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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER P-38

AN ACT RESPECTING PUBLIC INQUIRIES

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Commissions of inquiry

3. Powers of commissioners

4. Assistance to commissioners

5. Delegation by commissioners


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Public Inquiries Act.

RSN1970 c314 s1

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Commissions of inquiry

2. (1) Where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council considers it expedient to make an inquiry into a matter connected with the peace, order and good government of this province, or the conduct of a part of the public business, or the administration of justice, or into the industries of this province, or into other matters which he or she considers to be for the public good, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by Commission under the Great Seal appoint the person or persons, called the commissioner or commissioners, that he or she may select to hold the inquiry.

(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by the commission indicate to the commissioner or commissioners the scope of the inquiry, and may confer upon him or her or them the power to summon witnesses, and to require the witnesses to give evidence orally or in writing upon oath or affirmation, and to produce the documents and things that may be considered necessary to the full investigation of the matters referred to in the commission.

RSN1970 c314 s2

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Powers of commissioners

3. (1) The commissioner or commissioners shall have the same power to enforce the attendance of witnesses and to compel them to give evidence that is vested in a court of law in civil cases; and a false statement made by the witness on oath or affirmation shall be an offence punishable in the same manner as perjury.

(2) A witness shall not be excused from answering a question upon the ground that the answer to the question may tend to criminate the witness, or may tend to establish his or her liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of a person.

(3) Where a witness objects to answer upon the ground that the answer may tend to criminate him or her or may tend to establish his or her liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of a person, and where but for this Act or the Canada Evidence Act the witness would have been excused from answering the question and although the witness is because of this Act or the Canada Evidence Act compelled to answer the answer so given shall not be used or receivable in evidence against the witness in a criminal proceeding taking place later, other than a prosecution for perjury in the giving of the evidence.

RSN1970 c314 s3

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Assistance to commissioners

4. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may engage the services of the counsel, accountants, engineers, technical advisers, or other experts, clerks, reporters and assistants that may be considered necessary to help the commissioner or commissioners in the inquiry.

RSN1970 c314 s4

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Delegation by commissioners

5. (1) The commissioner or commissioners may with the consent of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council authorize and appoint the accountants, engineers, technical advisers, or other experts, or other qualified persons, to inquire into a matter within the scope of the commission that may be directed by the commissioner or commissioners.

(2) A person so appointed shall have the same powers which a commissioner has to take evidence, issue subpoenas, enforce the attendance of witnesses, compel them to give evidence, and otherwise conduct the inquiry.

(3) A person so appointed shall report the evidence and their findings to the commissioner or commissioners.

RSN1970 c314 s5

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