Search Legislation

Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969

 Help about what version

What Version

  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As enacted)
 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

More Resources

Changes over time for: Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 (without Schedules)

 Help about opening options

Alternative versions:

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Age of Majority Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. Help about Changes to Legislation


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.

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.

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

Back to top


Print Options


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.


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.


Opening Options

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


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

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.