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

Review of operation of Act by judge of High Court.

8.—(1) The President of the High Court shall from time to time after consultation with the Minister invite a person who is a judge of the High Court to undertake (while serving as such a judge) the duties specified in this section and, if he accepts the invitation, the Government shall designate him for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A person designated under this section (referred to in this Act as “the designated judge”) shall hold office in accordance with the terms of his designation and shall have the duty of keeping the operation of this Act under review, of ascertaining whether its provisions are being complied with and of reporting to the Taoiseach—

(a) at such intervals (being intervals of not more than twelve months) as the designated judge thinks desirable in relation to the general operation of the Act, and

(b) from time to time in relation to any matters relating to the Act which he considers should be so reported.

(3) For the purpose of his functions under this Act, the designated judge—

(a) shall have power to investigate any case in which an authorisation has been given, and

(b) shall have access to and may inspect any official documents relating to an authorisation or the application therefor.

(4) The designated judge may, if he thinks it desirable to do so, communicate with the Taoiseach or the Minister on any matter concerning interceptions.

(5) Every person who was concerned in, or has information relevant to, the making of the application for, or the giving of, an authorisation, or was otherwise concerned with the operation of any provision of this Act relating to the application or authorisation, shall give the designated judge, on request by him, such information as is in his possession relating to the application or authorisation.

(6) If the designated judge informs the Minister that he considers that a particular authorisation that is in force should not have been given or (because of circumstances arising after it had been given) should be cancelled or that the period for which it was in force should not have been extended or further extended, the Minister shall, as soon as may be, inform the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications and shall then cancel the authorisation.

(7) The Taoiseach shall cause a copy of a report under subsection (2) of this section together with a statement as to whether any matter has been excluded therefrom in pursuance of subsection (8) of this section to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(8) If the Taoiseach considers, after consultation with the designated judge, that the publication of any matter in a report under subsection (2) of this section would be prejudicial to the prevention or detection of crime or to the security of the State, the Taoiseach may exclude that matter from the copies of the report laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.