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Defence Forces (Evidence) Bill 2019\Second Stage
Bills\Defence Forces (Evidence) Bill 2019\Second Stage

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Defence Forces (Evidence) Bill 2019

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Snippet Contents:

In addition, and due to the nature of an intimate sample, the consent of the person in service custody must be obtained before any such sample is taken. Section 13 of the Bill deals with the inferences that a court martial may draw from a refusal to consent or a withdrawal of consent to the taking of an intimate sample. There are similar provisions in the Act of 2014.
Section 15 allows for the use of reasonable force in the taking of a non-intimate sample. However, the use of this power is subject to a number of safeguards as specified in this section. Specifically, the use of reasonable force must be authorised by a member of the military police not below the rank of commandant. In addition, the taking of a sample pursuant to this section must be recorded by electronic or similar means. All of the provisions of this Part are similar to the equivalent provisions in the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014.
Part 3 provides for the taking, by the military police, of samples from Defence Forces personnel and other persons to ascertain whether such persons have contaminated a crime scene sample. This is a necessary power to ensure that the military police can carry out investigations in an effective manner. Again, the wording of this Part is based on similar provisions in the Act of 2014.
Part 4 provides that the military police may request a person to allow a DNA sample to be taken from him or her for the purpose of generating a DNA profile with regard to the investigation of a particular offence against military law. In this context, a volunteer may include a person who is a victim, or reasonably considered to be a victim, of the alleged offence which is being investigated by the military police. The taking of a sample under this Part is subject to a number of safeguards, including a requirement to obtain the written consent of the volunteer. In addition, where a person subject to military law refuses to give consent to the taking of a sample, that refusal shall not of itself constitute reasonable cause for a member of the military police to suspect that person of committing the offence concerned for the purpose of arresting and placing that person in service custody. As before, the provisions in this Part of the Bill are similar to equivalent provisions contained in the Act of 2014.
Part 5 provides for the establishment by the director of Forensic Science Ireland, FSI, of a DNA database system. The system, which will be similar to the DNA database system established under the Act of 2014, will be used to contain DNA profiles generated from DNA samples taken under this Bill. The Part details the structure of the DNA database system, such as the various indexes which will be contained within the system. Section 26 specifies the purposes for which the DNA database system may be used. These are the investigation and prosecution of offences against military law, whether committed within or outside the State. Section 30 sets out in detail the functions of the director of the FSI arising under this Part. Finally, as regards this Part, section 32 outlines the various comparisons that may be carried out by the director of the FSI using DNA profiles entered onto the DNA database system, including comparisons with DNA profiles entered on the DNA database system established under the Act of 2014. This is an important provision which will be of major assistance to the military police in its investigations.
Part 6 outlines the powers of members of military police in respect of the collection of evidence other than evidence collected under Part 2 of this Bill for the purposes of DNA testing, from a person arrested by the military police and placed in service custody. Section 34 sets out the powers that may be exercised by a member of the military police under this Part when a person is placed in service custody. However, with the exception of the power to demand a person's official details and to search him or her, the other powers may only be exercised on the authorisation of a member of the military police not below the rank of captain. The section also provides that a member of the military police may seize and retain for testing anything that the arrested person has in his or her possession.