Interpretation of this Act

25.—(1) In this Act—

“child” means a person under the age of 18;

“country” includes territory or other part of the world;

“the Department” means the Department of Justice;

“the Human Rights Convention” means the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms agreed by the Council of Europe at Rome on 4th November 1950;

“public authority” means any public authority within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (other than a court or tribunal) which exercises functions wholly or mainly in Northern Ireland;

“UK national” means—


a British citizen;


a person who is a British subject by virtue of Part 4 of the British Nationality Act 1981 and who has a right of abode in the United Kingdom; or


a person who is a British overseas territories citizen by virtue of a connection with Gibraltar;

“vulnerable adult” means a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, addiction to alcohol or drugs or for any other reason.

(2) For the purposes of this Act—

(a)a person is in a position of trust in relation to another person in the circumstances mentioned in Article 28 of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008;

(b)a person is a member of another person’s family if the relation of that person to the other person is within Article 34 of that Order.

(3) For the purposes of the exercise of any function under this Act relating to a child, if—

(a)the age of a person (“P”) is uncertain; and

(b)the person exercising the function has reason to believe that P is a child,

P is to be treated as a child.