Commissions of Investigation Act 2004

Power to direct certain persons to pay costs.

17.—(1) If as a result of a person—

(a) failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a direction under section 16 ,

(b) failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a request under section 14 (5) or 21(5), or

(c) otherwise obstructing an investigation,

a commission incurs costs that it would not otherwise have incurred, it may, in writing, direct the person to pay to the Minister for Finance those costs, including legal costs as taxed by a Taxing Master of the Court and costs arising from any delay in completing the investigation.

(2) If any person who attends before or gives evidence to a commission is adversely affected as a result of an act or omission described in any paragraph of subsection (1), the commission may—

(a) on its own initiative, or

(b) at the request of the person adversely affected,

direct the person whose act or omission had that result to pay to the person adversely affected all or part of any costs (including legal costs as taxed by a Taxing Master of the Court) that he or she incurred as a result of the act or omission.

(3) A direction of a commission to pay costs under subsection (1) or (2) does not take effect until it is confirmed by the Court on application by the chairperson of the commission or, if a commission consists of only one member, by the sole member.

(4) On application under subsection (3) for an order confirming a direction of the commission to pay costs to the Minister for Finance or another person, the Court may—

(a) make an order confirming the direction with or without modification, or

(b) refuse to make such an order.

(5) Subject to subsection (3), any sum payable pursuant to a direction under this section may be recovered as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(6) A person may be directed to pay costs under this section even though the act or omission that resulted in the direction is punishable as contempt or as an offence against a provision of this Act, and the direction does not prevent the person being punished for contempt or the bringing of proceedings in respect of the offence.