Search Legislation

The Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

Changes over time for: The Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

 Help about opening options

Alternative versions:

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the The Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

N.I.

Statutory Instruments

1985 No. 1638 (N.I. 17)

The Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

30th October 1985

Title and commencementN.I.

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

(2) This Order shall come into operation on the expiration of 2 months from the day on which it is made.

InterpretationN.I.

2.—(1) The [1954 c. 33 (N.I.)] Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) For the purposes of this Order—

(a)a person shall be regarded as taking a child if he causes or induces the child to accompany him or any other person or causes the child to be taken;

(b)a person shall be regarded as sending a child if he causes the child to be sent;F1...

(c)a person shall be regarded as detaining a child if he causes the child to be detained or induces the child to remain with him or any other person[F1 and]

[F1F1(d)references to a child's parents and to a child whose parents were (or were not) married to each other at the time of his birth shall be construed in accordance with Article 155 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (which extends their meaning).F1]

F11995 NI 2

Offence of abduction of child by parent, etc.N.I.

3.—(1) Subject to paragraphs[F2 (2A) to (3A)]F2 and (7), a person connected with a child under the age of 16 commits an offence if he takes or sends the child out of the United Kingdom without the appropriate consent.

[F2(2) A person is connected with a child for the purposes of this Article if—

(a)he is a parent of the child; or

(b)in the case of a child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of his birth, there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is the father of the child; or

(c)he is a guardian of the child; or

(d)he is a person in whose favour a residence order is in force with respect to the child; or

(e)he has custody of the child.

(2A) A person does not commit an offence under this Article by taking or sending a child out of the United Kingdom without obtaining the appropriate consent if—

(a)he is a person in whose favour there is a residence order in force with respect to the child, and

(b)he takes or sends him out of the United Kingdom for a period of less than one month.

(2B) Paragraph (2A) does not apply if the person taking or sending the child out of the United Kingdom does so in breach of an order under Part III of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.]

F2(3) A person does not commit an offence under this Article by doing anything without the consent of another person whose consent is required under the foregoing provisions if—

(a)he does it in the belief that the other person—

(i)has consented; or

(ii)would consent if he was aware of all the relevant circumstances; or

(b)he has taken all reasonable steps to communicate with the other person but has been unable to communicate with him; or

(c)the other person has unreasonably refused to consent,

[F2(3A) Paragraph (3)(c) does not apply if—

(a)the person who refused to consent is a person—

(i)in whose favour there is a residence order in force with respect to the child; or

(ii)who has custody of the child; or

(b)the person taking or sending the child out of the United Kingdom is, by so acting, in breach of an order made by a court in the United Kingdom.]

F2(4) Where, in proceedings for an offence under this Article, there is sufficient evidence to raise an issue as to the application of paragraph (3), it shall be for the prosecution to prove that that paragraph does not apply.

[F2(5) In this Article—

“the appropriate consent”, in relation to a child, means—

(a)the consent of each of the following—

(i)the child's mother;

(ii)the child's father, if he has parental responsibility for him;

(iii)any guardian of the child;

(iv)any person in whose favour a residence order is in force with respect to the child;

(v)any person who has custody of the child; or

(b)the leave of the court granted under any provision of Part III of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995; or

(c)if any person has custody of the child, the leave of the court which awarded custody to him;

“guardian of a child”, “residence order” and “parental responsibility” have the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;

and for the purposes of this Article a person shall be treated as having custody of a child if there is in force an order of a court in the United Kingdom awarding him (whether solely or jointly with another person) custody, legal custody or care and control of a child.]

F2(7) This Article shall have effect subject to the provisions of the Schedule in relation to a child who is[F2 in the care of an authority (within the meaning of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995F2]F3... or who is committed to a place of safety or who is the subject of proceedings or an order relating to adoption or who is subject to a[F3 juvenile justice centre]F3 orderF4.

F21995 NI 2

F31998 NI 9

F4prosp. inserted by 2002 c. 26

Offence of abduction of child by other personsN.I.

4.—(1) Subject to[F5 paragraph (3), a person, other than one mentioned in paragraph (2),]F5 commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, he takes or detains a child under the age of 16—

(a)so as to remove him from the lawful control of any person having lawful control of the child; or

(b)so as to keep him out of the lawful control of any person entitled to lawful control of the child.

[F5(2) The persons are—

(a)where the father and mother of the child in question were married to each other at the time of his birth, the child's father and mother;

(b)where the father and mother of the child in question were not married to each other at the time of his birth, the child's mother; and

(c)any other person mentioned in sub-paragraphs (c) to (e) of Article 3(2).

(3) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this Article, it shall be a defence for that person to prove—

(a)where the father and mother of the child in question were not married to each other at the time of his birth—

(i)that he is the child's father; or

(ii)that, at the time of the alleged offence, he believed, on reasonable grounds, that he was the child's father; or

(b)that, at the time of the alleged offence, he believed that the child had attained the age of 16.F5]

F51995 NI 2

Penalties and prosecutionsN.I.

5.—(1) A person guilty of an offence under this Order shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years.

(2) No prosecution for an offence under Article 3 shall be instituted except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

Restriction on prosecutions for offence of kidnappingN.I.

6.  Except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland no prosecution shall be instituted for an offence of kidnapping if it was committed—

(a)against a child under the age of 16; and

(b)by a person connected with the child, within the meaning of Article 3.

Consequential amendments and repealsN.I.

7.—(1) At the end of paragraph 1(b) of the Schedule to the [1952 c. 67] Visiting Forces Act 1952 (definition of “offence against the person”), there shall be inserted, appropriately numbered—

(0)the Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

(2) In Schedule 1 to the [1968 c. 34 (N.I.)] Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968—

(a)for the words “55 or 56” there shall be substituted the words “ or 55 ”; and

(b)at the end there shall be added—

Any offence under the Child Abduction (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

Para. (3) rep. by 2004 NI 3

(4) The following provisions are hereby repealed—

(a)section 56 of the [1861 c. 100] Offences against the Person Act 1861;

Sub‐para. (b) rep. by 2004 NI 3

Article 3(7).

SCHEDULEN.I.MODIFICATIONS OF ARTICLE 3 FOR CHILDREN IN CERTAIN CASES

Children [F6in the care of an authorityF6]F7...N.I.

F61995 NI 2

F71998 NI 9

1.—(1) This paragraph applies in the case of a child who is[F8 in the care of an authority (within the meaning of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995)F8]F9...N.I.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, Article 3 shall have effect as if—

(a)the reference in paragraph (1) to the appropriate consent were a reference to the consent of the[F8 authorityF8]F9...; and

(b)paragraphs[F8 (2A) to (4)]F8 and the definition of “the appropriate consent” in paragraph (5) were omitted.

F81995 NI 2

F91998 NI 9

Para. 2 rep. by 1998 NI 9

AdoptionN.I.

3.—(1) This paragraph applies in the case of a child—N.I.

[F10(a)who is the subject of an order under Article 17 or 18 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 freeing him for adoption; or

(aa)who is the subject of a pending application for such an order; or

(aaa)who is the subject of a pending application for an adoption order; or]

F10(b)who is the subject of an order under[F10 Article 57 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 or]F10 section 38 of the Adoption Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 relating to adoption abroad or of a pending application for such an order.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, Article 3 shall have effect as if—

(a)the reference in paragraph (1) to the appropriate consent were a reference—

[F10(i)in a case within sub‐paragraph (1)(a), to the consent of the adoption agency which made the application for the order or, if the[F11 order has been varied under Article 21 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 so as to give parental responsibility to another agency]F11 to the consent of that other agency;

(ia)in a case within sub‐paragraph (1)(aa) or (aaa), to the leave of the court to which the application was made; and]

F10(ii)in a case within sub-paragraph (1)(b), to the leave of the court which made the order or, as the case may be, to which the application was made, and

(b)paragraphs[F11 (2A) to (4)]F11 and the definition of “the appropriate consent” in paragraph (5) were omitted.

[F10(3) In this paragraph—

(a)“adoption agency” has the same meaning as in Article 3 of the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987; and

(b)“adoption order” means an order under Article 12(1) of that Order.F10]

F101987 NI 22

F111995 NI 2

Children subject to training school ordersN.I.

4.—(1) This paragraph applies in the case of a child who is subject to a[F12 juvenile justice centre]F12 orderF13, except where he is lawfully living with his parents or either of them.N.I.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, Article 3 shall have effect as if—

(a)the reference in paragraph (1) to the appropriate consent were a reference to the consent ofF13 the managers of the[F12 juvenile justice centreF12]F13; and

(b)paragraphs[F14 (2A) to (4)]F14 and the definition of “the appropriate consent” in paragraph (5) were omitted.

[F12(3) In this paragraph, “juvenile justice centre order” has the same meaning as in Article 39 of the Criminal Justice (Children) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998F13.F12]

F121998 NI 9

F13prosp. inserted by 2002 c. 26

F141995 NI 2

Cases within paragraphs 1 and 3N.I.

5.  In the case of a child falling within both paragraph 1 and paragraph 3, the provisions of paragraph 3 shall apply to the exclusion of those in paragraph 1.N.I.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources