Prosecution of Offences Act, 1974

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR No. 22/1974
Year1974


Number 22 of 1974


PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT, 1974


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Director of Public Prosecutions.

3.

Functions of Director.

4.

Performance of functions of Attorney General and Director.

5.

Proceedings by Attorney General.

6.

Prohibition of certain communications in relation to criminal proceedings.

7.

Retaining of barristers on behalf of State.

8.

Proof of certain document.

9.

Power of Taoiseach to make certain temporary and other appointments.

10.

Regulations.

11.

Repeal of section 22 of Criminal Justice Act, 1951.

12.

Laying of orders and regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

13.

Expenses.

14.

Short title and commencement.


Acts Referred to

Courts of Justice Act, 1924

1924, No. 10

Criminal Procedure Act, 1967

1967, No. 12

Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956

1956, No. 45

Geneva Conventions Act, 1962

1962, No. 11

Official Secrets Act, 1963

1963, No. 1

Genocide Act, 1973

1973, No. 28

Criminal Justice Act, 1951

1951, No. 2


Number 22 of 1974


PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT, 1974


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID AND WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAW. [23rd July, 1974]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definitions.

1.—In this Act—

“the Acting Director” has the meaning assigned to it by section 9 of this Act;

“criminal matters” includes criminal proceedings and applications for any order of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition or other State side order or injunction with respect to criminal proceedings or any other proceedings connected with criminal proceedings or any matter arising thereout and also includes cases stated, certifications by the Attorney General under section 29 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 , references under section 34 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 , and applications and other proceedings arising out of criminal proceedings;

“the Civil Service” has the meaning assigned to it by the Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956 ;

“the Director” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of this Act;

“functions” includes powers and duties and references to the performance of a function include references to the exercise of a power and the carrying out of a duty;

“professional officer” means an officer who is a barrister or a solicitor.

Director of Public Prosecutions.

2.—(1) There is hereby established the office of Director of Public Prosecutions and the holder of the office shall be known as the Director of Public Prosecutions and is referred to subsequently in this Act as the Director.

(2) The Director shall be appointed by the Government.

(3) (a) A person shall not be appointed to be the Director unless at the date of his appointment he is a practising barrister or a practising solicitor and has practised as a barrister or as a solicitor for at least ten years.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection, service for any period in a position in the Civil Service for appointment to which practice as a barrister or a solicitor was a necessary qualification shall be deemed to be practice as a barrister or a solicitor, as the case may be, for that period and a person, while holding such a position, shall be deemed to be a practising barrister or a practising solicitor, as the case may be.

(4) The Director shall be a civil servant in the Civil Service of the State.

(5) The Director shall be independent in the performance of his functions.

(6) The Attorney General and the Director shall consult together from time to time in relation to matters pertaining to the functions of the Director.

(7) (a) (i) There shall be a committee consisting of—

(I) the Chief Justice,

(II) the Chairman of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland,

(III) the President of the Incorporated Law Society,

(IV) the Secretary to the Government, and

(V) the Senior Legal Assistant in the Office of the Attorney General.

(ii) In the event of any of the persons aforesaid signifying at any time his unwillingness or inability to act for any period as a member of the committee, the Taoiseach may, after consultation with the Attorney General, appoint another person to be a member of the committee in his place for that period.

(b) The committee established by this subsection shall, whenever so requested by the Taoiseach, select candidates for appointment to the office of Director and shall inform the Taoiseach of the candidates selected and of their suitability for such appointment.

(c) The Government shall not appoint a person to be the Director unless the person was selected or amongst those selected by the committee aforesaid pursuant to a request under paragraph (b) of this subsection in relation to that appointment, but—

(i) if the committee is unable to select a suitable candidate pursuant to a particular request under that paragraph, or

(ii) if the Government decide not to appoint to be the Director any of the candidates selected by the committee pursuant to a particular request under that paragraph,

then either—

(I) the Government shall appoint a person to be the Director who was selected or amongst those selected by the committee pursuant to a previous request (if any) under that paragraph in relation to that appointment, or

(II) the Taoiseach shall make a further request to the committee under that paragraph and the Government shall appoint a person to be the Director who was selected or amongst those selected by the committee pursuant to that request or pursuant to another request under that paragraph in relation to that appointment.

(d) The Taoiseach may, after consultation with the Attorney General, make regulations for the purposes of this subsection.

(8) (a) The Director shall hold office upon such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Taoiseach after consultation with the Minister for the Public Service.

(b) (i) The Taoiseach shall, after consultation with the Minister for the Public Service, make a scheme for the grant of superannuation benefits for the Director.

(ii) The scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of the Director.

(iii) The Taoiseach may, after consultation with the Minister for the Public Service, make a scheme amending a scheme under this subsection.

(iv) A scheme under this subsection shall be carried out in accordance with its terms.

(v) Every scheme under this subsection shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if either House, within the next twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, passes a resolution annulling the scheme, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(9) (a) The Director may be removed from office by the Government after consideration by them of the report of a committee under paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(b) Whenever the Government so request, a committee appointed by them and consisting of the Chief Justice, a Judge of the High Court nominated by the Chief Justice, and the Attorney General shall—

(i) investigate the condition of health, either physical or mental, of the Director, or

(ii) inquire into the conduct (whether in the execution of his office or otherwise) of the Director, either generally or on a particular occasion,

and, in either case, with particular reference to such matters as may be mentioned in the request and the committee may conduct the investigation or inquiry in such manner as it thinks proper, whether by examination of witnesses or otherwise, and in particular may conduct any proceedings in camera and for this purpose shall have all such powers, rights and privileges as are vested in a Judge of the High Court on the occasion of an action and, upon the conclusion of the investigation or inquiry, the committee shall report the result thereof to the Government.

(10) There shall be employed in the office of the Director so many officers and servants as the Taoiseach shall, with the sanction of the Minister for the Public Service, from time to time determine and all such officers and servants shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Minister for the Public Service shall prescribe.

(11) The power of appointing a person to be an officer or servant of the Director shall be vested in the Taoiseach.

Functions of Director.

3.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Director shall perform all the functions capable of being performed in relation to criminal matters and in relation to election petitions and referendum petitions by the Attorney General immediately before the commencement of this section and references to the Attorney General in any statute or statutory instrument in force immediately before such...

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