Restrictive Practices Act, 1972


Restrictive Practices Commission

Section 2 .


1. (1) The permanent members of the Commission shall consist of a chairman and not less than two and not more than four other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister.

(2) Whenever it appears to the Minister that a permanent member is temporarily unable to discharge his duties, the Minister may appoint a temporary member to act in his place during such inability or for such shorter period as the Minister thinks proper.

(3) The Minister may also appoint additional temporary members.


2. (1) The term of office of a permanent member shall be fixed by the Minister when appointing him and shall not exceed five years.

(2) An outgoing permanent member shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(3) Each member shall hold office on such conditions as may be fixed by the Minister after consultation with the Minister for Finance.

(4) A member may be paid such remuneration as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.

(5) The Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956 , and the Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1956 and 1958, shall not apply to the office of member.

Restriction on interested person acting as member.

3. If a member is personally interested in a particular matter with which the Commission is dealing, he shall inform the Minister accordingly and shall not act as a member during the consideration of the matter, unless the Minister, being of opinion that the member's interest is not such as to interfere with the impartial performance of his duties, authorises him to act.

Removals, resignation and disqualification.

4. (1) The Minister may remove from office a member who has become incapable through ill-health of performing efficiently his duties as such member or whose removal appears to the Minister to be necessary in the interests of the effective and economical performance of the functions of the Commission.

(2) Where the Minister removes a member from office he shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement in writing of the reasons for such removal.

(3) A member may resign his office.

(4) Where a member of the Commission becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas, he shall, upon his becoming entitled under the Standing Orders of that House to sit therein, cease to be a member of the Commission.

(5) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein shall be disqualified from being a member of the Commission.

(6) A member shall be disqualified for holding and shall cease to hold office if he is adjudged bankrupt, or makes a composition or arrangement with his creditors, or is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to suffer imprisonment or penal servitude or ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.

Superannuation of members.

5. (1) The Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, as soon as may be make and carry out according to its terms a non-contributory scheme for the granting of pensions, gratuities or other allowances to or in respect of members of the Commission ceasing to hold office other than members in respect of whom an award under the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1963, may be made.

(2) In the case of a member of the Commission who was appointed a member of the Fair Trade Commission on the 26th day of November, 1969, and who had before such appointment been a member of the Industrial Development Authority, a scheme under this paragraph shall provide for reckoning, as service as a member of the Commission, service by such person in a pensionable capacity as a member of the Industrial Development Authority.

(3) A scheme under this paragraph may provide that the termination of the appointment of a member of the Commission during that member's term of office shall not preclude the award to him of a pension, gratuity or other allowance

(4) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, amend a scheme made by him under this paragraph.


6. (1) The quorum for a meeting of the Commission shall be two permanent members unless the Minister otherwise directs.

(2) The Commission may act notwithstanding vacancies in their membership.

(3) The Commission may regulate their own procedure.

Power of Commission to summon witnesses, etc.

7. (1) The Commission may for the purposes of their functions when holding an enquiry under section 5 or section 9 do all or any of the following things:—

(a) summon witnesses to attend before them,

(b) examine on oath (which any member is hereby authorised to administer) the witnesses attending before them,

(c) require any such witness to produce to the Commission any document in his power or control.

(2) A witness before the Commission shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.

(3) A summons shall be signed by at least one member.

(4) Any person who—

(a) on being duly summoned as a witness before the Commission makes default in attending, or

(b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required by the Commission to be taken, or to produce any document in his power or control legally required by the Commission to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the Commission may legally require an answer, or

(c) does any other thing which would, if the Commission were a court, having power to commit for contempt of court, be contempt of such court,

shall be guilty of an offence.

Submissions by interested persons.

8. Any person may make a submission to the Commission in the manner prescribed by their rules in relation to the subject matter of an enquiry.

Prohibition of disclosure of confidential information.

9. (1) No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred by this Act or through being present at a meeting of the Commission held in private.

(2) Subparagraph (1) does not apply to—

(i) a communication made by a member of the Commission in the execution of his duties under this Act, or

(ii) the disclosure of information in a report of the Commission or for the purpose of legal proceedings under this Act.

(3) If any person contravenes this paragraph he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and imprisonment.

Officers and servants.

10. (1) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may appoint such officers and servants as he thinks necessary to assist the Commission in the performance of their functions.

(2) The officers and servants so appointed shall hold office on such terms and receive such remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.