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Children Act 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

25Use of accommodation for restricting liberty

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, a child who is being looked after by a local authority may not be placed, and, if placed, may not be kept, in accommodation provided for the purpose of restricting liberty (“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.

(2)The Secretary of State 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 from time to time to authorise a child to be kept in secure accommodation for such further period as the regulations may specify; and

(c)provide that applications to the court under this section shall be made only by local authorities.

(3)It shall be the duty of a court hearing an application under this section to determine whether any relevant criteria for keeping a child in secure accommodation are satisfied in his case.

(4)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.

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

(6)No court shall exercise the powers conferred by this section 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.

(7)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that—

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

(b)this section 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.

(8)The giving of an authorisation under this section shall not prejudice any power of any court in England and Wales or Scotland to give directions relating to the child to whom the authorisation relates.

(9)This section is subject to section 20(8).

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