Children Act, 1934

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Number 15 of 1934.


CHILDREN ACT, 1934.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

The Principal Act.

2.

General regulation and control by the Minister.

3.

Amendment of section 1 of the Principal Act.

4.

Amendment of section 2 of the Principal Act.

5.

Amendment of section 3 of the Principal Act.

6.

Amendment of section 4 of the Principal Act.

7.

Amendment of section 5 of the Principal Act.

8.

Amendment of section 11 of the Principal Act.

9.

The local authority.

10.

Reception in emergencies of infants.

11.

Special provision for certain existing cases.

12.

Saving for certain existing insurances.

13.

Prohibition of certain advertisements.

14.

Short title and citation.

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Number 15 of 1934.


CHILDREN ACT, 1934.


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO THE PROTECTION OF INFANT LIFE, AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO AMEND PART I OF THE CHILDREN ACT, 1908. [5th May, 1934.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORST?T EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

The Principal Act.

1.—In this Act the expression “the Principal Act” means the Children Act, 1908.

General regulation and control by the Minister.

2.—Local Authorities (as defined in section 10 of the Principal Act as amended by this Act) shall, in the administration of Part I of the Principal Act and the performance of their functions thereunder, be subject to the general regulation and control of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health and shall, in such administration and in relation to such functions, comply with all such general directions as shall be given to them by the said Minister.

Amendment of section 1 of the Principal Act.

3.—Section 1 of the Principal Act is hereby amended in the following respects and shall be construed and have effect accordingly, that is to say:—

(a) by the insertion in the said section of the following five sub-sections in lieu of sub-sections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) now contained therein, that is to say:—

“(1) Where a person undertakes, for reward or promise of reward, the nursing and maintenance of one or more infants under the age of nine years apart from their parents or having no parents, he shall, at least forty-eight hours before the reception of any such infant, give notice in writing thereof to the local authority.

(2) Where a person undertakes, for reward or promise of reward, the nursing and maintenance of an infant already in his care without reward, the entering into the undertaking shall, for the purposes of this Part of this Act, be treated as a reception of the infant, but in such case the notice required by the next preceding sub-section of this section may be given at any time before or within forty-eight hours after such reception.

(3) The notice shall state the name, sex, and date and place of birth of the infant, the name of the person receiving the infant, and the dwelling within which the infant is about to be or is being kept, and the name and address of the person from whom the infant is about to be or has been received.

(4) If a person who has undertaken the nursing and maintenance of any such infant changes his residence, he shall, at least forty-eight hours before making such change, give to the local authority notice in writing of such change, and where the residence to which he moves is situate in the district of another local authority, he shall give to that local authority the like notice as respects each infant in his care as he is by this section required to give on the first reception of the infant: Provided that, where such change of residence is made suddenly by necessity arising from an unforeseen emergency, the notices required by this sub-section may be given at any time within forty-eight hours after such change of residence.

(5) If any such infant dies or is removed from the care of the person who has undertaken its nursing and maintenance, that person shall, within twenty-four hours after such death or at least forty-eight hours before such removal (as the case may be), give to the local authority notice in writing of such death or removal, and in the latter case also of the name and address of the person to whose care the infant is about to be transferred”;

(b) by the insertion in sub-section (7) thereof of the words “or before the latest time” immediately before the words “specified for giving”;

(c) by the insertion at the end of the said section of the following two additional sub-sections, that is to say:—

“(8) For the purpose of any enactment by which the time for taking proceedings is limited, the offence created by the next preceding sub-section of this section of failing to give a notice shall be deemed to continue so long as the infant in respect of which such notice ought to have been given remains, without such notice being given, in the care of the person by whom such notice ought to have been given.

(9) Where an infant which is illegitimate is kept and maintained in such circumstances that the notices mentioned in this section would be required to be given if such keeping and maintenance were done for reward, such infant shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed, until the contrary is proved, to be so kept and maintained for reward.”

Amendment of section 2 of the Principal Act.

4.—(1) Section 2 of the Principal Act is hereby amended in the following respects and shall be construed and have effect accordingly, that is to say:—

(a) in sub-section (2) of the said section, by the insertion of the words “health and” before the word “proper,” and the deletion of all words after the word “authorisation” in the proviso;

(b) in sub-section (6) of the said section, by the substitution of the word “nine” for the word “seven.”

(2) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to section 2 of the Principal Act, that is to say:—

(a) every appointed under sub-section (2) of section 2 of the Principal Act of a person to be an infant protection visitor shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health;

(b) every person appointed (whether before or after the passing of this Act) under sub-section (2) of section 2 of the Principal Act to be an infant protection visitor may at any time be removed from that position by the local authority with the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health or by the said Minister;

(c) every authorisation under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 2 of the Principal Act of a person to exercise the powers of infant protection visitors shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health;

(d) every authorisation given (whether before or after the passing of this Act) under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 2 of the Principal Act to any person to exercise the powers of infant protection visitors may be withdrawn at any time by the local authority with the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health or by the said Minister;

(e) any officer of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health authorised in that behalf by the said Minister shall have and may exercise the powers of infant protection visitors under Part I of the Principal Act;

(f) every exemption under sub-section (4) of section 2 of the Principal Act of any premises shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health;

(g) any exemption given (whether before or after the passing of this Act) under sub-section (4) of section 2 of the Principal Act may be withdrawn at any time by the local authority with the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health or by the said Minister.

Amendment of Section 3 of the Principal Act.

5.—Every sanction by a local authority under section 3 of the Principal Act shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.

Amendment of section 4 of the Principal Act.

6.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the repeal of section 4 thereof and the insertion therein of the following section in lieu of the section so repealed, that is to say:—

“4. The local authority may fix the number of infants under the age of nine years which may be kept in any dwelling in respect of which a notice has been received under this Part of this Act and may impose such (if any) conditions as they may think proper in regard to the keeping of all or any of such infants in such dwelling, and any person who keeps in such dwelling any infant in excess of the number so fixed or contravenes or fails to comply with any condition so imposed shall be guilty of an offence under this Part of this Act.”

Amendment of section 5 of the Principal Act.

7.—(1) Sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Principal Act is hereby amended in the following respects and the said section shall be construed and have effect accordingly, that is to say:—

(a) by the insertion in the said sub-section of the words “or is about to be” before the word “kept”;

(b) by the deletion of paragraph (b) and the insertion of the following paragraph in lieu of the paragraph so deleted, that is to say:—

“(b) by any person who, by reason of ill-health, age, infirmity, negligence, ignorance, inebriety, immorality, criminal conduct, or other similar cause is incapable of looking after it or unfit to have the care of it; or”.

(2) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to the making of orders under section 5 of the Principal Act by the District Court, that is to say:—

(a) A Justice of the District Court may make any such order at any place in his District;

(b) an application for any such order may, if the Justice is satisfied that the urgency of the matter so requires, be heard and an order made thereon by the Justice elsewhere than at a public sitting of the District Court;

(c) an application for any such order may, on proof to the satisfaction of the Justice of imminent danger to the health or well-being of the infant to whom the application relates, be made, heard, and determined exparte.

Amendment of section 11 of the Principal Act.

8.—Sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the deletion of all words from the words “or to hospitals” to the end of the sub-section, and the substitution of the following words, that is to say, “or to any hospital, convalescent home, or other institution maintained by a Department of State or by any authority established under the law relating to local government, or to any hospital, convalescent home, or institution which obtains a certificate of exemption from the provisions of this Part of this Act granted, with the consent of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, by the local authority.”

The local authority.

9.—Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section 10 of the Principal Act, the local authority for the purposes of Part I of the Principal Act in any area shall be the body entrusted with the administration of the relief of the poor in that area, and all expenses incurred by or on behalf of any such body in or about the execution of the said Part I shall be raised and defrayed in like manner as the expenses incurred by or on behalf of such body in the administration of the relief of the poor are raised and defrayed.

Reception in emergencies of infants.

10.—(1) A local authority administering Part I of the Principal Act in any area may, with the sanction of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health—

(a) approve of such and so many (not exceeding three) persons in such area as suitable persons for the reception, in cases of emergency, of infants under the age of nine years for nursing and maintenance for reward or promise of reward, and

(b) approve, in respect of each such person, of premises as suitable for such reception of such infants.

(2) Where in circumstances which constitute an emergency an infant is received by a person approved under this section for nursing and maintenance for reward or promise of reward in premises approved under this section in respect of such person, the notice of such reception required by the Principal Act as amended by this Act may be given at any time within forty-eight hours after such reception.

Special provision for certain existing cases.

11.—(1) Where—

(a) a person is at the passing of this Act nursing and maintaining an infant of or over the age of seven years and under the age of nine years, and

(b) such infant was of or over the age of seven years when such infant was received by such person for such nursing and maintenance, and

(c) the circumstances are such that, if this Act had been in force at the date of such reception, notice of such reception would have been required to have been given to the local authority under section 1 of the Principal Act as amended by this Act,

such person shall, within one month after the passing of this Act, give to the local authority notice in writing of such nursing and maintenance.

(2) Part I of the Principal Act as amended by this Act shall apply to the notice required by this section in like manner as if such notice were the notice required by sub-section (1) of section 1 of the Principal Act as so amended.

Saving for certain existing insurances.

12.—No insurance or attempt to obtain an insurance, before the passing of this Act, on the life of an infant, nor the issue, before the passing of this Act, of a policy of insurance on the life of an infant shall become or be, by virtue of this Act, an offence under Part I of the Principal Act if such insurance, attempt, or issue (as the case may be) was not an offence under the said Part I before the passing of this Act.

Prohibition of certain advertisements.

13.—(1) No advertisement indicating that a person (whether an individual, or a body corporate or an unincorporated association) will undertake or arrange for the nursing and maintenance of an infant under the age of nine years shall be published unless the name and, in the case of an individual, the residence or, in every other case, the office or place of business of that person are correctly stated in such advertisement.

(2) Every person who knowingly publishes an advertisement in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under Part I of the Principal Act.

Short title and citation.

14.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Children Act, 1934.

(2) The Children Acts, 1908 to 1929, and this Act may be cited together as the Children Acts, 1908 to 1934.