29 1923

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Number 29.


PUBLIC SAFETY (EMERGENCY POWERS) (No. 2) ACT, 1923.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Provisions in Schedule to have force of law.

2.

Article 47 of Constitution not to apply to this Act.

3.

Short Title.

SCHEDULE

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Number 29.


PUBLIC SAFETY (EMERGENCY POWERS) (No. 2) ACT, 1923.


AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE IMMEDIATE PRESERVATION OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY. [3rd August, 1923.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Provisions in Schedule to have force of law.

1. —Immediately upon the passing of this Act the Act of the Oireachtas which is set out in the Schedule to this Act and is entitled the Public Safety (Emergency Powers) Act, 1923, which was duly passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and to which the Governor-General of the Irish Free State on the 1st day of August, 1923, signified the King's assent shall come into operation and have the force of law.

Article 47 of Constitution not to apply to this Act.

2. —(1) It is hereby declared that this Act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace and safety and accordingly the provisions of Article 47 of the Constitution of Saorstát Eireann shall not apply to this Act.

(2) This Act shall come into operation immediately upon the signification of the King's assent thereto.

Short Title.

3. —This Act may be cited as the Public Safety (Emergency Powers) (No. 2) Act, 1923.

SCHEDULE..


PUBLIC SAFETY (EMERGENCY POWERS) ACT, 1923.


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE PROTECTION OF PERSON AND PROPERTY AND FOR MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH OR ARISING OUT OF THE PRESENT EMERGENCY. [1st August, 1923.]

WHEREAS a number of persons have been for some time past engaged in an attempt to overthrow by force the lawfully established Government of Saorstát Eireann and to that end have created a state of rebellion which has been carried on by means of armed attacks on the Military Forces of Saorstát Eireann, assassination and wounding the citizens, destruction of public and private buildings and other property, unlawful seizure and occupation of land, armed robbery of Government Offices, Banks and other institutions and persons, and divers other modes of defying law and causing public disorder:

AND WHEREAS for the purpose of suppressing such rebellion the Military Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann were entrusted by the Executive Government with the task of securing the public safety and restoring order and the rule of law throughout the country and the said Military Forces are discharging with success the duty so imposed upon them:

AND WHEREAS it is desirable that the Civil Authorities should be endowed with such powers as will enable them lawfully to co-operate with the Military Forces in the work of restoring and maintaining order and to re-establish the supremacy of law and Civil· Government with or without military co-operation as may be possible so soon as the success of the military operations and the circumstances of each district will permit:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Power of Executive Minister to arrest and detain certain persons

1.—It shall be lawful for an Executive Minister to cause the arrest and, subject to the provisions of this Act, to order the detention in custody in any place in Saorstát Eireann of any person

(a) in respect of whom such Minister shall certify in writing that he is satisfied that there is reasonable ground for suspecting such person of being or having been engaged or concerned in the commission of any of the offences mentioned in Part I. of the Schedule to this Act, or

(b) in respect of whom such Minister shall have received a report from the military authorities that the detention of such person is a matter of military necessity arising out of the existence of a state of war or armed rebellion, whether local or general, or

(c) in respect of whom such Minister shall certify in writing that he is satisfied that the public safety is endangered by such person being allowed to remain at liberty.

Power of responsible officer to arrest certain persons.

2.—(1) It shall be lawful for a responsible officer to arrest and to detain in custody for any period not exceeding one week any person found committing or attempting to commit or whom such officer suspects of having committed any of the offences mentioned in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act.

(2) It shall be lawful for an Executive Minister subject to the provisions of this Act to order the detention in custody in any place in Saorstát Eireann of any person arrested under this section in respect of whom such Minister certifies in writing that he is of opinion that the public safety would be endangered by such person being set at liberty.

(3) Whenever any person is arrested under this section such person shall, not later than one week after his arrest unless an order for his detention is made by an Executive Minister under this section, either be released, or be charged with one or more of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act or with any other offence or offences and dealt with according to law, and shall for that purpose, if in military custody, be delivered into civil custody.

Detention of persons now in military custody.

3.—(1) Every person who is now detained in military custody or held as a military prisoner or captive and has not before the passing of this Act been sentenced to a term of imprisonment or penal servitude by any tribunal established by the military authorities, may be detained in custody under this Act

(a) by the military authorities if those authorities are of opinion that his detention is a matter of military necessity arising out of the existence of a state of war or armed rebellion, whether local or general, or

(b) under an order of an Executive Minister if such Minister is of opinion that the public safety would be endangered by such person being set at liberty.

(2) Every person who at the date of the passing of this Act is serving a sentence of imprisonment or penal servitude imposed on him by a tribunal established by the military authorities shall, whether he is or is not a person ordinarily subject to military law, continue to serve such sentence so long as it is unexpired or undischarged.

Establishment of Appeal Councils.

4.—(1) As soon as may be after the passing of this Act, there shall be established by an Executive Minister one or more Appeal Councils consisting of not less than three members of whom one shall be a practising barrister or solicitor of not less than five years' standing.

(2) Any person detained in custody under this Act, whether under an order of an Executive Minister or by the military authorities, may in the prescribed manner request that an enquiry into the matter of his detention be made by an Appeal Council, and such Council shall thereupon with all convenient speed inquire in the prescribed manner into the case of such person and shall report in the prescribed form to such Executive Minister the result of such inquiry.

(3) At any inquiry under this section the Appeal Council shall be furnished with the reports or certificates in virtue of which the person whose case is being inquired into is being detained.

(4) When such an Executive Minister shall receive a report from an Appeal Council that there are no reasonable grounds for suspecting the person interned of having committed or being engaged or concerned in the commission of any of the offences mentioned in the Schedule to this Act he shall, within one calendar month from the receipt of the report, order his release unless—

(a) he shall refer back the report to the Appeal Council for the consideration of further evidence, or

(b) the person be charged with any offence punishable by imprisonment.

(5) No person serving a sentence of imprisonment or penal servitude imposed by a tribunal established by the military authorities shall be entitled to appeal to an Appeal Council under this section.

(6) An Executive Minister shall make regulations for the execution by Appeal Councils of the functions imposed on them by this section, and the word “prescribed” where used in this section means prescribed by such regulations. Any such regulations shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made, and if either House of the Oireachtas shall pass a resolution annulling the regulations, the regulations shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything already done under them.

Punishments for offences in Schedule.

5.—(1) Any person found guilty on indictment of any of the offences mentioned in Part I. of the Schedule to this Act may be sentenced to suffer death or such term of penal servitude as the judge may decide.

(2) Every person convicted by a Court of summary jurisdiction of any of the offences mentioned in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act may be sentenced to suffer imprisonment with or without hard labour for the term of twelve months, and may in addition be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding fifty pounds and, in default of payment of such fine within one month after conviction, to suffer imprisonment without hard labour for a further term of six months to be added to and commence on the expiration of the said term of twelve months.

(3) Every person found guilty on indictment of any of the offences mentioned in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act may be sentenced either—

(a) to suffer penal servitude for a term of not exceeding five years and to pay a fine of not more than one hundred, pounds nor less than fifty pounds and, in default of payment of such fine within one month after sentence, to suffer penal servitude for a further term of one year to be added to and commence on the expiration of the said previous term of imprisonment; or

(b) to suffer imprisonment with hard labour for a term of not more than two years nor less than one year and to pay a fine of not more than one hundred pounds nor less than fifty pounds and, in default of payment of such fine within one month after sentence, to suffer imprisonment without hard labour for a further term of six months to be added to and commence on the expiration of the first mentioned term of imprisonment.

(4) Every male person who shall be found guilty on indictment of the offence of robbery under arms as defined at No. 6 in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act, or of the offence of arson as defined at No. 7 in Part II. of the said Schedule shall (unless the Court is satisfied that there are special circumstances in the case which constitute a mitigation of the offence, or is of opinion that, owing to the state of health or advanced age of such person, corporal punishment could not be inflicted on him without permanent injury to his health), in addition to the punishment prescribed in the foregoing sub-sections, be sentenced to be once privately whipped subject to the following provisions:—

(a) in the case of a person whose age does not exceed eighteen years, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed twenty and the instrument used shall be a birch rod;

(b) in the case of any other person, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed twenty-five;

(c) in each case the court in its sentence shall specify the number of strokes to be inflicted and the instrument to be used;

(d) such whipping shall not take place after the expiration of six months from the passing of the sentence;

(e) such whipping to be inflicted on any person sentenced to penal servitude shall be inflicted on him before he is removed to a convict prison with a view to his undergoing his sentence of penal servitude.

(5) The jurisdiction of a court of summary jurisdiction in respect of any of the offences mentioned in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act shall not be ousted by reason of the title to any corporeal or incorporeal hereditaments or any lands or premises being drawn into question.

(6) This section shall not apply to any offence committed before the passing of this Act.

Power to seize and sell animals found trespassing.

6.—(1) It shall be lawful for an Executive Minister to order the seizure of any cattle and other animals found trespassing on land belonging to any Board or Department of the Government or to any private person or body, and the removal and detention of such cattle and other animals to and in any place within or outside Saorstát Eireann.

(2) Whenever any cattle or other animals are seized under this section, such notice as the Minister aforesaid shall prescribe shall be given to the owner thereof, and such owner may, within such time as the Minister shall prescribe, redeem such cattle and other animals by payment to the Minister of such sum as the Minister shall estimate to be the fair value of such cattle and animals, or such lesser sum as the Minister shall think proper: Provided always that if such owner shall satisfy the Minister that the trespass by such cattle or other animals was accidental or took place against the will of such owner or was otherwise innocent, the Minister shall return such cattle and animals to such owner or pay to such owner the fair value thereof.

(3) All cattle and other animals seized under this section and not so redeemed or returned shall be sold in such manner and at such place whether within or outside Saorstát Eireann as the Minister shall direct.

(4) The money paid for the redemption or the proceeds of the sale of any cattle or other animals redeemed or sold under this section shall be applied in the first place in or towards the payment of the expenses of the seizure, removal, detention and sale of such cattle and other animals, and in the next place in or towards the payment to the owner of the land on which such cattle and other animals were found trespassing of such compensation as the Minister shall direct for the damage caused by such trespass, and the surplus (if any) of such moneys or proceeds shall be forfeited and paid into the Exchequer in accordance with such directions as may be given from time to time by the Minister for Finance.

Restitution of stolen property.

7.—Whenever any stolen property shall be recovered by or otherwise come into the custody of a responsible officer, such responsible officer may upon being satisfied that such property is in fact stolen property and being satisfied of the identity of the owner, order such stolen property to be restored to the owner thereof notwithstanding that the person by whom such property was stolen has not been charged, tried, or convicted: Provided always that if such owner has already received compensation under the Damage to Property (Compensation) Act, 1923 (No. 15 of 1923) for the loss of such stolen property he shall before such stolen property is actually restored to him, repay or return to the Minister for Finance such compensation or such lesser sum as may be deemed by such Minister to be the fair value of such stolen property at the time of the restoration thereof.

Restrictions on the sale and possession of fire arms.

8.—(1) From and after the passing of this Act it shall not be lawful for any person to have in his possession any firearms or ammunition without a firearm licence issued to him for that purpose pursuant to regulations made under this section.

(2) An Executive Minister may by order make regulations for the issue of firearms licences under this section and may by such regulations—

(a) prescribe the persons by whom and the terms and circumstances on and in which firearm licences may be issued;

(b) require that every manufacturer, repairer, tester, seller or dealer in firearms or ammunition by way of trade or business shall be registered in a register to be established under such regulations;

(c) place restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition and prohibit the pawning of firearms;

(d) require all firearms to be marked with a number or other mark of identification (including the name of the manufacturer, seller or owner) and to be registered;

(e) prescribe the form and duration of firearm licences;

(f) place restrictions on or wholly prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase or possession of weapons designed for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing, or any ammunition containing or designed or adapted to contain any such noxious thing;

(g) empower members of any police force in Saorstát Eireann to demand the production of and to inspect firearm licences;

(h) place restrictions on the export, import or removal from one place to another of firearms and ammunition;

(i) authorize the trial by Courts of Summary Jurisdiction of persons contravening the regulations and prescribe the punishments (not exceeding in any case twelve months' imprisonment with hard labour and a fine of £50 or six months' further imprisonment with hard labour in default of payment) which may be inflicted on persons found guilty of contravening the regulations.

(3) In this section the expression “firearm” means any lethal firearm or other weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, or any part thereof, and the expression “ammunition” means and includes—

(a) ammunition for any firearm;

(b) grenades, bombs and other similar missiles, whether capable of being used with a firearm or not;

(c) land mines and other similar explosive machines;

(d) dynamite, gelignite and other explosive substances;

(e) any component part or ingredient of any such article or substance as aforesaid.

(4) This section shall not apply to any firearm or ammunition belonging or issued to any member of the Military Forces of Saorstát Eireann or to any member of a police force established by or under the control of the Minister for Home Affairs as part of his arms or equipment as such member or any firearm or ammunition in the possession of any such member in the performance of his duty as such member, and nothing in this Act shall be deemed to make unlawful the possession of any such firearm or ammunition as aforesaid by any such member.

Punishment of persons having stolen property.

9.—Every person who shall be charged before a District Justice with having in his possession or on his premises with his knowledge or conveying in any manner anything which may reasonably be suspected of being stolen or unlawfully obtained, and shall not give an account to the satisfaction of such District Justice of the manner in which he came by the same shall be guilty of an offence under this Act, and shall be liable to a punishment not exceeding twelve months' imprisonment with or without hard labour.

Recovery of property representing stolen property or funds.

10.—(1) If and whenever an Executive Minister shall apply to a District Justice and allege that any land, investments or other property (including money) in the possession or under the control of any person was bought by such person with or otherwise represents or is directly or indirectly derived from—

(a) any stolen property or funds; or

(b) any public funds, or funds which ought to be in the custody of a Minister or a Government Department; the District Justice shall, unless the person having possession or control of such land, investments or property satisfies him that such allegation is untrue, order the transfer of such property, in so far as it consists of land, to the Irish Land Commission, and in so far as it consists of investments or other property, to the Minister for Finance.

(2) An order of a District Justice under this section ordering the transfer of any land to the Irish Land Commission shall operate to vest such land in the Irish Land Commission as from the date of the order for all the estate and interest therein which is so alleged to have been bought with or to represent or be derived from such stolen property or any such fund as aforesaid.

(3) An order of a District Justice under this section ordering the transfer of any investments or other property to the Minister for Finance shall operate to vest such investments or property in the Minister for Finance, and in the case of investments or other property required by law to be transferred by deed or writing shall operate as a deed or writing duly executed by all necessary parties and capable of registration (where registration is necessary) transferring such investments or property to the Minister for Finance, and in the case of investments or other property transferable only by entries in a register, folio, or book, shall operate to authorise and require the proper entries for transferring such investments or property to the Minister for Finance to be made by the proper officer in such register, folio or book.

(4) All land, investments and other property which becomes vested in the Irish Land Commission or the Minister for Finance under this section shall be sold by such Commission or Minister (as the case may be), and the proceeds of every such sale shall be paid to the Minister for Finance who shall, after paying thereout all costs and expenses incurred in the recovery and sale of such land, investments and property and not otherwise provided for, apply such proceeds in recouping the person whose property, or the fund which, such land, investments or property represents or is derived from.

(5) Any person (including an Executive Minister) aggrieved by an order of a District Justice under this section may appeal from such order to the County Court Judge, and an order of a County Court Judge on the hearing of any such appeal shall have the same operation as a like order by a District Justice would have under this section.

(6) A District Justice or a County Court Judge may on the hearing of an application or appeal under this section make such order as to the payment of the costs of such application or appeal as such District Justice or County Court Judge shall think proper.

(7) In this section the expression “County Court Judge” shall include a Recorder.

Recovery of money in Bank representing stolen property or funds.

11.—(1) If and whenever an Executive Minister shall satisfy a District Justice that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that any sum of money standing to the credit of any person in the books of any Bank or similar institution is, or represents, or is directly or indirectly derived from

(a) any stolen property or funds, or

(b) any public funds or funds which ought to be in the custody or under the control of a Minister or a Government Department,

the District Judge shall by order prohibit any transfer of or other dealing with such sum of money or any part thereof.

(2) Whenever an order is made by a District Justice under this Section prohibiting the dealing with any sum of money, the Minister for Finance shall give public notice by advertisement or otherwise of such prohibition, and unless within a time to be limited by such notice (not being less than one month) or such extended time as the Minister for Finance shall allow, some person proves to the satisfaction of the Minister for Finance that such sum of money belongs to him and is not and does not represent and is not directly or indirectly derived from

(a) any stolen property or funds; or

(b) any public funds or funds which ought to be in the custody or under the control of a Minister or a Government Department,

the Minister for Finance shall certify in writing that such sum of money is forfeited to the Minister for Finance.

(3) If within such time or extended time as is mentioned in the foregoing sub-section any person proves to the satisfaction of the Minister for Finance the matters mentioned in the foregoing sub-section, the Minister for Finance shall certify in writing that the order made by the District Justice under this section in respect of such sum of money may be discharged, and upon production of such certificate to a District Justice such District Justice shall discharge such order.

(4) A certificate given by the Minister for Finance under this section certifying the forfeiture of any sum of money shall operate to vest in the Minister for Finance, as from the time of the production of such certificate to the Bank or institution in whose books the sum of money aforesaid is standing, the whole of such sum of money.

(5) All money forfeited to the Minister for Finance under this section shall, after payment thereout of the costs and expenses incurred in the recovery thereof, be applied by the Minister for Finance in recouping the person from whom such money was directly or indirectly stolen or the fund to which such money directly or indirectly belongs.

Change of venue in criminal cases.

12.—(1) Where an indictment for a crime committed at any place in Saorstát Eireann has been found against any person, or any person has been committed for trial for such crime, the High Court on an application by or on behalf of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann and upon his Certificate that he believes that a more fair and impartial trial can be had at a court and in a county to be named in such Certificate, shall make an order as of course that the trial shall be had at the court and in the county named in the Certificate.

(2) Whenever an order for the removal of the trial of a crime is made under this section before the indictment has been found, such crime may be inquired into by a grand jury of, and the trial thereof may be had in, the county named in the order of removal in like manner as if the crime had been committed in such county.

(3) Whenever an order for the removal of the trial of a crime is made under this section after the indictment has been found, such trial may be had as if the indictment had been found in the court to which the trial is removed.

Power to make regulations as to places of imprisonment.

13.—An Executive Minister may make regulations

(a) prescribing the prisons, internment camps and other places in which persons detained in custody under this Act may be detained;

(b) providing for the efficient management, sanitation, control and guarding of such prisons, camps and other places;

(c) providing for the enforcement and preservation of discipline amongst the persons so detained;

(d) providing for the medical, surgical, and nursing care of the persons so detained;

(e) Providing for the inspection of such prisons, camps and other places and the visiting of persons detained therein by responsible persons to be appointed by the Minister who shall discharge the functions aforesaid without remuneration;

(f) providing for the prevention of the escape of any such persons;

(g) prescribing or providing for any other matter or thing relating to the efficient detention of such persons under this Act.

Power to make rules and prescribe forms.

14.—The Minister for Home Affairs may make rules for the conduct of proceedings authorised by this Act to be brought before a District Justice, and may prescribe the forms to be used in such proceedings.

Preservation of powers of the Military Forces.

15.—Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to revoke, annul, derogate from or prejudice the exercise by the Military Forces of Saorstát Eireann of any of the powers or authorities exercisable by them by virtue of military necessity arising in the course of the performance of their duty to suppress rebellion or vested in them by virtue of their having been entrusted by the Executive Government with the duty of securing the public safety and restoring order throughout the country.

Definitions.

16.—In this Act,

the expression “responsible officer” means an officer of the Military Forces of Saorstát Eireann not below the rank of commandant or an officer of a police force established by or under the control of the Minister for Home Affairs not below the rank of superintendent;

the expression “District Justice” includes a Divisional Magistrate of the City of Dublin;

the expression “Executive Minister” means a Minister who is a member of the Executive Council;

in the expression “stolen property” the word “stolen” includes taken away by larceny, false pretences, embezzlement, robbery, burglary or housebreaking, and the word “property” includes money, paper money, securities for money, bank or government notes, negotiable instruments and stamps;

the expression “military authorities” means the Army Council for the time being of the National Army, or a General Officer commanding a district or any other officer, not being below the rank of commandant, having executive command of troops.

Short title and duration.

17.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Public Safety (Emergency Powers) Act, 1923.

(2) This Act shall continue in force for six months after the passing thereof, and shall then expire.

SCHEDULE.

Part I.

1. An armed revolt against the Government of Saorstát Eireann.

2. Threatening, coercing, assaulting or attempting to threaten, coerce or assault any person in furtherance of any such revolt.

3. Destroying, damaging or removing or attempting to destroy, damage or remove any property in furtherance of any such revolt.

Part II.

1. Having possession without lawful authority of

(a) any lethal firearm or other weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged; or

(b) any ammunition for any such firearm or weapon; or

(c) any grenade, bomb or other similar missile, whether capable of being used with any such firearm or weapon or not; or

(d) any land mine or other similar explosive machine; or

(e) any dynamite, gelignite or other explosive substance; or

(f) any component part or ingredient of any such article or substance aforesaid.

2. Having possession without lawful authority of any article of clothing, equipment or accoutrement or any arms or ammunition belonging or issued to any member of the military or police forces of Saorstát Eireann.

3. Putting on or assuming without authority the uniform or any part of the uniform of any branch of the military or police forces of Saorstát Eireann.

4. Assuming the name, designation or description of any rank, or of any member, of the military or police forces of Saorstát Eireann for the purpose of doing or procuring to be done any act which the person assuming such name, designation or description would not by law be entitled to do or procure to be done of his own authority.

5. Wrongful entry on and retention of possession of land without colour or pretence of title or authority.

6. Robbery under arms; that is to say, robbing or attempting to rob while armed with any offensive weapon or instrument.

7. Arson; that is to say, unlawfully setting fire or attempting to set fire to any house, factory, barn, haggard, workshop, or other building, or any agricultural property, food supplies for man or beast, or any other property of any nature or kind, movable or immovable, public or private, including standing trees and crops.

8. Unlawfully injuring or destroying or attempting to injure or destroy any house, factory, barn, haggard, workshop, or other building, or any agricultural property, food supplies for man or beast, or any other property of any nature or kind, movable or immovable, public or private, including standing trees and crops.

9. Interfering with or preventing, without lawful authority, the lawful occupation, use or enjoyment of any land or premises.

10. Illicit distillation, or having possession or control of any illicitly distilled spirits or any illicit still or any articles or materials for illicit distillation.

11. Selling or offering, exposing, or having for sale any illicitly distilled spirits.

12. Knowingly aiding, abetting, assisting in, or encouraging the commission of any of the offences mentioned in this Schedule, or helping in the concealment or escape of any person guilty of any such offence.