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(1)A person is guilty of an offence if, without lawful authority—
(a)he provides any person with information that he is required to keep confidential; or
(b)he otherwise makes a disclosure of any such information.
(2)For the purposes of this section a person is required to keep information confidential if it is information that is or has become available to him by reason of his holding an office or employment the duties of which relate, in whole or in part, to—
(a)the establishment or maintenance of the Register;
(b)the issue, manufacture, modification, cancellation or surrender of ID cards; or
(c)the carrying out of the Commissioner's functions.
(3)For the purposes of this section information is provided or otherwise disclosed with lawful authority if, and only if the provision or other disclosure of the information—
(a)is authorised by or under this Act or another enactment;
(b)is in pursuance of an order or direction of a court or of a tribunal established by or under any enactment;
(c)is in pursuance of a Community obligation; or
(d)is for the purposes of the performance of the duties of an office or employment of the sort mentioned in subsection (2).
(4)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that, at the time of the alleged offence, he believed, on reasonable grounds, that he had lawful authority to provide the information or to make the other disclosure in question.
(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.
Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.
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