Children Act 2001

Power to take deposition of child.


255.—(1) Without prejudice to section 4F of the Act of 1967, where a judge of the District Court is satisfied on the evidence of a registered medical practitioner that the attendance before a court of any child, in respect of whom an offence under this Part, or any offence mentioned in Schedule 1, is alleged to have been committed, would involve serious danger to the safety, health or wellbeing of the child, the judge may take the evidence either—

(a) by way of sworn deposition, or

(b) in case the evidence is to be given through a live television link pursuant to Part III of the Criminal Evidence Act, 1992, or section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1999, through such a link.

(2) The rules mentioned in section 4F(3) of the Act of 1967 shall apply and have effect in relation to the taking of evidence under subsection (1).

(3) A deposition taken under subsection (1) or a videorecording of evidence given by a child under paragraph (b) of that subsection shall be deemed to have been taken under section 4F of the said Act of 1967, and section 4G (admissibility of deposition or videorecording) shall apply and have effect accordingly.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, in any criminal proceedings for an offence under this Part or any offence mentioned in Schedule 1, the evidence of a child under 14 years of age may be taken or received otherwise than on oath or affirmation if the court is satisfied that the child is capable of giving an intelligible account of events which are relevant to those proceedings.

(5) If any child whose evidence is taken as aforesaid makes a statement material in the proceedings concerned which he or she knows to be false or does not believe to be true, the child shall be guilty of an offence and on being found guilty shall be liable to be dealt with as if he or she had been guilty of perjury.


Modifications (not altering text):


Reference to perjury construed (28.07.2021) by Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021 (13/2021), s. 4 and sch. 2 item 46, S.I. No. 378 of 2021.

References to perjury or subornation of perjury

4. ...

(2) A reference in an enactment specified in Schedule 2 to perjury or to subornation of perjury, howsoever described, in relation to an act committed on or after the coming into operation of this subsection, shall be construed as a reference to perjury or to subornation of perjury, as the case may be, within the meaning of this Act.

Schedule 2


46. Children Act 2001, section 255(5)