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Functions of the Commissioner

Investigation of complaints against relevant authorities

12.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and Article 13, the Commissioner may conduct an investigation into a complaint made by a child or young person—

(a)that his rights have been infringed by any action taken by a relevant authority; or

(b)that his interests have been adversely affected by any such action.

(2) The Commissioner shall not exercise his power under paragraph (1) in relation to a complaint unless he is satisfied that—

(a)the complaint raises a question of principle; and

(b)the complaint does not fall within an existing statutory complaints system.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2), a complaint falls within an existing statutory complaints system if a statutory provision confers power on a person to make the complaint to a body or person and—

(a)that body or person has power under a statutory provision to investigate the complaint; or

(b)that body or person would have power under a statutory provision to investigate the complaint but for some exclusion or restriction in that statutory provision.

(4) Where the Commissioner decides not to conduct an investigation into a complaint made under paragraph (1), he shall prepare a statement of his reasons for that decision and shall send a copy of the statement to—

(a)the complainant; and

(b)such other persons (if any) as the Commissioner considers appropriate.