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15 1994

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 1994

PART V

Drug Trafficking Offences at Sea

Drug trafficking offences on Irish ships.

33. —Anything which would constitute a drug trafficking offence if done on land in the State shall constitute that offence if done on an Irish ship.

Ships used for drug trafficking.

34. —(1) This section applies to an Irish ship, a ship registered in a Convention state and a ship not registered in any country or territory.

(2) A person shall be guilty of an offence if, on a ship to which this section applies, wherever it may be, he—

(a) has a controlled drug in his possession, or

(b) is in any way knowingly concerned in the carrying or concealing of a controlled drug on the ship,

knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that the drug is intended to be imported or has been exported contrary to any regulations made by the Minister for Health under section 5 (1) (a) (ii) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977 , or the law of any state outside the State.

(3) A certificate purporting to be issued by or on behalf of the government of any state other than the State to the effect that the importation or exportation of a controlled drug is prohibited by the law of that state shall in a prosecution under this section be evidence of the matters stated in that certificate without further proof.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to both.

(5) Section 29 (1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977 (defences generally) is hereby amended by the substitution therefor of the following subsection:

“(1) In any proceedings for an offence under this Act or an offence under section 34 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1994 in which it is proved that the defendant had in his possession or supplied a controlled drug, the defendant shall not be acquitted of the offence charged by reason only of proving that he neither knew nor suspected nor had reason to suspect that the substance, product or preparation in question was the particular controlled drug alleged.”.

Enforcement powers in respect of ships.

35. —(1) The powers conferred on an enforcement officer by the First Schedule to this Act shall be exercisable in relation to any ship to which section 33 or 34 of this Act applies for the purpose of detecting and the taking of appropriate action in respect of the offences mentioned in those sections.

(2) The powers conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall not be exercised outside the landward limits of the territorial seas of the State in relation to a ship registered in a Convention state except with the authority of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and he shall not give his authority unless that state has in relation to that ship—

(a) requested the assistance of the State for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, or

(b) authorised the State to act for that purpose.

(3) In giving his authority pursuant to a request or authorisation from a Convention state, the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall impose such conditions or limitations on the exercise of the powers as may be necessary to give effect to any conditions or limitations imposed by that state.

(4) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may, either of his own motion or in response to a request from a Convention state, authorise a Convention state to exercise, in relation to an Irish ship, powers corresponding to those conferred on enforcement officers by the First Schedule to this Act but subject to such conditions or limitations, if any, as he may impose.

(5) Subsection (4) of this section shall be without prejudice to any agreement made, or which may be made, on behalf of the State whereby the State undertakes not to object to the exercise by any other state in relation to an Irish ship of powers corresponding to those conferred by the First Schedule to this Act.

(6) The powers conferred by the First Schedule to this Act shall not be exercised in the territorial seas of any state other than the State without the authority of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and he shall not give his authority unless that state has consented to the exercise of those powers.

Jurisdiction and prosecutions in relation to offences on ships.

36. —(1) Proceedings under section 33 or 34 of this Act or the First Schedule to this Act in respect of an offence on a ship may be taken in any place in the State and the offence may for all incidental purposes be treated as having been committed in that place.

(2) No such proceedings shall be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(3) Without prejudice to subsection (2) of this section, no proceedings for an offence under section 34 of this Act alleged to have been committed outside the landward limits of the territorial seas of the State on a ship registered in a Convention state shall be instituted except in pursuance of the exercise, with the authority of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, of the powers conferred by the First Schedule to this Act.

(4) Section 1 of the Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 1959 (consent of Minister for Foreign Affairs for prosecutions for certain offences on foreign ships), shall not apply to the proceedings to which subsection (3) of this section relates.

Convention states.

37. —(1) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may by order declare that any state specified in the order is a Convention state.

(2) An order that is in force under subsection (1) of this section shall be evidence that any state specified in the order is a Convention state.

(3) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may by order amend or revoke an order under this section including an order under this subsection.

(4) An order under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.