Equal Status Act, 2000

Powers to enter premises, obtain information, etc.

33.—(1) In this section—

“designated officer” means the Director, an equality officer or a person authorised in that behalf by the Director;

“material information” means information which a designated officer has reasonable grounds for believing to be relevant for the purpose set out in subsection (2).

(2) For the purpose of enabling information to be obtained which the Director may require to enable him or her to exercise his or her functions under this Part, a designated officer may do any one or more of the following:

(a) at all reasonable times, peaceably enter premises;

(b) require a person to produce to the designated officer any records, books, documents or other things which are in that person's power or control and which the designated officer has reasonable grounds for believing to contain material information, and to give the designated officer such information and access as the designated officer may reasonably require in relation to the contents of any such records, books, documents and other things;

(c) inspect and copy or take extracts from any such records, books, documents or other things;

(d) inspect any work in progress at any premises.

(3) The powers conferred by subsection (2) shall not be exercised in respect of a dwelling or any person, record, book, document or other thing in a dwelling unless the Minister (or an officer of the Minister authorised by the Minister in that behalf) certifies in writing that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is in the dwelling information which is material to the investigation of a case, or the consideration of an appeal, under this Part.

(4) If a judge of the District Court is satisfied by information on oath of a designated officer that there is reasonable cause for suspecting that any records, books, documents or other things containing material information are to be found at any premises, the judge may issue a search warrant under this section.

(5) A search warrant issued under this section shall be expressed and operate to authorise a named designated officer, accompanied by such other persons as the named designated officer thinks necessary, at any time or times within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production if so requested of the warrant—

(a) to enter the premises named in the warrant, if necessary by force,

(b) to search those premises, and

(c) to exercise any such power as is described in subsection (2)(b) or (c) in relation to persons and records, books, documents or other things found at the premises.