(1) The Director of Public Prosecutions or a police officer may apply to a court for a child abuse material disposal order in respect of a seized thing, or of electronic material contained in a seized thing, that—
(a) was the subject of a criminal proceeding for a child abuse material offence in relation to which—
(i) the charge was discontinued, withdrawn or permanently stayed; or
(ii) the person charged was acquitted or found not guilty (including because of mental impairment) of the charge; or
(iii) the charge was dismissed; or
(iv) the person charged was released on an undertaking under section 75 of the Sentencing Act 1991 ; or
(b) was not the subject of a criminal proceeding.
Sections 77 and 78 of the Confiscation Act 1997 apply to the disposal of child abuse material where a person is convicted of an offence set out in Schedule 1 to that Act.
(2) The court to which an application under subsection (1) is to be made is—
(a) the court in which the proceeding was at the time at which the event mentioned in subsection (1)(a)(i) to (iv) occurred; or
(b) the Magistrates' Court.
(3) The applicant must give written notice of an application under subsection (1) to every person whom the applicant has reason to believe has an interest in the seized thing or in the electronic material contained in the seized thing.
(4) A notice under subsection (3) must be given by ordinary service at least 14 days before the return date.
(5) The court may waive the requirement under subsection (3) to give notice if satisfied either—
(a) that all persons who have an interest mentioned in that subsection have appeared before the court; or
(b) that it is fair to waive the requirement despite a person who has such an interest not having appeared before the court.
(6) At any time before the final determination of the application, the court may require the applicant to give notice of the application to any person, in any manner and within any period that the court thinks fit.
(7) The following persons are entitled to appear and give evidence at the hearing of the application—
(a) any person notified under subsection (3) or (6);
(b) any other person who claims an interest in the seized thing or in electronic material contained in the seized thing.
(8) However, the fact that a person mentioned in subsection (7) has not appeared before the court does not prevent the court from making a child abuse material disposal order.
(9) In this section, ordinary service and return date have the same meanings as in the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 .
S. 51X inserted by No. 47/2016 s. 16.