Commissions of Inquiry Act

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Published: 1914-04-20

Commissions of Inquiry Act


2008 Revised Edition

CAP. 7.08






COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY ACT

Commissions of Inquiry Act CAP. 7.08 Arrangement of Sections





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COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section
1 Short title................................................................................................................ 5
2 Interpretation.......................................................................................................... 5
3 Power to issue commissions of inquiry, etc. .......................................................... 5
4 Inability of commissioner to act ............................................................................ 6
5 Death etc., of the Minister not to affect commission ............................................. 6
6 Commissioner's oath .............................................................................................. 6
7 Secretary of commission........................................................................................ 6
8 Duties of commissioners........................................................................................ 6
9 Division of opinion of commissioners ................................................................... 7
10 Rules of procedure ................................................................................................. 7
11 Powers of commissioners ...................................................................................... 7
12 Immunity of commissioners from arrest, suit, etc. ................................................ 7
13 Right of appearance and representation ................................................................. 8
14 Penalty for non-attendance, misconduct of witnesses and giving false

evidence ................................................................................................................. 8
15 Commissioners' report ........................................................................................... 8
16 Remuneration of secretary and payment of expenses of commission and

witnesses ................................................................................................................ 8
17 Proceedings for penalty.......................................................................................... 9


SCHEDULE 10

SUMMONS TO A WITNESS 10

Supporting Documents

ENDNOTES 11

Commissions of Inquiry Act CAP. 7.08 Section 1





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COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY ACT

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUE OF COMMISSIONS OF
INQUIRY1

Commencement [20th April 1914]

1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

2 Interpretation
In this Act unless the context otherwise requires —

“commission” means a commission of inquiry issued under this Act;

“commissioner” means a member of a commission;

“commissioners” where only one commissioner is appointed, means the
commissioner.

3 Power to issue commissions of inquiry, etc.
(1) The Minister may, whenever he deems it advisable, issue a commission

appointing one or more commissioners, and authorising them or any quorum
of them therein mentioned, to inquire into any matter in which an inquiry
would, in the opinion of the Minister, be for the public welfare.

(2) Any commission issued under subsection (1) shall specify the subject matter
of the inquiry, and may, in the discretion of the Minister, if there is more than
one commissioner, direct which commissioner shall be chairman, and direct
when and where such inquiry shall be made, and the report thereof rendered
and prescribe how such commission shall be executed, and may direct
whether the inquiry shall or shall not be held in public.

Section 4 CAP. 7.08 Commissions of Inquiry Act





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(3) In the absence of a direction to the contrary, the inquiry shall be held in
public, but the commissioners shall nevertheless be entitled to exclude any
particular person or persons for the preservation of order, or for the due
conduct of the inquiry, or for any other reason.

(4) Every commission issued under this Act shall be published by exhibition at
the Public Office of the Government and, unless otherwise provided therein,
shall take effect on the date of such publication and the same shall in due
course be printed in the Gazette.

4 Inability of commissioner to act
If any commissioner is or becomes unable or unwilling to act, or dies, the Minister
may appoint another commissioner in his place, and any commission may be altered
as the Minister deems proper by a subsequent commission, or may be revoked
altogether by a notification to that effect publicly given in Tuvalu.

5 Death etc., of the Minister not to affect commission
No commission shall lapse by reason of, or be otherwise affected by the death,
absence, or removal of the Minister who has issued the same.

6 Commissioner's oath
(1) Every commissioner shall make and subscribe an oath or affirmation and

declaration, that he will fully, faithfully, impartially, and to the best of his
ability discharge the trust, and perform the duties, devolving upon him by
virtue of the commission.

(2) The oath or affirmation and declaration aforesaid may be taken or made
before the Minister or before such person as he may appoint to receive the
same, and shall be committed to writing and deposited by the commissioner
with the Minister.

7 Secretary of commission
The Minister may appoint a secretary to attend the sittings of the commission, to
record its proceedings and keep its papers, to summon witnesses and minute their
testimony, and generally to perform such duties connected with an inquiry as the
commissioners prescribe.

8 Duties of commissioners
The commissioners, after taking an oath or making an affirmation or declaration in
accordance with the provisions of section 6, shall make a full, faithful and impartial
inquiry into the matter specified in the commission and conduct such inquiry in

Commissions of Inquiry Act CAP. 7.08 Section 9





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accordance with any direction of the Minister contained in the commission and, in
due course, report to the Minister in writing the result of such inquiry as required by
section 15; and also, when so required, furnish to the Minister a full statement of the
proceedings of such commission and of the reasons leading to the conclusions
arrived at or reported.

9 Division of opinion of commissioners
If the commissioners shall in any case be 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.

10 Rules of procedure
The commissioners may make such rules, not inconsistent with the terms of their
commission, for the conduct of proceedings before them, for the times and places of
their meetings and the adjournment thereof, as they think proper.

11 Powers of commissioners
(1) 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, to examine witnesses and parties concerned on oath and to
appoint interpreters and require them to take an oath or make an affirmation
as to the proper performance of their duties.

(2) Where the commissioners consider it desirable for the purpose of avoiding
expense or delay or for any other special reason, they may receive evidence
by affidavit or administer interrogatories and require the person to whom the
interrogatories are administered to make a full and true reply to such
interrogatories.

(3) Summonses for the attendance of witnesses or other persons, or the
production of books, plans or documents may be in the form specified in the
Schedule and shall be signed by one of the commissioners or by their
secretary and oaths and affirmations may be administered by one of the
commissioners or their secretary.

12 Immunity of commissioners from arrest, suit, etc.
(1) A commissioner shall be privileged from arrest on any civil process while

engaged in the discharge of his duties as such a commissioner.

(2) No commissioner shall be liable to any action or suit for any act, matter or
thing done, or ordered to be done, by him in good faith as such a
commissioner.

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13 Right of appearance and representation
Any person who satisfies the commissioners that he has a bona fide interest in the
subject matter of inquiry under this Act and any other person by leave of the
commissioners may attend the inquiry in person or may be represented by counsel or
solicitor.

14 Penalty for non-attendance, misconduct of witnesses and giving false
evidence
(1) Any person summoned to attend as a witness or to produce documents before

the commissioners who, without sufficient cause, refuses or neglects to do so,
or refuses to answer any question put to him by or with the concurrence of the
commissioners, or having attended leaves the commission without the
permission of the commissioners, or in any way insults the commissioners or
any of them, or wilfully interrupts the proceedings before them, shall be liable
on summary conviction to a fine of $100:

Provided that no witness shall be bound to incriminate himself, and every
witness shall, in respect of any evidence given by him before a commission,
be entitled to all the privileges to which a witness giving evidence before a
court is entitled.

(2) Any witness who wilfully gives false evidence in any inquiry concerning the
subject matter thereof shall be guilty of perjury and liable to prosecution and
punishment accordingly.

15 Commissioners' report
(1) The commissioners shall make a report of their proceedings and of the result

of their inquiry to the Minister and shall record the reasons leading to their
conclusions.

(2) A commissioner dissenting from the conclusions, or any of them, shall give
the reasons for his dissent.

16 Remuneration of secretary and payment of expenses of commission
and witnesses
(1) Commissioners shall not be entitled to any remuneration, unless sanctioned by

the Minister, beyond the actual expenses incurred in holding the inquiry, but
the Minister may direct what remuneration, if any, shall be paid to the
secretary and to any other person employed in or about a commission, and
may direct payment of any other expenses attendant upon carrying out a
commission, or upon any proceedings for any penalty under this Act.

(2) Witnesses who attend at the request of, or upon a summons by the
commissioners shall, subject to any order made by the commissioners, be

Commissions of Inquiry Act CAP. 7.08 Section 17





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entitled to like expenses as if they had been summoned to attend the court on
a criminal trial, and payment thereof shall be made in such manner as the
Minister may direct.

(3) Sums of money so directed to be paid as aforesaid shall be paid out of the
Consolidated Fund where an inquiry under this Act is made on the authority
of the Minister.

17 Proceedings for penalty
No proceedings shall be commenced for any penalty under this Act except by
direction of the commissioners who may direct their secretary, or such other person
as they think proper, to commence and prosecute proceedings therefor.



CAP. 7.08 SCHEDULE Commissions of Inquiry Act





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SCHEDULE

(Section 11(3))

SUMMONS TO A WITNESS

To A. B. (name of person summoned and his calling and residence if known). You are
hereby summoned to appear before (here name the commissioners) appointed by the
Minister to inquire (state briefly the subject of the inquiry) at ................... on ....................
the ............ day of ............................ 20......, at ......... of the clock in the .......................
noon and to give evidence respecting the said inquiry (if the person summoned is to
produce any documents, add). And you are required to bring with you (specify books and
documents required).

Therefore fail not at your peril.

Given under the hand of ................ a Commissioner this............... day of ........................
20...

Commissions of Inquiry Act CAP. 7.08 ENDNOTES





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ENDNOTES


1 1990 Revised Edition, Cap. 12 - Acts 4 of 1914, 2 of 1925, 8 of 1957, 3 of 1963, 8 of 1968
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