applicant could address those matters as to the necessity for the making of the said Orders or any of them and as to their scope.

25

(v) If, which is denied, the learned Respondent had jurisdictiontomake an Order of the nature of the Order referred to at paragraph (2) above made the 26th day of April, 1999, he had no jurisdiction to provide that the Applicant answer questions or provide information other than to and in the presence of the learned Respondent as sole member of a Tribunal of Inquiry."...

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