Children Act, 2001

Persons entitled to attend conference.

32.—(1) The following persons shall be entitled to attend a conference:

(a) the child in respect of whom the conference is being held,

(b) the parents or guardian of the child and members of the child's family or relatives of the child, if the facilitator is of opinion that they or any one of them would make a positive contribution to it.

(2) A conference shall not be held unless at least one person invited by virtue of subsection (1)(b) is in attendance.

(3) The facilitator shall invite any other persons who in his or her opinion would make a positive contribution to the conference, including one or more representatives from any of the following bodies:

(a) the health board for the area in which the child normally resides,

(b) the probation and welfare service,

(c) the school attended by the child,

(d) the school attendance service,

(e) the Garda Síochána.

(4) The facilitator shall also invite to the conference any victim of the child's criminal behaviour and any relatives or friends of the victim whom the victim requests to have in attendance, unless the facilitator is of opinion that their attendance would not be in the best interests of the conference.

(5) The facilitator may invite to the conference any other person requested by the child or the child's family who in the facilitator's opinion would be of benefit to the conference and, with the agreement of the persons attending the conference and the Director, any person engaged in carrying out research on or evaluation of conferences or their equivalent inside or outside the State.

(6) If, in the course of a conference, the facilitator is of opinion that the continued presence of any person is not in the best interests of the conference or the child, the facilitator may exclude that person from further participation in the conference.

(7) A person shall not disclose confidential information obtained by him or her while participating (or as a result of having participated) as a member of a conference.

(8) A person who contravenes subsection (7) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500.

(9) In this section “confidential” means that which is expressed to be confidential either as regards particular information or information of a particular class or description.