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Emergency Powers Act, 1939

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Number 28 of 1939.


EMERGENCY POWERS ACT, 1939.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Emergency orders.

3.

Revocation and amendment of emergency orders.

4.

Revocation and amendment of instruments and directions under emergency orders.

5.

Offences, prosecutions, and punishments.

6.

Delegation of statutory powers and duties.

7.

Hearing of proceedings in camera.

8.

Fees on licences, etc.

9.

Laying of emergency orders before the Oireachtas.

10.

Operation of emergency orders and instruments and directions thereunder.

11.

Saving for other powers.

12.

Expenses.

13.

Short title and duration.

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Number 28 of 1939.


EMERGENCY POWERS ACT, 1939.


AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR SECURING THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE PRESERVATION OF THE STATE IN TIME OF WAR AND, IN PARTICULAR, TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC ORDER AND FOR THE PROVISION AND CONTROL OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES ESSENTIAL TO THE LIFE OF THE COMMUNITY, AND TO PROVIDE FOR DIVERS OTHER MATTERS (INCLUDING THE CHARGING OF FEES ON CERTAIN LICENCES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS) CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID. [3rd September, 1939.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Definitions.

1.In this Act—

the word “Minister” means a member of the Government whether he is or is not a Minister having charge of a Department of State;

the word “instrument” means an order, regulation, rule, bye-law, warrant, licence, certificate, or other like document.

Emergency orders.

2.(1) The Government may, whenever and so often as they think fit, make by order (in this Act referred to as an emergency order) such provisions as are, in the opinion of the Government, necessary or expedient for securing the public safety or the preservation of the State, or for the maintenance of public order, or for the provision and control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing sub-section of this section, the Government may do by an emergency order all or any of the following things, that is to say:—

(a) authorise and provide for the regulation and control by or on behalf of the State of all or any supplies or services essential to the life of the comunity and, where the Government so thinks proper, the maintenance and provision of such essential supplies by or on behalf of the State and the provision and operation of such essential services by or on behalf of the State;

(b) authorise a Minister to buy and sell goods of a particular kind or class or to engage in any other form of trade in relation to goods of a particular kind or class, and make such provisions as may be requisite in relation to such buying, selling, or trading;

(c) authorise and provide for the control, regulation, restriction, or prohibition of the import or of the export of particular kinds or classes of goods;

(d) authorise and provide for the acquisition (either by agreement or compulsorily) by or on behalf of the State of any currency (other than Irish currency), bills, credits and balances, payable otherwise than in Irish currency, gold coin and bullion, and securities, and for the ascertainment of the price to be paid therefor in the case of compulsory acquisition, and for the control and restriction of dealings in any currency, bills, credits and balances payable otherwise than in Irish currency, gold coin and bullion, and securities, and for the control and restriction of issues of capital;

(e) authorise and provide for the regulation and control of navigation by sea or air and the movements of ships and other vessels and aircraft, and for the making and enforcement of provisions for securing, or contributing to the safety of ships and other vessels and aircraft;

(f) authorise and provide for the regulation and restriction of the transfer, mortgaging and registration of ships and other vessels and aircraft;

(g) authorise and provide for the acquisition, taking possession, control or user (either by agreement or compulsorily) by or on behalf of the State of any land or other property whatsoever;

(h) authorise and provide for the censorship, restriction, control, or partial or complete suspension of communication by means of all or one or more of the services maintained or controlled by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs or by any other means, whether public or private, specified or indicated in such emergency order;

(i) make provision for preserving and safeguarding the secrecy of official documents and information and for controlling the publication of official information and for prohibiting the publication or spreading of subversive statements and propaganda, and authorise and provide for the control and censorship of newspapers and periodicals;

(j) authorise and provide for the prohibition, restriction, or control of the entry or departure of persons into or out of the State and the movements of persons within the State;

(k) authorise and provide for the detention of persons (other than natural-born Irish citizens) where such detention is, in the opinion of a Minister, necessary or expedient in the interests of the public safety or the preservation of the State;

(l) authorise the arrest without warrant of persons (other than natural-born Irish citizens) whose detention has been ordered or directed by a Minister;

(m) authorise the arrest without warrant of persons who are charged with or are suspected of having committed or being about to commit or being or having been concerned in the commission of an offence under any section of this Act or any other specified crime or offence;

(n) authorise and provide for the entering into and searching of any lands, premises, vehicles, ships and other vessels, or aircraft in circumstances and by persons specified or indicated in such emergency order;

(o) authorise and provide for the searching of persons in circumstances and by persons specified or indicated in such emergency order;

(p) suspend the operation of or amend or apply (with or without modification) any enactment (other than this Act) for the time being in force or any instrument made under any such enactment.

(3) Whenever the Government makes an emergency order, the Government may, in lieu of making provision for or doing any particular thing in or by such emergency order, authorise or empower by such emergency order a Minister or any other person specified or indicated in such emergency order to make the said provision or to do the said thing and for that purpose (subject to such (if any) conditions and consents as may be specified in such emergency order) to make, grant, or issue such instruments and give such directions as shall appear to such Minister or person to be necessary or proper for the said purpose.

(4) An emergency order may contain all such incidental or ancillary provisions as shall appear to the Government to be necessary or expedient for giving full effect to any provision inserted in such emergency order under the powers conferred on the Government by the foregoing provisions of this section.

(5) Nothing in this section shall authorise the imposition of taxation or the imposition of any form of compulsory military service or any form of industrial conscription, or the making of provision for the trial by courts-martial of persons not being persons subject to military law.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising the declaration of war or the participation by the State in any war without the assent of Dáil Eireann.

Revocation and amendment of emergency orders.

3.(1) The Government may by order, whenever they so think fit, revoke an emergency order.

(2) The Government may by order, whenever and so often as they so think fit, amend (whether by addition, deletion, or variation) in such manner as they think fit an emergency order and, in particular, may do by such amending order anything which they could lawfully have done by such emergency order and may also, by any such amending order, amend an order previously made under this sub-section.

(3) The Government may by order, whenever they so think fit, revoke any order made by them under the next preceding sub-section of this section.

(4) References in the subsequent provisions of this Act to an emergency order shall be construed as including references to an order made under this section.

Revocation and amendment of instruments and directions under emergency orders.

4.(1) Every power conferred by an emergency order to make, grant, or issue an instrument shall be construed and have effect as including a power, exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like conditions and consents (if any), to revoke or amend any instrument made, granted, or issued under such power and (where requisite) to make, grant, or issue another instrument in lieu of the instrument so revoked.

(2) Every power conferred by an emergency order to give a direction shall be construed and have effect as including a power, exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like conditions and consents (if any), to revoke or amend any direction given under such power and (where requisite) to give another direction in lieu of the direction so revoked.

Offences, prosecutions, and punishments.

5.(1) Every person who contravenes (whether by act or omission) or attempts so to contravene a provision in an emergency order or in an instrument made, granted, or issued under an emergency order or in a direction given under an emergency order shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

(2) Every person who aids, abets, or assists another person, or conspires with another person, to do any thing (whether by way of act or of omission) the doing of which is declared by the foregoing sub-section of this section to be an offence under this section shall himself be guilty of an offence under this section.

(3) Every person who, knowing that another person has committed an offence under this section, gives that other person any assistance with intent thereby to prevent, hinder, or interfere with the apprehension, trial, or punishment of the said other person for the said offence shall himself be guilty of an offence under this section.

(4) Whenever there is, in relation to a ship or other vessel or an aircraft, a contravention (whether by act or omission) or an attempted such contravention of a provision in an emergency order or in an instrument made, granted, or issued under an emergency order or in a direction given under an emergency order, the person who is, at the time of such contravention or attempted contravention, in charge of such vessel or such aircraft, as the case may be, and also the person who, at the said time, has the management of such vessel or such aircraft shall each be guilty severally of an offence under this section.

(5) Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary, or other officer of such body corporate, such director, manager, secretary, or other officer shall also be deemed to have committed the said offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(6) Every person who, being an Irish citizen or ordinarily resident within the State, commits or is deemed to have committed, whether within or outside the State, an offence under this section and every person who, not being an Irish citizen or ordinarily resident within the State, commits or is deemed to have committed within the State, an offence under this section shall:—

(a) on summary conviction thereof, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds (together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding five pounds for every day on which the offence is continued) or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment, or

(b) on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds (together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding twenty pounds for every day on which the offence is continued) or, at the discretion of the Court, to penal servitude for a term not exceeding ten years or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such penal servitude or imprisonment.

(7) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section the Court may, in addition to, or in lieu of, the punishment provided by the foregoing sub-section of this section, direct that any goods or chattels, in relation to, or by means of, which such offence was committed, be forfeited, and any goods or chattels so forfeited shall be disposed of in such manner as a Minister may direct, and any moneys arising from any such disposal shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance shall direct.

(8) Proceedings in the District Court in relation to an offence under this section may be brought and prosecuted by a Minister or by a member of the Gárda Síochána, and may be brought before and heard and disposed of by any justice of that Court irrespective of the place in which the person alleged to have committed such offence resides or in which such offence is alleged to have been committed.

Delegation of statutory powers and duties.

6.(1) A Minister, having obtained the consent of the Government, may by order delegate to a Minister or a parliamentary secretary any power or duty of such Minister under this or any other Act (whether passed before or after this Act) or under an emergency order or an order made under an emergency order.

(2) A Minister, having obtained the consent of the Government, may by order revoke or amend an order made by him under this section, including an order made under this sub-section.

(3) Whenever a power or a duty is delegated by a Minister under this section such power or duty shall be exercisable or performed by the person to whom it is delegated, in his own name, but (save in the case of a delegation to another Minister) such delegation shall not derogate from the responsibility of such Minister to Dáil Eireann or as a member of the Government for the exercise of such power or the performance of such duty.

Hearing of proceedings in camera.

7.(1) Any Court may do, in respect of any proceedings before it either under this Act or in relation to an offence under this Act, all or any of the following things if and whenever such Court is satisfied that it is expedient in the public interest so to do, that is to say:—

(a) exclude the public or any particular portion of the public or any particular persons or person from such Court during the hearing or during any particular part of the hearing of such proceedings;

(b) make an order prohibiting entirely the publication or disclosure of information in relation to such proceedings or any particular part thereof;

(c) make an order imposing restrictions or limitations on the publication or disclosure of information in relation to such proceedings or any particular part thereof.

(2) Every person who contravenes an order made under this section shall (without prejudice to any other offence of which he may thereby have rendered himself guilty) be guilty of an offence under this section, and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(3) The powers conferred on a Court by this section shall be in addition and without prejudice to any other power which such Court has to do any or all of the things which it is empowered by this section to do.

Fees on licences, etc.

8.(1) There shall be charged, levied, and paid on the grant renewal, or issue of any licence, permit, certificate, or like document granted, renewed, or issued under or for the purpose of an emergency order or under or for the purpose of an instrument made, granted, or issued or a direction given under a power conferred by an emergency order such (if any) fee as the Minister for Finance shall from time to time direct.

(2) All fees charged and levied by virtue of this section shall be collected and taken in such manner as the Minister for Finance shall from time to time direct and shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the said Minister.

(3) The Public Offices Fees Act, 1879, shall not apply in respect of any fees charged and levied by virtue of this section.

Laying of emergency orders before the Oireachtas.

9.Every emergency order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution annulling such order is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which such House has sat after such order is laid before it, such order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such order.

Operation of emergency orders and instruments and directions thereunder.

10.Every emergency order and every instrument made, granted, or issued or direction given under an emergency order shall have the force of law, and shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other than this Act or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any enactment other than this Act.

Saving for other powers.

11.The powers conferred on the Government by this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers exercisable by the Government or by a Minister.

Expenses.

12.The expenses incurred by the Government or by any Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title and duration.

13.(1) This Act may be cited as the Emergency Powers Act, 1939.

(2) Unless previously terminated under sub-section (3) of this section this Act shall continue in force until the expiration of twelve months from the date of the passing thereof and, unless the Oireachtas otherwise determines, shall then expire.

(3) The Government may by order declare that this Act shall expire on a specified date, being earlier than the expiration of twelve months from the date of the passing thereof, and in that case this Act shall expire accordingly.