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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 30: Restriction on detention of children for default in paying fines etc.

This Section amends the Criminal Justice (Children) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 by inserting new Article 46C.

New Article 46C provides that a child shall not be detained in custody for fine default unless that child is already in custody or has been ordered to be detained in custody for a period which has not yet begun (new Article 46C(1)). The child in those circumstances may be ordered to be detained for a period which is concurrent with the first period and which must not last longer than that first period (new Article 46C(2) and (3)).

The Section also insets new Articles 37(1A) and (1B) into the 1998 Order to ensure that an attendance centre order may still be made (in spite of new Article 46C), where the child has defaulted on payment and is not in custody or prison, or been ordered to a period of custody yet to begin (Section 30(2)).

This Section also repeals Article 48 of the 1998 Order, which had allowed for committal of children in default (Section 30(4)).

The Section amends section 35 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 (Section 30(5)), section 5(3) of the Treatment of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Act 1968 (Section 30(6)) and Articles 56, 91 and 92 of the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (Sections 30(7)-(9)) in order to cross refer to new Article 46C of the Criminal Justice (Children) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998. It amends Article 93 of the 1981 Order in order to dis-apply it to children (Section 30(10)) and repeals Article 94 of that Order (Section 30(11)).

In terms of transitional arrangements, this Section will operate for those who have already been convicted (as well as for those who have yet to be prosecuted and convicted) (Section 30(12)).

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