International Protection Act 2015

24.

Examination to determine age of unaccompanied person

24.      (1) The Minister, or an international protection officer, where he or she, with reasonable cause, considers it necessary to do so for the purposes of determining whether an applicant referred to in section 15(4) has not attained the age of 18 years, may, subject to this section, arrange for the use of an examination to determine the age of the applicant.

(2) An examination under subsection (1) shall be—

(a) performed with full respect for the applicant’s dignity,

(b) consistent with the need to achieve a reliable result, the least invasive examination possible, and

(c) where the examination is a medical examination, carried out by a registered medical practitioner or such other suitably qualified medical professional as may be prescribed.

(3) An examination under subsection (1) shall not be carried out without the consent of—

(a) the applicant concerned, or

(b) one of the following:

(i) an adult who is taking responsibility for the care and protection of the applicant; or

(ii) an employee or other person appointed by the Child and Family Agency under section 15(4) .

(4) The Minister or international protection officer, as the case may be, shall ensure that an applicant referred to in section 15(4) is informed, prior to the international protection officer’s examination of the application, in a language which the applicant may reasonably be supposed to understand, of—

(a) the possibility that the age of the applicant may be determined by examination under subsection (1),

(b) the method or methods to be used in the examination under subsection (1),

(c) the possible consequences of the result of the examination under subsection (1) for the examination by the international protection officer of the application, and

(d) the consequences of refusal on the part of the applicant to undergo the examination.

(5) The consequences referred to in subsection (4)(d) are that the Minister or international protection officer may proceed to determine, for the purposes of this Act and in the absence of an examination under subsection (1), whether the applicant has not attained the age of 18 years.

(6) The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in the application of this section.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (1), the Minister or international protection officer shall be considered to have reasonable cause where he or she considers that, on the basis of general statements or other relevant indications, there are reasons to have doubts in relation to the age of the applicant concerned.