Powers of pardon, etc

144.  The Governor may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf—

(a) grant to any person concerned in or convicted of any offence a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;

(b) grant to any person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for any offence;

(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any offence; or

(d) remit the whole or part of any punishment imposed on any person for any offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Her Majesty on account of any offence.

Powers to dispose of land

145.  Subject to this Constitution and any other law, the Governor or any person duly authorised by him or her in writing under his or her hand may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf, make and execute grants and other dispositions of any rights or interests in respect of any land or other immovable property in Ascension that is vested in Her Majesty in right of the Government of Ascension.

Public seal

146.—(1) There shall be a public seal of Ascension, which shall be the public seal of St Helena.

(2) The Governor shall have custody of the public seal.

(3) The public seal may be used to seal such public documents signed by the Governor or an officer subordinate to the Governor as should be sealed with the public seal.

Constitution of offices

147.—(1) There shall be an Administrator of Ascension, who shall be appointed by the Governor, shall be an officer of the Ascension Public Service and shall have such functions as may be prescribed by any law.

(2) Subject to this Constitution and any other law, the Governor, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf, may constitute other offices for Ascension.

PART 4 THE EXECUTIVE

Executive authority

148.—(1) The executive authority of Ascension is vested in Her Majesty.

(2) Subject to this Constitution, the executive authority of Ascension shall be exercised on behalf of Her Majesty by the Governor, either directly or through the Administrator of Ascension and other officers subordinate to the Governor.

(3) Nothing in this section shall preclude persons or authorities other than the Governor from exercising such functions as are or may be conferred on them by any law.

Island Council

149.  There shall be an Island Council for Ascension, which shall be composed, and shall have such functions in relation to the government of Ascension, as may be prescribed by any law.

Attorney General

150.—(1) There shall be an Attorney General of Ascension, who, subject to subsection (3), shall be the person for the time being holding or acting in the office of Attorney General of St Helena.

(2) The Attorney General shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government of Ascension.

(3) No person who is acting as Attorney General of St Helena shall act as Attorney General in relation to Ascension while the person holding the office of Attorney General is in Ascension.

(4) The Governor may appoint a suitably qualified and experienced person to be a Crown Counsel of Ascension, and any such Crown Counsel shall be an officer of the Ascension Public Service and shall act as legal adviser to the Government of Ascension, subordinate to the Attorney General and acting under and in accordance with his or her general or special instructions.

(5) The Attorney General may, in any case in which he or she considers it desirable to do so—

(a) institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court in respect of an offence against any law;

(b) take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted by any other person or authority; and

(c) discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or herself or any other person or authority.

(6) The powers of the Attorney General under subsection (5) may be exercised by him or her in person or by officers subordinate to him or her acting under and in accordance with his or her general or special instructions.

(7) The powers conferred on the Attorney General by subsection (5)(b) and (c) shall be vested in him or her to the exclusion of any other person or authority; but where any other person or authority has instituted criminal proceedings, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the withdrawal of those proceedings by or at the instance of that person or authority at any stage before the person against whom the proceedings have been instituted has been charged before the court.

(8) For the purposes of this section, any appeal from any determination in any criminal proceedings before any court, or any case stated or question of law reserved for the purpose of any such proceedings to any other court, shall be deemed to be part of those proceedings.

(9) In the exercise of the powers conferred on him or her by this section, the Attorney General, and any person acting under his or her authority, shall act independently and shall not be subject to the direction of control of the Governor, the Island Council or any other person or authority.

PART 5 THE LEGISLATURE

Power to make laws

151.—(1) The Governor, acting after consultation with the Island Council, may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Ascension.

(2) The Governor shall not be obliged to act in accordance with the advice of the Island Council in exercising his or her powers under subsection (1), but in any case where the Governor acts contrary to the advice of the Council any member of the Council shall have the right to submit his or her views on the matter to a Secretary of State.

Disallowance of laws

152.—(1) Any law made by the Governor may be disallowed by Her Majesty through a Secretary of State.

(2) Whenever a law has been disallowed by Her Majesty the Governor shall, as soon as practicable, cause notice of the disallowance to be published in the Gazette, and the law shall be annulled with effect from the date of the publication of that notice.

(3) Section 16(1) of the Interpretation Act 1978(7) shall apply to the annulment of any law under this section as it applies to the repeal of an Act of Parliament, save that any enactment repealed or amended by or in pursuance of that law shall have effect as from the date of the annulment as if that law had not been made.

PART 6 THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

The Courts of Ascension

153.—(1) The courts of Ascension shall be the Supreme Court of St Helena, the Court of Appeal of St Helena, and such courts subordinate to the Supreme Court as may be established by law.

(2) Her Majesty in Council continues to have such jurisdiction in respect of Ascension as is provided by law.

Independence of the judiciary

154.  The judges and judicial officers appointed to preside or sit in any court of Ascension shall exercise their judicial functions independently from the legislative and executive branches of government.

Supreme Court
Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

155.—(1) Subject to this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have and may exercise all such jurisdiction in and in relation to Ascension as is necessary to administer the law of Ascension.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Supreme Court shall possess and may exercise in and in relation to Ascension, subject to this Constitution and to any other law, all the jurisdiction which is vested in, or is capable of being exercised by, Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in and in relation to England.

Sittings of Supreme Court

156.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Supreme Court may sit in Ascension or outside Ascension.

(2) The Chief Justice and any other judge or acting judge of the Supreme Court may hold sittings of the Court when outside Ascension, if satisfied that—

(a) a matter arising in a proceeding before the Court needs to be dealt with promptly;

(b) every party to the proceeding is able to participate, in person or through a legal representative, by teleconference or other means of electronic, oral or written communication;

(c) no injustice will result; and

(d) the course proposed is in the public interest.

(3) The Chief Justice when outside Ascension may exercise such powers of revision, variation, confirmation or setting aside of any sentence or order made by a subordinate court as are conferred on him or her by any law.

Exercise of jurisdiction of Supreme Court

157.—(1) The Chief Justice or any other judge or acting judge of the Supreme Court may hold the Supreme Court.

(2) A judge holding the Supreme Court has, in exercise of the jurisdiction of that Court, all the powers and authority of the Court, and, if not the Chief Justice, has the jurisdiction, powers, authority, privileges and immunities conferred on the Chief Justice.

(3) If, at any time, there are two or more judges who may hold the Supreme Court, each of them may hold sittings of the Court simultaneously.

(4) In this section, “Chief Justice” means the person holding the office of Chief Justice.

Court of Appeal
Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal

158.—(1) The Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine such appeals from the courts of Ascension as may be prescribed by this Constitution or any other law.

(2) Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, an appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from the Supreme Court—

(a) as of right, if the Supreme Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation or effect of any provision of this Constitution;

(b) as of right, or, as the case may be, with the leave of the Supreme Court, in such other cases involving the exercise of the criminal, civil or appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as may be provided by this Constitution or any other law;

(c) with the leave of the Supreme Court in any other case, if in the opinion of that Court the question involved in the appeal is one which by reason of its general or public importance, or of the magnitude of the interests affected, or for any other reason, ought to be submitted to the Court of Appeal for decision; and

(d) subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, if the Court of Appeal, in any case in which it thinks fit, and at any time, grants special leave to appeal to that Court from a judgment of the Supreme Court, subject to such conditions as to security for costs or otherwise as the Court of Appeal thinks fit.

(3) In connection with any appeal from a court of Ascension, the Court of Appeal shall, subject to this Constitution and any other law, have all the powers and jurisdiction that are possessed by that court under any law; and decisions of the Court of Appeal in respect of any appeal from a court of Ascension shall, subject as aforesaid, be enforced in Ascension in the same way as decisions of that court.

Practice and procedure on appeals

159.—(1) Rules made under section 89 may fix the number of judges of the Court of Appeal who may sit for any purpose; but, subject to subsection (2)—

(a) an uneven number shall sit, which for the purposes of any final determination by the Court other than the summary dismissal of an appeal, shall not be fewer than three; and

(b) any determination by the Court on any matter (whether final or otherwise) shall, where more than one judge sits, be according to the opinion of a majority of the judges who sit for the purposes of determining that matter.

(2) If, in a circumstance referred to in section 86(6), it is not practicable for the Governor to make an appointment under section 90(3), two judges of the Court of Appeal may hear, or continue to hear, and may determine, an appeal that has been set down for hearing; but—

(a) if those judges are not in agreement about the determination of any matter arising in the course of the proceedings, the presiding judge shall decide; and

(b) if those judges are not in agreement as to whether the appeal should be allowed, the presiding judge shall discontinue the appeal, and the matter shall be required to be reheard before the Court of Appeal consisting of three or a greater uneven number of judges of the Court.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2), rules made under section 89 may provide for a reference from a decision of a single judge to the Court of Appeal.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the Court of Appeal may sit in Ascension or outside Ascension.

(5) The Court of Appeal may sit outside Ascension, if satisfied that—

(a) every party to the proceeding is able to participate, in person or through a legal representative, by teleconference or other means of electronic, oral or written communication;

(b) no injustice will result; and

(c) the course proposed is in the public interest.

General
Rules of Court

160.  Rules of Court made under section 89 shall apply in Ascension with such modifications as the President of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, the Chief Justice may prescribe, and in particular such Rules may regulate the practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court with respect to proceedings held outside Ascension.

Judicial officers

161.—(1) The Governor, acting in accordance with the recommendation of the Ascension Judicial Service Commission, shall appoint any judicial officers.

(2) Before entering upon the duties of his or her office, every judicial officer shall make an oath or affirmation of allegiance and the judicial oath or affirmation in the forms sets out in the Schedule.

(3) A judicial officer shall be appointed for life, or until the appointee reaches such an age as may be prescribed by Ordinance.

(4) A judicial officer may, when his or her appointment expires, continue so to act for the purposes of giving judgment or otherwise in relation to any proceeding commenced before him or her while his or her appointment was subsisting.

(5) A judicial officer—

(a) may resign from office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the presiding member of the Ascension Judicial Service Commission;

(b) shall be deemed to have resigned from office if he or she—

(i) is elected as a member of the Island Council; or

(ii) continues to hold, or accepts, an appointment as an officer of the Ascension Public Service, unless, under a law, such an officer is entitled to serve as a judicial officer on a basis that is consistent with the independence of the judiciary and with the efficiency of the Public Service.

(6) A judicial officer may be removed from office only on the ground of—

(a) inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause); or

(b) misbehaviour,

and shall not be removed except in accordance with subsection (7).

(7) The Governor shall remove a judicial officer from office if—

(a) the question of doing so has been considered by the Ascension Judicial Service Commission; and

(b) the Commission has recommended to the Governor that the judicial officer concerned should be removed from office on a ground referred to in subsection (6).

(8) A person who has been removed from office as a judicial officer by the Governor on the recommendation of the Ascension Judicial Service Commission may apply to the Supreme Court for redress on the ground that any finding of fact or law on which the Commission based its recommendation for removal was unjustified or wrong; and, for the purpose of affording such redress, the Supreme Court may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it considers appropriate.

(9) A judicial officer shall receive such remuneration as is determined by the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, and that remuneration shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(10) The remuneration of a judicial officer shall not be diminished during his or her continuance in office.

Ascension Judicial Service Commission

162.—(1) There shall be an Ascension Judicial Service Commission (“the Commission”), which shall consist of—

(a) the Chief Justice, who shall preside;

(b) the Attorney General;

(c) the Public Solicitor, if a person for the time being holds that office; and

(d) a person who is neither a member of the Island Council, an officer of the Ascension Public Service, a judge or a judicial officer, appointed by the Governor for a term of one year.

(2) The office of the member of the Commission appointed under subsection (1)(d) shall become vacant if—

(a) he or she becomes an officer of the Ascension Public Service, accepts appointment as a judge or a judicial officer, or becomes a member of the Island Council;

(b) he or she resigns from office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Governor; or

(c) the Governor, being satisfied that the member should be removed from office on the ground of inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or from any other cause) or misbehaviour, removes that member from office.

(3) The Governor may suspend the member from office while his or her removal from office on a ground referred to in subsection (2)(c) is under investigation.

(4) No business shall be transacted by the Commission unless—

(a) all members are present at a meeting in Ascension or elsewhere; or

(b) if they are in different places, all members are able to communicate with one another about that business in ways that they agree are appropriate in the circumstances.

(5) All questions before the Commission shall be decided by a majority of the votes of its members; and if, on any question, the votes are equally divided, the Chief Justice shall have and exercise a casting vote.

(6) The Commission may, of its own motion or at the request of the Island Council or of an organisation that is representative of judicial officers—

(a) make recommendations to the Governor on the appointment of judicial officers;

(b) consider and, if it so decides, make recommendations to the Governor on, the removal from office of a judicial officer on a ground referred to in section 161(6); and

(c) exercise such other functions as may be conferred on it by law.

(7) In the exercise of its functions the Commission shall act independently and shall not be subject to the direction or control of the Governor, the Island Council or any other person or authority.

(8) No member of the Commission shall be personally liable for the consequences of any act done or omitted by the Commission in good faith in pursuance or intended pursuance of the Commission’s functions; and if any such liability is established, it shall be that of the Crown.

PART 7 PUBLIC SERVICE

Appointment etc of officers of Ascension Public Service

163.—(1) Subject to this Constitution, the Governor, acting after consultation with such persons or such independent authority (if any) as may be prescribed by Ordinance, may, in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf—

(a) make appointments to any office in the Ascension Public Service; and

(b) remove and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any such office.

(2) The Governor may by directions in writing delegate the power conferred on him or her by subsection (1) to any officer or officers of the Ascension Public Service to such extent, and subject to such conditions, as may be specified in the directions.

(3) Subject to this Constitution, an Ordinance may provide for the establishment of an independent authority to exercise any of the following functions—

(a) advising the Governor about procedures for the exercise of the powers referred to in subsection (1), including recruitment, grievance and appeal procedures;

(b) advising the Governor on public service management, performance, conduct and ethics policies, and monitoring the implementation of such policies;

(c) carrying out annual reviews of the procedures and policies referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), and reporting on such reviews to the Governor; and

(d) such other functions as may contribute to the efficiency and integrity of the Ascension Public Service.

Terms and conditions of employment

164.—(1) The Governor shall approve (and may from time to time amend) a Code of Management by or under which the terms and conditions of employment of officers of the Ascension Public Service, or any branch of it, shall be determined.

(2) Subject to any such Code of Management, the terms and conditions of the employment of an individual officer of the Ascension Public Service shall be as agreed in that officer’s contract of employment or implied by any rule of law.

PART 8 PUBLIC FINANCE

Taxation

165.—(1) No tax, rate or other similar levy shall be imposed except under the authority of an Ordinance.

(2) Where an Ordinance referred to in subsection (1) confers powers on any person or authority, other than the Governor, to waive or vary a tax imposed by that law, that person or authority shall report to the Governor on the exercise of those powers as often as shall be determined by law but not less than annually.

Consolidated Fund

166.—(1) There shall be a Consolidated Fund into which shall be paid all revenues or other moneys raised or received by and for the purposes of the Government of Ascension.

(2) The revenues or other moneys referred to in subsection (1) shall not include revenues or other moneys that are payable by or under an Ordinance into some other fund established for a specific purpose.

Withdrawal from Consolidated Fund or other public account

167.—(1) No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except—

(a) to meet expenditure charged on the Fund by this Constitution or by an Ordinance; or

(b) where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Ordinance, a Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance, or as provided in section 170 or 171.

(2) No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of Ascension other than the Consolidated Fund, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by or under an Ordinance.

Annual Estimates

168.—(1) The Director of Financial Services shall cause to be prepared and presented to the Governor before the beginning of each financial year (or as soon as practicable thereafter) Estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Government of Ascension for that financial year.

(2) Before presenting the Estimates to the Governor under subsection (1), the Director of Financial Services shall present the Estimates to the Island Council for any advice it may wish to give in relation to them.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Director of Financial Services may cause to be prepared and presented to the Governor and the Island Council—

(a) fiscal and monetary programmes and plans for economic and social development;

(b) estimates of revenue and expenditure covering periods exceeding one year; and

(c) estimates of non-financial outputs.

Draft Appropriation Ordinance

169.  The Director of Financial Services shall present to the Governor a draft Appropriation Ordinance which includes the heads of expenditure contained in the Estimates referred to in section 168(1) (other than expenditure authorised by this Constitution or any other law) to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and to appropriate those sums for the purposes specified in the draft Ordinance.

Authorisation of expenditure in advance of appropriation

170.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), if the Appropriation Ordinance for any financial year has not come into force by the beginning of that financial year, the Governor may, by directions in writing, empower the Director of Financial Services to authorise, consistently with any law, the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Fund, or any other fund established by or under an Ordinance for a specific purpose, in order to meet expenditure necessary to carry on the services or projects of the Government of Ascension, until—

(a) the expiration of four months from the beginning of that financial year; or

(b) the coming into force of the Appropriation Ordinance for that financial year,

whichever is the earlier.

(2) Any amounts authorised to be withdrawn under subsection (1) shall be set off against the amounts provided in the Appropriation Ordinance in respect of that expenditure.

(3) Any amounts authorised to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund under subsection (1) shall be restricted to one third of the aggregate of the sums provided for in the Appropriation Ordinance and any Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance for the previous financial year.

Special Warrants

171.—(1) The Governor, if satisfied that there is an urgent and unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, may issue a Special Warrant authorising the Director of Financial Services to make payments to meet that expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund, up to the amount specified in the warrant; and such warrant shall constitute an appropriation of that amount.

(2) The Director of Financial Services shall inform the Island Council of every Special Warrant within ten days of the date of its issue.

Withdrawal Warrants

172.—(1) The Governor, if satisfied that financial exigencies so require, may issue a Withdrawal Warrant authorising the limitation or suspension of appropriated expenditure, to the extent specified in the warrant.

(2) The Director of Financial Services shall inform the Island Council of every Withdrawal Warrant within ten days of the date of its issue.

Supplementary Estimates

173.  If in the course of any financial year it is found that the amount appropriated for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated, a supplementary Estimate showing the sums required shall be presented to the Governor and the Island Council by the Director of Financial Services; and the heads of expenditure contained in that Estimate shall be included in a draft Ordinance, to be known as a draft Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance, which shall be presented to the Governor to provide for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified in the draft Ordinance.

Excess expenditure

174.—(1) Where at the close of accounts for any financial year it is found that moneys have been expended on any expenditure in excess of the amount appropriated for it or for a purpose for which no moneys have been appropriated, the amount of excess expended, or not appropriated, as the case may be, shall be included in a statement of expenditure in excess which shall be presented to the Governor and the Island Council by the Director of Financial Services.

(2) The Governor may, by directions in writing, allow the excess or the amount expended but not appropriated to stand charged to public funds.

Lapse of appropriations

175.  The appropriations made by the Appropriation Ordinance or a Supplementary Appropriation Ordinance or by a Special Warrant issued under section 171 in respect of a financial year shall lapse at the end of that financial year, unless otherwise provided by Ordinance.

Public debt

176.—(1) All debt charges for which the Government of Ascension is liable shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

(2) For the purposes of this section, debt charges include interest, the repayment or amortisation of debt, and the costs, charges and expenses incidental to the management of debt.

Annual statement of accounts

177.—(1) The Director of Financial Services shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, and in accordance with such other requirements as may be prescribed by a law—

(a) cause to be prepared for submission to the auditor a statement of accounts reflecting the financial operations of the Consolidated Fund and any other public fund or account for that financial year; and

(b) submit the annual statement of accounts to the auditor.

(2) The auditor, in accordance with such other requirements as may be prescribed by a law, shall audit the annual statement of accounts within six months of receiving it (or such longer period as the Governor may authorise in exceptional circumstances), and shall return it, together with the auditor’s report and annual management letter, to the Director of Financial Services.

(3) The Director of Financial Services shall present to the Governor and the Island Council the audited annual statement of accounts and its attachments received under subsection (2) within ten days of receiving them.

(4) In this section, “auditor” means the person or authority conducting an audit pursuant to arrangements made by the Governor under section 178(1).

Audit

178.—(1) The Governor shall make appropriate arrangements for the audit of the public accounts of Ascension and of all courts of Ascension and all authorities and offices of the Government of Ascension; and any person or authority conducting such an audit shall have access to all books, records, reports and other documents relating to those accounts.

(2) Any person or authority conducting an audit pursuant to subsection (1) shall act independently and shall not be subject to the direction or control of the Governor, the Island Council or any other person or authority.

Borrowing or lending by Government of Ascension

179.—(1) Subject to this Constitution, the Government of Ascension may borrow from any source.

(2) The Government of Ascension shall not issue a guarantee or indemnity nor raise a loan on behalf of itself or any other public institution, authority or person except—

(a) as authorised by or under an Ordinance; and

(b) in accordance with any borrowing guidelines agreed with Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom.

(3) An Ordinance referred to in subsection (2)(a) shall provide that the terms and conditions of the guarantee, indemnity or loan shall be laid before the Island Council for any advice it may wish to give on the matter.

(4) The Director of Financial Services shall, at such times as the Island Council may determine, cause to be presented to the Council such information concerning any loan as is necessary to show—

(a) the extent of the total indebtedness by way of principal and accumulated interest;

(b) the provision made for servicing or repayment of the loan; and

(c) compliance with the terms of the loan.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the expression “loan” includes any money lent or given to or by the Government of Ascension on condition of return or repayment and any other form of borrowing or lending in respect of which—

(a) moneys from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund may be used for payment or repayment; or

(b) moneys from any fund by whatever name called, established for the purposes of payment or repayment whether in whole or in part and whether directly or indirectly, may be used for payment or repayment.

PART 9 MISCELLANEOUS

Interpretation

180.  In this Chapter, unless it is otherwise provided or required by the context—

“Ascension” means Ascension Island;

“Ascension Public Service” means the service of the Crown in a civil capacity in respect of the government of Ascension, and includes service as a member of any police force, prison service or fire service of Ascension; but does not include service as a judge or a judicial officer or service as a member of the Island Council, any committee of the Council or, unless otherwise provided by a law, of any other public authority;

“breach”, in relation to any provision of this Chapter, includes a failure to comply with that provision, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

“Consolidated Fund” means the Fund established by section 166;

“court” means any subordinate court, the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, and includes Her Majesty in Council;

“disciplinary law”, in relation to a disciplined force, means the law regulating the discipline of that force;

“disciplinary offence” means an offence against the disciplinary law;

“disciplined force” means any police force of Ascension, any prison service of Ascension, any fire service of Ascension, any naval, military or air force raised in Ascension under the law of Ascension, or any visiting force;

“financial year” means the period of twelve months beginning on the first day of April in any year or such other day as may be prescribed by Ordinance;

“functions” includes powers and duties;

Gazette” means the St Helena Government Gazette;

“Island Council” means the Island Council of Ascension established by section 149;

“judge” means the Chief Justice or another judge of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal, a Justice of Appeal, an acting judge of the Supreme Court, or an Acting Justice of Appeal;

“judicial officer” means a justice of the peace, a judge of a subordinate court, a Coroner or other person who is authorised to exercise the powers of a judge of a subordinate court;

“law” means law in force in Ascension, and “lawful” and “lawfully” shall be construed accordingly;

“legal representative” means a person who—

(a)

is entitled to practise before the court or other tribunal or authority exercising jurisdiction or power in respect of a person who is arrested, detained, or charged with a criminal offence or is a party to any proceeding; and

(b)

has an effective opportunity to represent that person—

(i)

by appearing before that court or other tribunal or authority at the hearing of the proceeding or the process through which it is exercising that jurisdiction or power, in Ascension or in any place outside Ascension where it may lawfully sit; or

(ii)

in the case of a proceeding in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal when sitting in a place outside Ascension, by participating in that proceeding by teleconference or other means of electronic, oral or written communication;

“member”, in relation to a disciplined force, includes any person who, under the disciplinary law, is subject to that discipline;

“minor” means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years or such other age as may be prescribed for the purposes of this Chapter by any other law;

“officer of the Ascension Public Service” means the holder of any office in the Ascension Public Service and any other employee of the Public Service (except a casual worker), and includes a person appointed to act as an officer of the Ascension Public Service;

“Ordinance” means a law made by the Governor in respect of Ascension;

“period of public emergency” means any period during which—

(a)

there is, in or affecting Ascension, a war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation; and

(b)

a proclamation of a state of emergency is in force under a law;

“subordinate court” means a court of Ascension subordinate to the Supreme Court that has been established by Ordinance, and includes the exercise of any power or jurisdiction in relation to an inquiry conferred on a Coroner by the Coroners Ordinance or any Ordinance replacing or amending that Ordinance;

“Tristan da Cunha” means the Island of Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island, Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island;

“visiting force” means any naval, military or air force raised in, or under the law of, a country other than Ascension, one or more members of which are lawfully in Ascension while on service in that capacity;

“wrongfully removed or retained child” means a child under the age of sixteen years who has been wrongfully removed to or retained in the territory of a state that is a contracting party to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, signed at The Hague on 25 October 1980.

References to the holder of an office to include a person acting in the office

181.  In this Chapter, unless it is otherwise provided or required by the context, a reference to the holder of an office by the term designating his or her office shall be construed as including a reference to any person acting in that office or, to the extent of his or her authority, otherwise performing the functions of that office.

Power to amend and revoke instruments, etc

182.—(1) Any power conferred by this Chapter to make any subsidiary instrument or to give any instructions or directions shall be construed as including a power exercisable in like manner to amend or revoke any such instrument, instructions or directions.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “subsidiary instrument” means any proclamation, regulation, order, rule or other like instrument having the force of law.

Appointments

183.—(1) Where any person has vacated any office established by this Chapter, he or she may, if qualified, again be appointed or elected or otherwise selected to hold that office in accordance with this Chapter.

(2) Where a power is conferred by this Chapter on any person to make any appointment to any office, a person may be appointed to that office even though some other person may be holding that office, when that other person is on leave of absence pending relinquishment of that office; and where two or more persons are holding the same office by reason of an appointment made in pursuance of this subsection, then, for the purposes of any function conferred on the holder of that office, the person last appointed to that office shall be deemed to be the sole holder of the office.

(3) In this Chapter, unless it is otherwise provided or required by the context, any reference to power to make appointments to an office shall be construed as including reference to power to make appointments on promotion and transfer to that office and power to appoint a person to act in that office during any period when it is vacant or the holder of it is unable (whether by reason of absence or infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) to perform the functions of that office.

(4) Where by this Chapter any person is directed, or power is conferred on any person or authority to appoint a person, to act in an office if the holder of it is unable to perform the functions of that office, the validity of any performance of those functions by the person so directed or of any appointment made in exercise of that power shall not be called into question in any court on the ground that the holder of the office is not unable to perform the functions of the office.

Removal from office

184.  References in this Chapter to the power to remove an officer of the Ascension Public Service from his or her office shall be construed as including references to any power conferred by any law to require or permit that officer to retire from the Public Service and to any power or right to terminate a contract on which a person is employed in the Public Service and to determine whether any such contract shall or shall not be renewed.

Resignations

185.—(1) Any person who is appointed to any office established by or under this Chapter may resign from that office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the person or authority by whom he or she was appointed.

(2) The resignation of any person from any office established by or under this Chapter takes effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the person or authority to whom it is addressed or by any other person authorised by that person or authority to receive it.

(7)

1978 c.30. Back [7]