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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Secure accommodation

44.—(1) In this Article “secure accommodation” means accommodation provided for the purpose of restricting liberty.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) to (10), a child who is being looked after by an authority may not be placed, and, if placed, may not be kept, in secure accommodation unless it appears—

(a)that—

(i)he has a history of absconding and is likely to abscond from any other description of accommodation; and

(ii)if he absconds, he is likely to suffer significant harm; or

(b)that if he is kept in any other description of accommodation he is likely to injure himself or other persons.

(3) The Department may by regulations—

(a)specify a maximum period—

(i)beyond which a child may not be kept in secure accommodation without the authority of the court; and

(ii)for which the court may authorise a child to be kept in secure accommodation;

(b)empower the court to authorise a child to be kept in secure accommodation for such further period as the regulations may specify; and

(c)provide that an application to the court under this Article shall be made only by an authority.

(4) A court hearing an application under this Article shall determine whether any relevant criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are satisfied in his case.

(5) If a court determines that any such criteria are satisfied, it shall make an order authorising the child to be kept in secure accommodation and specifying the maximum period for which he may be so kept.

(6) On any adjournment of the hearing of an application under this Article, a court may make an interim order permitting the child to be kept during the period of the adjournment in secure accommodation.

(7) No court shall exercise the powers conferred by this Article in respect of a child who is not legally represented in that court unless, having been informed of his right to apply for legal aid and having had the opportunity to do so, he refused or failed to apply.

(8) The Department may by regulations provide that—

(a)this Article shall or shall not apply to any description of children specified in the regulations;

(b)this Article shall have effect in relation to children of a description specified in the regulations subject to such modifications as may be so specified;

(c)such other provisions as may be so specified shall have effect for the purpose of determining whether a child of a description specified in the regulations may be placed or kept in secure accommodation.

(9) The giving of an authorisation under this Article shall not prejudice any power of any court to give directions relating to the child to whom the authorisation relates.

(10) This Article is subject to Article 22(2) (power of person with parental responsibility to remove child from accommodation provided by or on behalf of an authority).

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