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The Education (Unrecognised Degrees) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

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4.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Department of Economic Development to enforce the provisions of Article 3.

(2) A duly authorised officer of the Department of Economic Development may, at all reasonable hours and on production, if required, of his credentials, exercise the following powers, that is to say—

(a)he may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any offence under Article 3 has been committed, enter and search any premises which he reasonably believes may be used for or in connection with the carrying on of a business which is concerned with the granting of awards which are not recognised awards;

(b)he may, for that purpose, require any person carrying on or employed in connection with any such business to produce any documents or other items relating to the business and may take copies of any such document;

(c)he may require any information which is contained in a computer and is accessible from the premises to be produced in a form in which it can be taken away and in which it is visible and legible if he has reason to believe that it may be evidence of the commission of an offence under that Article; and

(d)he may seize and detain anything which he has reason to believe may be evidence of the commission of an offence under that Article.

(3) If, on a complaint in writing and on oath, a justice of the peace—

(a)is satisfied that there is reasonable ground to believe that any documents or other items which a duly authorised officer has power under this Article to inspect are on any premises and that their inspection is likely to disclose evidence of the commission of an offence under Article 3; and

(b)is also satisfied either—

(i)that admission to the premises has been or is likely to be refused and that notice of intention to apply for a warrant under this paragraph has been given to the occupier; or

(ii)that an application for admission, or the giving of such a notice, would defeat the object of the entry or that the premises are unoccupied or that the occupier is temporarily absent and it might defeat the object of the entry to await his return;

the justice may by warrant under his hand, which shall continue in force for a period of one month, authorise an officer of the Department of Economic Development to enter the premises, if need be by force.

(4) An officer seizing any documents or other items in the exercise of his powers under this Article shall inform the person from whom they are seized.

(5) An officer entering any premises by virtue of this Article may take with him such other persons and such equipment as may appear to him necessary; and on leaving any premises which he has entered by virtue of a warrant under paragraph (3) he shall, if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent, leave them as effectively secured against trespassers as he found them.

(6) Section 29 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968F1 (penalty for obstruction of authorised officers) shall apply as respects the obstruction of an officer acting in pursuance of this Article as it applies as respects the obstruction of an officer acting in pursuance of that Act but with the substitution in subsection (1)—

(a)of a reference to this Article for the reference to section 28 of that Act; and

(b)of a reference to his functions under this Article for the reference to his functions under that Act.

(7) Nothing in this Article shall be taken to compel the production by a solicitor of a document or other item containing a privileged communication made by or to him in that capacity or to authorise the taking of possession of any such item which is in his possession.

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