3 1985

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Number 3 of 1985


OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1985


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Payment of moneys of unlawful organisations into High Court.

3.

Recovery by owner, in certain circumstances, of moneys paid into High Court under section 2.

4.

Compensation for owner, in certain circumstances, where moneys are paid into High Court under section 2.

5.

Evidence.

6.

Immunity from proceedings.

7.

Offences.

8.

Meaning of “property of unlawful organisation” in this Act and sections 22 and 23 of Principal Act.

9.

Short title and construction.


Acts Referred to

Central Bank Act, 1971

1971, No. 24

Offences against the State Act, 1939

1939, No. 13

Offences against the State Acts, 1939 to 1972.

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Number 3 of 1985


OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1985


AN ACT TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACTS, 1939 to 1972. [19th February, 1985]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definitions.

1. —(1) In this Act—

bank” means the holder of a licence under the Central Bank Act, 1971 , and the persons specified in section 7 (4) of that Act and any other financial institution;

the Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

the Principal Act” means the Offences against the State Act, 1939 .

(2) References in this Act to moneys held by a bank include references to shares in a building society of a depositor in the society.

Payment of moneys of unlawful organisations into High Court.

2. —(1) (a) On production to any bank of a document purporting to be signed by the Minister and bearing the seal of the Minister and stating—

(i) that, in the opinion of the Minister, moneys described in the document and held by the bank would, but for the operation of section 22 of the Principal Act, be the property of an unlawful organisation and that those moneys stand forfeited to and vested in the Minister by virtue of the said section 22, and

(ii) that the Minister requires the bank to pay those moneys, or so much of them as are held by the bank at the time of the production to it of the document, into the High Court on a specified day or not later than a specified day and, in the meantime, to refrain from doing any act or making any omission inconsistent with that requirement and to notify as soon as may be thereafter the person or persons in whose name or names the moneys are held by the bank of their payment into that Court,

the bank shall comply with the requirement.

(b) Production of a document specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection to the chief officer or other person, by whatever name called, having charge of the management of a bank or to the manager, or an official of the bank acting as manager, of the branch of a bank into which the moneys concerned were, or are believed by the Minister to have been, paid shall be deemed for the purposes of that paragraph to be production of the document to the bank.

(c) (i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, paragraph (a) of this subsection shall remain in operation for the period of 3 months beginning on its commencement and shall then cease to be in operation.

(ii) The Government may, from time to time by order at any time when paragraph (a) of this subsection is in operation, continue that paragraph in operation for such further period not exceeding 3 months as may be specified in the order.

(iii) The Government may from time to time by order, at any time when paragraph (a) of this subsection is not in operation, provide that that paragraph shall come into operation on such day as may be specified in the order and shall remain in operation for such period not exceeding 3 months as may be specified in the order, and that paragraph shall come into and remain in operation in accordance with the provisions of any such order.

(iv) Every order under this paragraph shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(2) (a) If proceedings are not brought, under section 3 of this Act or otherwise, in relation to moneys paid into the High Court under this section or in respect of or arising out of any such payment within 6 months of the day on which the moneys were paid into that Court or if all such proceedings brought are dismissed—

(i) the moneys shall not be paid out of the High Court otherwise than in accordance with subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, and

(ii) the Minister may, after the expiration of the period aforesaid of 6 months, apply ex parte to the High Court for an order directing that the moneys be paid to the Minister or into such account at such bank as the Minister may specify, and,

without prejudice to the rights of any person under section 4 of this Act, the High Court shall make the order and the Minister shall cause a copy of the order to be sent to the bank by whom the moneys were paid into that Court.

(b) The reference in paragraph (a) of this subsection to the dismissal of proceedings includes a reference to the case where, following the decision of the Supreme Court in a case where there is an appeal in any such proceedings to that Court, the proceedings stand dismissed.

(c) Moneys paid pursuant to an order of the High Court under section 2 of this Act shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister for Finance.

Recovery by owner, in certain circumstances, of moneys paid into High Court under section 2 .

3. —(1) A person claiming to be an owner of moneys paid into the High Court pursuant to section 2 of this Act may, within 6 months of the day on which the moneys were paid into that Court, apply to that Court for an order directing that the moneys, together with such amount in respect of interest thereon as that Court considers reasonable, be paid to him and, if that Court is satisfied that section 22 of the Principal Act has not had effect in relation to the moneys and that the person is the owner of the moneys, it shall make the order aforesaid.

(2) The Minister shall be given notice of, and be entitled to be heard in, any proceedings under subsection (1) of this section.

Compensation for owner, in certain circumstances, where moneys are paid into High Court under section 2 .

4. —(1) Where moneys paid into the High Court pursuant to section 2 of this Act are ordered by that Court under section 3 of this Act to be paid to any person, that Court may, on application to it under this subsection award to the person, compensation payable by the Minister in respect of any loss incurred by him by reason of the payment of the moneys into and their retention in that Court under the said section 2 .

(2) Where, on application to the High Court under this subsection, a person shows to the satisfaction of that Court—

(a) that moneys paid to the Minister under section 2 of this Act are not moneys in relation to which section 22 of the Principal Act has had effect, and

(b) that the person is the owner of the moneys,

the High Court may—

(i) if it is of opinion that there are reasonable grounds for the failure of the person to make an application to that Court under section 3 of this Act in respect of the moneys within the time specified in that section, and

(ii) if the application under this subsection has been made within 6 years of the day on which the moneys were paid into that Court pursuant to section 2 of this Act,

award to the person compensation payable by the Minister in respect of any loss incurred by the person by reason of the payment of the moneys into and their retention in the High Court, and their payment to the Minister and retention by the State, under the said section 2 .

(3) The Minister shall be given notice of, and be entitled to be heard in, any proceedings under this section.

Evidence.

5. —(1) Production to a court in any proceedings of a document signed by the Minister and stating that moneys described in the document that were held on a specified day by a specified bank would, but for the operation of section 22 of the Principal Act, have been the property of an unlawful organisation on that day shall be evidence that the moneys so described would, but for the operation of the said section 22, have been the property of an unlawful organisation on the day so specified.

(2) A document purporting to be a document of the Minister under subsection (1) of this section and to be signed by the Minister shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to be such a document and to be so signed unless the contrary is shown.

(3) On the application of any party to proceedings, under section 3 of this Act or otherwise, in relation to moneys paid into the High Court under section 2 of this Act by a bank or in respect of or arising out of any such payment, the court may order the bank or a specified officer of the bank to produce and prove to the court all or specified documents or records in the bank's possession or within its procurement that are relevant to the payment of the moneys or part of them into or out of the bank or to the opening, maintenance, operation or closing of any account at the bank in respect of the moneys or part of them.

Immunity from proceedings.

6. —No action or proceedings of any kind shall lie against a bank in any court in respect of—

(a) acts done by the bank in compliance with a requirement in a document produced to it pursuant to section 2 of this Act, or

(b) the non-payment by the bank of the moneys, or part thereof, to which the document relates, or other moneys in lieu of them, to the person (or a person authorised by him to receive them) who, but for the operation of section 22 of the Principal Act, would be the owner of the moneys.

Offences.

7. —(1) A bank that fails or refuses to comply with a requirement in a document under section 2 of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £100,000.

(2) Where an offence committed by a bank under subsection (1) of this section is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to have been attributable to any neglect on the part of, any person who, when the offence was committed, was a director, member of the committee of management or other controlling authority of the bank concerned, or the chief officer or other person, by whatever name called, having charge of the management of the bank, or the secretary or other officer of the bank (including the manager of, or other official of the bank at, a branch of the bank), that person shall also be deemed to have committed the offence and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both the fine and the imprisonment, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both the fine and the imprisonment.

Meaning of “property of unlawful organisation” in this Act and sections 22 and 23 of Principal Act.

8. —(1) For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that section 22 of the Principal Act applies and always applied to property of an unlawful organisation acquired by it at any time while a suppression order under section 19 of that Act in respect of it is or was in force as well as to the property of the organisation immediately upon the making of the suppression order.

(2) Moneys held by any person for the use or benefit of, or for use for the purposes of, an unlawful organisation in respect of which a suppression order under section 19 of the Principal Act, is in force shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act and sections 22 and 23 of the Principal Act, to be the property of the organisation, and this Act and those sections shall apply and have effect accordingly.

Short title and construction.

9. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Offences against the State (Amendment) Act, 1985.

(2) The Offences against the State Acts, 1939 to 1972, and this Act shall be construed as one and may be cited together as the Offences against the State Acts, 1939 to 1985.