Commissions of Enquiry

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Commissions of Enquiry
COMMISSIONS OF ENQUIRY ACT

CHAPTER 19:01

Act
2 of 1892

Amended by
27 of 1932
172/1961
8/1962
16 of 1962
136/1976

L.R.O.

Current Authorised Pages
Pages Authorised

(inclusive) by L.R.O.
1–8 ..

LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

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2 Chap. 19:01 Commissions of Enquiry

Note on Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

Note

For the issuance of a Commission under section 2, See LN 69/1982.

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Commissions of Enquiry Chap. 19:01 3

CHAPTER 19:01

COMMISSIONS OF ENQUIRY ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Power to issue commissions of enquiry.
3. Power to appoint fresh commissioners, and to alter commissions.
4. Change of President.
5. Oath by commissioners.
6. Secretary.
7. Duties of commissioners.
8. Casting vote of chairman.
9. Power to regulate proceedings.

10. Appearance of Attorney-at-law.
11. Power to summon and examine witnesses, and privilege of

commissioner from suit.
12. Witnesses.

Offences.
13. Constables to attend commissioners.
14. Remuneration to commissioners and others.
15. Commissions, etc., to be published in the Gazette.
16. Proceedings for penalties.

SCHEDULE.

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LAWS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

4 Chap. 19:01 Commissions of Enquiry

CHAPTER 19:01

COMMISSIONS OF ENQUIRY ACT

An Act relating to commissions of enquiry.

[23RD JANUARY 1892]

1. This Act may be cited as the Commissions of
Enquiry Act.

2. The President may whenever he deems it advisable, issue
a commission appointing one or more commissioners, and
authorising such commissioners, or any quorum of them therein
mentioned, to enquire into the conduct of any officer in the public
service in Trinidad and Tobago, the conduct or management
of any department of the public service or of any public or
local institution, or into any matter in which an enquiry would, in
the opinion of the President, be for the public welfare. Each such
commission shall specify the subject of enquiry, and may, in
the discretion of the President if there is more than one
commissioner, direct which commissioner shall be chairman, and
direct where and when such enquiry shall be made and the report
thereof rendered, and prescribe how such commission shall be
executed, and may direct whether or not the enquiry shall be
held in public. In the absence of a direction to the contrary, the
enquiry shall be held in public, but the commissioners shall
nevertheless be entitled to exclude any particular person or
persons for the preservation of order, for the due conduct of the
enquiry, or for any other reason.

3. In case any commissioner is or becomes unable or
unwilling to act, or dies, the President may appoint another
commissioner in his place; and any commission issued under this
Act may be altered as the President thinks fit by any subsequent
commission issued by him, or may be revoked altogether by notice
in the Gazette.

1950 Ed.
Ch. 7 No. 2.
2 of 1892.

Commencement.

Short title.

Power to issue
commissions
of enquiry.

Power to
appoint fresh
commissioners,
and to alter
commissions.

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Commissions of Enquiry Chap. 19:01 5

4. A commission issued under this Act shall not lapse by
reason of, or be otherwise affected by, the death, absence or
removal of the President issuing the same.

5. Each commissioner appointed under this Act shall make
and subscribe an oath that he will faithfully, fully, impartially and
to the best of his ability discharge the trust and perform the duties
devolving upon him as a commissioner, which oath may be taken
before the President, and shall be deposited by the commissioner
with the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service.

6. The President may appoint a secretary to attend the sittings
of the commission, to record their proceedings, to keep their papers,
summon and minute the testimony of witnesses, and generally to
perform such duties connected with the enquiry as the
commissioners shall prescribe, subject to the directions, if any, of
the President.

7. The commissioners shall, after taking the oath, make a
full, faithful and impartial enquiry into the matter specified in
the commission, and conduct the enquiry in accordance with the
directions, if any, in the commission; and, in due course, report to
the President, in writing, the result of the enquiry; and also, when
required, furnish to the President a full statement of the proceedings
of the commission, and of the reasons leading to the conclusions
arrived at or reported.

8. If the commissioners are, in any case, equally divided
on any question that arises during the proceedings of the
commission, the chairman of the commission shall have a second
or casting vote.

9. Commissioners acting under this Act may make such rules
for their own guidance, and the conduct and management of
proceedings before them, and the hours and times and places for
their sittings, not inconsistent with their commission, as they may
from time to time think fit, and may, from time to time, adjourn
for such time and to such place as they may think fit, subject only
to the terms of their commission.

Change
of President.

Oath by
commissioners.
[16 of 1962].

Secretary.

Duties of
commissioners.

Casting vote of
chairman.

Power to
regulate
proceedings.

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6 Chap. 19:01 Commissions of Enquiry

10. Any person whose conduct is the subject of enquiry under
this Act or who is in any way implicated or concerned in the matter
under enquiry, shall be entitled to be represented by an Attorney-
at-law at the whole of the enquiry, and any other person who may
consider it desirable that he should be so represented may, by leave
of the commissioners, be represented in the same manner.

11. Commissioners acting under this Act shall have the powers
of the High Court to summon witnesses, to call for the production
of books, plans, and documents, and to examine witnesses and
parties concerned on oath; and no commissioner shall be liable to
any action or suit for any matter or thing done by him as such
commissioner. All summonses for the attendance of witnesses
or other persons, or the production of documents, may be in the
form given in the Schedule, and shall be signed by one of the
commissioners. Oaths may be administered by one of the
commissioners or by the secretary.

12. (1) All persons summoned to attend and give evidence,
or to produce books, plans, or documents, at any sitting of any
commission, shall be bound to obey the summons served upon
them as fully in all respects as witnesses are bound to obey
subpoenas issued from the High Court, and shall be entitled to
like expenses as if they had been summoned to attend at such Court
on a criminal trial, if the same are allowed by the commissioners,
but the commissioners may disallow the whole or any part of
such expenses in any case, if they think fit. Orders for the payment
of witnesses shall be made as nearly as may be as orders are made
for the payment of witnesses in the High Court, and shall be paid
in such manner as the President may direct.

(2) Any person who refuses or fails, without sufficient
cause, to attend at the time and place mentioned in the summons
served on him, and any person who attends, but leaves the com-
mission without the permission of the commissioners, or refuses
without sufficient cause to answer or to answer fully and
satisfactorily to the best of his knowledge and belief, all questions
put to him by or with the concurrence of the commissioners, or
refuses or fails without sufficient cause to produce any books, plans
or documents in his possession, or under his control, and mentioned
or referred to in the summons served on him, and any person who

Appearance of
Attorney-at-law.

Power to
summon and
examine
witnesses, and
privilege of
commissioner
from suit.

Schedule.

Witnesses.

Offences.

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Commissions of Enquiry Chap. 19:01 7

at any sitting of the commission wilfully insults any commissioner
or the secretary, or wilfully interrupts the proceedings of the
commission, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two
thousand dollars.

(3) No person giving evidence before the commission
shall be compellable to criminate himself, and every such person
shall, in respect of any evidence given by him before the
commission, be entitled to all privileges to which a witness giving
evidence before the High Court is entitled in respect of evidence
given by him before such Court.

13. The President may direct the Commissioner of Police to
detail constables to attend upon any of the commissioners, to
preserve order during the proceedings of the commission, and to
serve summonses on witnesses, and to perform such ministerial
duties as the commissioners shall direct.

14. Commissioners appointed under this Act shall not be
entitled to any remuneration, unless such remuneration is
specially voted by Parliament, beyond the actual expenses incurred
in holding the enquiry, but the President may direct what
remuneration, if any, shall be paid to the secretary, and to any other
person employed in or about any such commission, and may direct
payment of any other expenses attendant upon the carrying out of
any such commission, or upon any proceedings for any penalty
under this Act. Such sums, so directed to be paid, shall be paid out
of moneys provided by Parliament.

15. All commissions under this Act and all revocations of any
such commission, shall be published in the Gazette, and shall take
effect from the date of publication.

16. No proceedings shall be commenced for any penalty
under this Act except by the direction of the Director of Public
Prosecutions, or of the commissioners. The commissioners may
direct their secretary, or such other person as they may think fit, to
commence and prosecute the proceedings for such penalty.

Constables to
attend
commissioners.

Remuneration to
commissioners
and others.

Commissions,
etc., to be
published in
Gazette.

Proceedings for
penalties.
[136/1976].

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8 Chap. 19:01 Commissions of Enquiry

SCHEDULE

SUMMONS TO WITNESS

To A.B., .......................... [name of person summoned and his calling and residence].

You are hereby summoned to appear before......................... [here name the
commissioners] appointed by the President to enquire .............................. [state
briefly the subject of enquiry] at......................................................[place]
upon the ....................... day of .........................., 20 ........, at ...............o’clock,
and to give evidence respecting such enquiry. [If the person summoned is to
produce any documents, add] and you are required to bring with you
......................... [specify the books; plans, and documents required].
Therefore fail not at your peril.

Given under the hand of ...............................................Commissioner, this

........................ day of ..........................., 20...... .

Section 11.

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