Children Act 2001

Binding over of parent or guardian.


114.—(1) Where a court is satisfied of the guilt of a child it may—

(a) order the parent or guardian, with his or her consent, to enter into a recognisance to exercise proper and adequate control over the child, and

(b) if the parent or guardian refuses to consent to such an order and the court considers the refusal unreasonable, treat the refusal for all purposes as if it were a contempt of court.

(2) An order under subsection (1)(a) may not require a parent or guardian to enter into a recognisance—

(a) for an amount exceeding £250,

(b) where the child concerned will attain the age of 18 years within a period which is less than 3 years, for a period exceeding that period, or

(c) in any other case, for a period exceeding 3 years.

(3) Any rule of law relating to the forfeiture of recognisances shall apply to an order made under this section in relation to a recognisance entered into in pursuance of such an order as it applies to a recognisance to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour or both.

(4) A recognisance entered into by a parent or guardian in accordance with this section may be forfeited only if—

(a) the child concerned is found guilty by a court of another offence committed during the period of the recognisance, and

(b) the court is satisfied that the failure of the parent or guardian to exercise proper and adequate control over the child contributed to his or her committing that offence.

(5) In fixing the amount of a recognisance under this section, the court, among other considerations, shall have regard to the present and future means of the parent or guardian concerned in so far as they appear or are known to the court and for that purpose may require the parent or guardian to give evidence as to those means and his or her financial commitments.

(6) The parent or guardian may appeal against an order under this section.

(7) The court may vary or revoke an order made by it under this section if, on the application of the parent or guardian concerned, it appears to the court, having regard to any change in circumstances since the order was made, to be in the interests of justice to do so.

(8) An order under this section shall be in addition to or instead of any other order which the court may make.

(9) No order shall be made under this section without giving the parent or guardian an opportunity of being heard.

(10) When deciding whether to make an order under this section, the court, in addition to and without prejudice to any other consideration, shall have regard to the age and level of maturity of the child.

(11) This section does not apply in relation to any person who is taking care of a child on behalf of F115[the F116[Child and Family Agency]].




Substituted (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (42/2004), s. 75 and sch. 7 part 11 item 15, S.I. No. 887 of 2004.


Substituted (1.01.2014) by Child and Family Agency Act 2013 (40/2013), s. 97 and sch. 2 part 14 item 1, S.I. No. 502 of 2013.