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Inquiry Into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013

Section 9: Powers to require production of evidence

It is expected that requests from the inquiry for people to appear before it as witnesses, or to provide it with evidence, will generally be complied with voluntarily. However, some people may be motivated to refuse. Others may be unable to provide the information required by the inquiry without a formal notice, either because there is a statutory bar on disclosure or because of concerns about breaking confidentiality agreements. Subsections (1) and (2) therefore give the chairperson powers to compel by notice witnesses and evidence.

Subsection (4) enables the chairperson to vary or revoke a notice, either because the person does not have the required evidence; or because the terms of the initial notice were unreasonable, for example, because the timescale set is unrealistically short, the cost unreasonably high or the volume of material unreasonably great; or when the evidence requested is unlikely to be of material assistance to the inquiry.

Subsections (7) and (8) make clear that the powers conferred on the chairperson by this section apply to transferred matters at the time the powers are exercised, not when the event under investigation occurred.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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