Merchant Shipping (Certification of Seamen) Act, 1979

Inquiry into fitness or conduct of holder of certificate under this Act.

9.—(1) Where it appears to the Minister that the holder of a certificate under this Act—

(a) is unfit to discharge his duties, whether because of incompetence or for any other reason,

(b) has been seriously negligent in discharging his duties, or

(c) has failed to comply with section 422 of the Principal Act,

the Minister may cause an inquiry to be held by a person or persons appointed by him for that purpose and may, pending the outcome of the inquiry, suspend any certificate under this Act issued to the person in relation to whom the inquiry is to be held and require the holder to surrender the certificate to the Minister.

(2) The Minister may make regulations governing the conduct of an inquiry under this section and may by such regulations provide for the appointment of one or more than one assessor to assist a person or persons holding such an inquiry.

(3) (a) As soon as practicable after its conclusion the person or persons holding an inquiry under this section—

(i) shall make a report on the inquiry to the Minister,

(ii) may cancel or suspend any certificate under this Act held by the person in relation to whom the inquiry was held,

(iii) make such order relating to the costs of inquiry as he or they think just.

(b) Any costs which a person is ordered to pay under this section may be recovered from him by the Minister as a simple contract debt in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(4) A person in relation to whom an inquiry under this section is to be held or has been held may appeal to the High Court against a suspension or cancellation under this section and the High Court, after it has heard such evidence as may be adduced and such submissions as may be made by or on behalf of the person and the Minister, may revoke the suspension or cancellation.