Children Act 2001

Protection of identity of children


51.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), no report shall be published or included in a broadcast—

(a) in relation to the admission of a child to the Programme or the proceedings at any conference relating to the child, including the contents of any action plan for the child and of the report of the conference, or

(b) which reveals the name, address or school of the child or any other information, including any picture, which is likely to lead to identification of the child.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the publication or broadcast of—

(a) statistical information relating to the Programme, and

(b) the results of any bona fide research relating to it.

(3) If any matter is published or broadcast in contravention of subsection (1), each of the following persons, namely—

(a) in the case of publication of the matter in a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, any editor and any publisher of the newspaper or periodical,

(b) in the case of any other such publication, the person who publishes it, and

(c) in the case of any such broadcast, any body corporate which transmits or provides the programme in which the broadcast is made and any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.

(4) (a)  Where an offence under subsection (3)

(i) has been committed by a body corporate, and

(ii) is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,

he or she as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of the offence and be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(b)  Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, paragraph (a) shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his or her functions of management as if he or she were a director of the body corporate.

(5) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (3), it shall be a defence to prove that at the time of the alleged offence the person was not aware, and neither suspected nor had reason to suspect, that the publication or broadcast in question was of a matter referred to in subsection (1).

(6) In this section—

“broadcast” means the transmission, relaying or distribution by wireless telegraphy of communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals, intended for direct reception by the general public whether such communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals are actually received or not;

“publish” means publish to the public or a section of the public, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.


Editorial Notes:


A fine of £1,500 converted (1.01.1999) to €1,904.61. This translates into a Class C fine not greater than €2,500 as provided (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 6(2) and table ref. no. 1, S.I. No. 662 of 2010.

A fine of £10,000 converted (1.01.1999) to €12,697.38.