Children Act 2001
Clearing of court in certain cases.
257.—(1) Where in any proceedings for an offence a person who, in the opinion of the court, is a child is called as a witness, the court may exclude from the court during the taking of his or her evidence all persons except officers of the court, persons directly concerned in the proceedings, bona fide representatives of the Press and such other persons (if any) as the court may in its discretion permit to remain.
(2) The powers of a court under this section shall be in addition and without prejudice to any other power of the court to hear proceedings in camera or to exclude a witness until his or her evidence is required or to Part III (which relates to evidence through a television link in certain proceedings) of the Act of 1992.
(3) The said Part III and section 22 (which relates to compellability of spouses to give evidence at instance of prosecution in certain cases) of the Act of 1992 are hereby amended by the deletion of “17 years” wherever it occurs and the substitution of “18 years”.
(4) In this section “the Act of 1992” means the Criminal Evidence Act, 1992.