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Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969

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1Reduction of age of majority from 21 to 18.N.I.

(1)As from the dateF1 on which this section comes into force a person shall attain full age on attaining the age of eighteen years instead of on attaining the age of twenty-one years; and a person shall attain full age on that date if he has then already attained the age of eighteen years but not the age of twenty-one years.

(2)Subject to subsection (4), subsection (1) applies for the purposes of any rule of law and, in the absence of a definition or of any indication of a contrary intention, for the construction of “full age” , “infant” , “infancy” , “minor” , “minority” and similar expressions in—

(a)any statutory provision, whether passed or made before, on or after the date on which this section comes into force; and

(b)any deed, will or other instrument of whatever nature (not being a statutory provision) made on or after that date.

(3)In the statutory provisions specified in Schedule 1, for any reference to the age of twenty-one years there shall be substituted a reference to the age of eighteen years; but the amendment by this subsection of the provisions specified in Part II of that Schedule shall be without prejudice to any power of amending or revoking those provisions.

(4)This section does not affect the construction of any such expression as is referred to in subsection (2) in any of the statutory provisions described in Schedule 2.

(5)Notwithstanding any rule of law, a will or codicil executed before the date on which this section comes into force shall not be treated for the purposes of this section as made on or after that date by reason only that the will or codicil is confirmed by a codicil executed on or after that date.

(6)The[F2 Department of Finance and Personnel may by order]F2 amend any statutory provision (not being a statutory provision described in Schedule 2), passed on or before the date on which this section comes into force, by substituting for any reference therein to the age of twenty-one years, a reference to the age of eighteen years; but[F2 that Department shall not make any such order unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by resolution of the Assembly.]

F2(7)The transitional provisions and savings contained in Schedule 3 shall have effect in relation to this section.

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F1SRO (NI) 1969/327

F2SI 1999/663

2Provisions relating to wills.N.I.

(1)In the following statutory provisions, that is to say—

Para. (a) rep. by 1994 NI 13

(b)sections 1 and 3(1) of the Wills (Soldiers and Sailors) Act 1918 [1918 c.58] (validity of testamentary dispositions by soldiers etc., under 21);

in their application to wills made after the coming into force of this section, for the words “twenty-one years” there shall be substituted the words “ eighteen years ” .

(2)Any will which—

(a)has been made, whether before or after the coming into force of this section, by a person under the age of eighteen years; and

(b)is valid by virtue of section 11 of the said Act of 1837, and the said Act of 1918,

may be revoked by that person notwithstanding that he is still under the age of eighteen years whether or not the circumstances are then such that he would be entitled to make a valid will under those provisions.

(3)In this section “will” has the same meaning as in the said Act of 1837.

S.3 rep. by 1978 NI 15; 1979 NI 8

4Consent by persons over 16 to surgical, medical and dental treatment.N.I.

(1)The consent of a minor who has attained the age of sixteen years to any surgical, medical or dental treatment which, in the absence of consent, would constitute a trespass to his person, shall be as effective as it would be if he were of full age; and where a minor has by virtue of this section given an effective consent to any treatment it shall not be necessary to obtain any consent for it from his parent or guardian.

(2)In this section “surgical, medical or dental treatment” includes any procedure undertaken for the purposes of diagnosis, and this section applies to any procedure (including, in particular, the administration of an anaesthetic) which is ancillary to any treatment as it applies to that treatment.

(3)Nothing in this section shall be construed as making ineffective any consent which would have been effective if this section had not been enacted.

5Time at which a person attains a particular age.N.I.

(1)The time at which a person attains a particular age expressed in years shall be the commencement of the relevant anniversary of the date of his birth.

(2)This section applies only where the relevant anniversary falls on a date after that on which this section comes into force, and, in relation to any statutory provision, deed, will, or other instrument, has effect subject to any provision therein.

S.6 repeals 1855 c.43; 1860 c.83; s.6(pt.) of 1875 c.90; s.2(3) of 1907 c.18

7Persons under full age may be described as minors.N.I.

A person who is not of full age may be described as a minor instead of as an infant, and accordingly in this Act “minor” means such a person as aforesaid.

8Meaning of “statutory provision” in this Act.N.I.

In this Act, the expression “statutory provision” has the same meaning as in section 1( f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 [1954 c.33] .

9Short title and commencement.N.I.

This Act may be cited as the Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 … Commencement

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