Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act, 1993


1.—In this Act—

“the Act of 1983” means the Postal and Telecommunications Services Act, 1983 ;

“authorisation” means an authorisation by the Minister of an interception;

“the Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána;

“communication” means a postal packet or a telecommunications message;

“copy”, in relation to a communication intercepted pursuant to an authorisation, means any of the following, whether or not in the form of a document—

(a) any copy or transcript of the communication or any extract from, or summary of, the communication or transcript, and

(b) any record of the identities of the persons to or by whom the communication was sent;

“the designated judge” means the person standing designated for the time being for the purposes of this Act under section 8 of this Act;

“interception” means—

(a) an act—

(i) that consists of the opening or attempted opening of a postal packet addressed to any person or the delaying or detaining of any such postal packet or the doing of anything to prevent its due delivery or the authorising, suffering or permitting of another person (who is not the person to whom the postal packet is addressed) to do so, and

(ii) that, if done otherwise than in pursuance of a direction under section 110 of the Act of 1983, constitutes an offence under section 84 of that Act,


(b) an act—

(i) that consists of the listening or attempted listening to, or the recording or attempted recording, by any means, in the course of its transmission, of a telecommunications message, other than such listening or recording, or such an attempt, where either the person on whose behalf the message is transmitted or the person intended to receive the message has consented to the listening or recording,


(ii) that, if done otherwise than in pursuance of a direction under section 110 of the Act of 1983, constitutes an offence under section 98 of that Act,

and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

“the nominated officer” means the officer of the Minister nominated by the Minister under section 6 of this Act for the purposes of this Act;

“postal packet” and “telecommunications message” have the meanings that they have respectively in the Act of 1983, but, for the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the latter expression includes a telegram;

“serious offence” means an offence which satisfies both of the following conditions:

(a) it is an offence for which a person aged 21 years or over, of full capacity and not previously convicted may be punished by imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more, and

(b) it is an offence—

(i) that involves loss of human life, serious personal injury or serious loss of or damage to property or a serious risk of any such loss, injury or damage,

(ii) that results or is likely to result in substantial gain, or

(iii) the facts and circumstances of which are such as to render it a specially serious case of its kind;

and includes an act or omission done or made outside the State that would be a serious offence if done or made in the State:

Provided, however, that an offence consisting of an attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit an offence shall not be a serious offence unless the offence which is the subject of the attempt, conspiracy or incitement is itself a serious offence.