Child Protection Act


Published: 2009-10-01

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Child Protection
CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 132

CHILD PROTECTION

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 103 LRO 1/2010


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

PART I - RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
3. Guiding principle.
4. General rights of child.
5. Child's right to stay with parents and to have education.
6. Parental responsibility.
7. Harmful employment.
8. Children with disabilities.
9. Social inquiry reports.

PART II - LEGAL CAPACITY AND GUARDIANSHIP OF
CHILDREN

10. Interpretation of words used in this Part.
11. Testamentary capacity of married child.
12. Child executors and administrators.
13. Legal proceedings as regards contracts with children.
14. Access and rights of parent as guardian of child.
15. Power of father and mother to appoint testamentary guardians.
16. Powers of child's parents.
17. Application to court for leave if joint guardians disagree.
18. Powers of guardians.
19. Power of court to remove or substitute guardian.
20. Guardianship in case of divorce or judicial separation.

PART III - CUSTODY
21. Guardianship and custody of a child born to a single woman.
22. Court may make order as to custody.
23. Effect of separation deed between parents.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

24. Garnishing.
25. Power of court as to production of child.
26. Power of court to order repayment of cost of bringing up child.
27. Court in making order to have regard to conduct of parent.
28. Power of court as to child's upbringing.
29. Principle on which questions relating to custody, upbringing,

etc., of children are to be decided.
30. Duty of Department to safeguard children.
31. Duty to investigate infringements of child's rights.
32. Saving.

PART IV - FAMILY MAINTENANCE, MAINTENANCE
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY

AS BETWEEN THEMSELVES
33. Duty of man to maintain children.
34. Duty of woman to maintain children.
35. Application by person who may be abroad.
36. Burden of proof as to ability of child to maintain himself.

PART V - PROCEEDINGS TO ENFORCE RIGHT TO
MAINTENANCE

37. Mode of compelling performance of duties imposed by this
Act.

38. Refusal of order in case more suitable for Supreme Court.
39. Proceedings on hearing of complaint.
40. Limitation of time for operation of order of maintenance.
41. Cancellation and variation of order.
42. Application for declaration of parentage.
43. Satisfying obligation under order.
44. Liability of spouse to pay for other spouse's maintenance in

mental hospital, etc.

MAINTENANCE OF PERSONS IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
45. Orders in respect of persons in mental hospitals, etc.
46. Proceedings for orders under section 45.
47. Enforcement of order
48. Appeals as regard maintenance orders.

COLLECTION OF MONEY PAYABLE UNDER
MAINTENANCE ORDERS

49. Collection officer.
50. Power to order payments to be made through collection officer.
51. Processing by collecting officer of payment.
52. Limitation period not to apply and notice of change of address.
53. Matters for magistrate's consideration.
54. Enforcement of order.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

55. Committal for non-payment.
56. Duration of order for benefit of child.
57. Continuance of payment in certain cases.
58. Variation or revocation of maintenance orders.
59. Power to remit arrears.
60. Appointment of custodian.
61. Misapplying maintenance money.

PART VI - CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
SUPERVISION ORDERS

62. Cruelty to children.
63. Mandatory reporting of child abuse.
64. Supervision and care orders.
65. Social inquiry reports.
66. Grounds for making a supervision or care order.
67. Application for a supervision order.
68. Duties of a supervisor under a supervision order.
69. Duration and enforcement of a supervision order.
70. Requirements as to change of address and visits.
71. Care order and its enforcement.
72. Purpose of a care order.
73. Duration of a care order.
74. Parental responsibility vested in residential home or in foster

parent.
75. Special duties of the social services officer in relation care

orders.
76. Interim supervision order and interim care order.
77. Exclusion order.
78. Enforcement of exclusion order.
79. Search and production order.
80. Duty of social services officer to investigate and act.
81. Responsibility of police officer.
82. Determination of whether child being ill-treated, etc.
83. Offence to remove a child from a place of safety without

authority.
84. Persons who may apply for discharge or variation of

supervision or care order.
85. Requirements to disclose information.
86. Medical examination of child.

FOSTER-CARE PLACEMENTS
87. Conditions for foster-care placements.

PART VII - APPROVED CHILDREN HOMES
88. Purposes of approved children homes.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

89. Responsibility of staff of home.
90. Removal of child from approved children home.
91. Recovery order.
92. Application for a recovery order.
93. Escape from approved children home.
94. Court's power to order or guardian to contribute.
95. Regulations for giving effect to this Part.

PART VIII - ESTABLISHMENT, FUNCTIONS AND
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL

COMMITTEE FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
96. Establishment of the national Committee for families and

children.
97. Functions and terms of reference of the Committee.
98. Oversight powers of the Ministry.

PART IX - PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING CHILDREN
99. Attendance of child at hearing.
100. Evidence given by, or with respect to children.
101. Evidence by video recorded deposition where child unfit to

attend court.
102. Evidence of child of tender years.
103. Disease testing of convicted offender.
104. Disposal of case by order of court.

PART X - REPRESENTATION AND MONITORING OF
CHILDREN CHILDREN'S REGISTRY

105. Representation by Minors Advocate.
106. Establishment of Children's Register.
107. Duty to report to Children's Registry.
108. Assessment and investigation of reports to registry.

PART XI - CHILDREN DETAINED OR BROUGHT
BEFORE A COURT

109. Age of criminal responsibility.
110. Determination of age.
111. Separation of children from adults.
112. Bail or detention of child.
113. Remand or committal to juvenile remand centre.
114. Attendance at court of parent of child charged with an offence,

etc.
115. Notice to appropriate officers of charges against child.

PART XII - JUVENILE COURTS
116. Juvenile courts.
117. Jurisdiction and powers of juvenile courts.

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118. Decision of majority of juvenile court to prevail.
119. Immunities of members of juvenile courts.
120. Procedure in juvenile courts prior to hearing.
121. Plea.
122. Procedure at hearing.
123. Sittings of juvenile courts.
124. Court other than juvenile court to have powers of juvenile

court.
125. Methods of dealing with child offenders.
126. Restriction on punishment.
127. Detention of children and young persons for certain crimes.
128. Child victim.
129. Enforcement of recognizance.
130. Special provisions relating to probation.
131. Provisions relating to committal to child correctional centre.
132. Representation by counsel.9
133. Signification of judgments, orders and process.

PART XIII - PLACES OF DETENTION
134. Application.
135. Minister may declare places or premises to be places of

detention.
136. Age limits.
137. Form of detention order.
138. Visitors.
139. Absconding and failure to comply with licence or recall.
140. Inquest on death of detained child.
141. Detention outside juvenile correction. centre.
142. Provisions regarding places of detention.
143. Expenses.
144. Power to discharge or vary order.
145. Permission for resident to engage in extramural employment.
146. Permission for resident to visit home or be absent from centre

or place of detention in certain circumstances.
147. Offence in publication of particulars of child.
148. Persons liable for publication contrary to section 147.

PART XIV - MISCELLANEOUS
149. Appeals.
150. Rules of court.
151. Determination of parentage issue.
152. Regulations.
153. Avoidance of doubt.
154. Transitional.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

155. Co-operation of law enforcement authority

FIRST SCHEDULE
SUPERVISION ORDERS (Section 70)
SECOND SCHEDULE
THIRD SCHEDULE

FOSTER-CARE PLACEMENT RULES
FOURTH SCHEDULE (Section 105)
CONSTITUTION AND FUNCTIONS OF OFFICE OF

MINORS ADVOCATE
FIFTH SCHEDULE (Section 110)
SIXTH SCHEDULE (Section 137)
DETENTION ORDER


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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 132

CHILD PROTECTION

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE AND
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND FOR RELATED
AND CONSEQUENTIAL MATTERS

[Assent – 16th January 2007]
[Commencement – 1st October 2009]

PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Child Protection Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

"adult correctional centre" means a place referred
to in section 3 of the Prisons Act;

"approved children home" means a Government or
non-government home approved by the
Minister under the Residential Care
Establishment Act;

"authorised person" means an official or other
person authorised in writing by the Minister to
perform duties or to discharge responsibilities
under this Act;

"care order" means a care order made under section
62 or 69 or 130 and includes an interim care
order;

"child" means, unless provided otherwise in this
Act a person below the age of eighteen years;

"competent authority" means an official or body or
other person authorised expressly or impliedly
by this Act or any other enactment to perform
the function in question;

"correctional order" means an order made by a
court sending a child to a juvenile correction
centre;

"court" means the Supreme Court, a magistrate's
court or a juvenile court;

1 of 2007

S.I. 93/2009.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 208.

Ch. 235A.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

"Department" means the Department of Social
Services/Rehabilitative and Welfare Services;

"exclusion order" means an exclusion order made
under section 75 or 128;

"foster-care placement" means the placement of a
child by order of the court with a person who
is not his parent and who is willing to
undertake the care and maintenance of the
child;

"foster-parent" means a person not being the
biological mother or father of the child who
assumes responsibility for the child by way of
a care order;

"guardian" means a person having parental
responsibility for a child;

"juvenile correction centre" means any place
declared to be an industrial school or
appointed as a place of detention for children
under any law in force before the coming into
operation of the Act or hereafter so declared
by order of the Minister;

"maintenance order" includes any order made by a
court for the maintenance of a child whether
born within or outside of wedlock and any
order for the maintenance of a spouse pursuant
to section 44;

"Minister" means the Minister for the time being
responsible for social services;

"parent" means the biological mother or father or
adoptive mother or father of a child and
includes any person liable by law to maintain a
child or entitled to his custody;

"parental responsibility" means all duties,
responsibilities and authority which by law a
parent of a child has in relation to the child and
his property;

"single woman" includes a married woman who has
become a single woman by reason of
widowhood or otherwise;

"social services officer" means an officer of the
Department;

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

"supervision order" means a supervision order
made under section 62 or 128 and includes an
interim supervision order;

"treatment centre" means any institution or unit
thereof under the management of the Public
Hospitals Authority in which the psychiatric
assessment, evaluation and treatment of
persons is conducted.

PART I - RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

3. (1) Whenever a determination has to be made with
respect to —

(a) the upbringing of a child; or
(b) the administration of a child's property or the

application of any income arising from it,

the child's welfare shall be the paramount consideration.
(2) In all matters relating to a child, whether

before a court of law or before any other person, regard
shall be had to the guiding principle mentioned in
subsection (1) and that any delay in determining the
question is likely to be prejudicial to the welfare of the
child.

(3) In determining any question relating to
circumstances set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) of
subsection (1), the court or any other person shall have
regard in particular to —

(a) the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the
child concerned considered in the light of his
or her age and understanding;

(b) the child's physical, emotional and educational
needs;

(c) the likely effects of any changes in the child's
circumstances;

(d) the child's age, sex, background and any other
circumstances relevant in the matter;

(e) any harm that the child has suffered or is at the
risk of suffering;

(f) where relevant, the capacity of the child's
parents, guardians or other persons involved in

Guiding
principle.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

the care of the child in meeting his or her
needs.

4. A child shall have the right —
(a) of leisure which is not normally harmful, and

the right to participate in sports and positive
cultural and artistic activities;

(b) to a just call on any social amenities or other
resources available in any situation of armed
conflict or natural or man-made disasters;

(c) to exercise, in addition to all the rights stated
in this Act, all the rights set out in the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(the Convention) subject to any reservations
that apply to The Bahamas and with
appropriate modifications to suit the
circumstances that exist in The Bahamas with
due regard to its laws.

5. (1) A child is entitled to live with his parents or
guardian save as provided by this or any other Act.

(2) It shall be the duty of any person having the
charge, care or custody of a child to use his best efforts —

(a) to protect the child from discrimination,
violence, abuse and neglect;

(b) to ensure that the child is enrolled at, and
attends school.

6. (1) Every parent shall have parental responsibility
for his or her child but a court may, if it deems just,
disregard any right arising therefrom unless that parent has
addressed the criteria referred to in section 14(2).

(2) Where the parents of a child are deceased,
parental responsibility may, pursuant to an application to
the Supreme Court, and having regard to any
recommendation of a social services officer, be passed on
to relatives of either parent or to any person designated by
the court.

(3) Parental responsibility includes the rights,
powers and duties which a guardian of the child's estate
(appointed to act generally) would have had in relation to
the child and his property.

(4) The rights referred to in subsection (3) include,
in particular, the right of the guardian to receive or recover

General rights of
child.

Child's right to
stay with parents
and to have
education.

Parental
responsibility.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

as trustee, for the benefit of the child, property of whatever
description and wherever situate which the child is entitled
to receive or recover.

(5) The fact that a person has, or does not have,
parental responsibility for a child shall not affect —

(a) any obligation which he may have in relation
to the child (such as a statutory duty to
maintain the child); or

(b) any rights which, in the event of the child's
death, he (or any other person) may have in
relation to the child's property.

(6) Where more than one person has parental
responsibility for a child, each of them may act alone and
without the other (or others) in meeting that responsibility;
but nothing shall be taken as affecting the operation of any
enactment requiring the consent of more than one person in
a matter affecting the child or the need to have meaningful
consultation between them where the result of the decision
of one would impact upon the financial obligation of the
other.

(7) A person who —
(a) does not have parental responsibility for a

particular child; but
(b) has care of the child;

may, subject to the provisions of this Act, do what is
reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the
purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare.

7. (1) No child shall be employed or engaged in any
activity that may be detrimental to his health, education, or
mental, physical or moral development.

(2) No child under the age of sixteen shall be
employed, save as is provided by subsection (3).

(3) Subject to subsection (1) a child under the age
of sixteen may be employed —

(a) by the child's parents or guardian in light
domestic, agricultural or horticultural work;

(b) in any occupation in which his employment is
sanctioned by any other law or prescribed
under this Act:

Harmful
employment.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

Provided that no child under the age of sixteen
shall be employed in night work or in an industrial
undertaking.

(4) Reference to night work is a reference to —
(a) the period commencing from 8:00 p.m. on any

school day;
(b) the period commencing from 9:00 p.m. on any

non-school day.

8. (1) The parents of children with disabilities shall
take appropriate steps to see that those children are —

(a) assessed as early as possible as to the extent
and nature of their disabilities; and

(b) offered appropriate treatment.

(2) The Minister responsible for education shall
take appropriate steps to ensure that children with
disabilities are afforded equal opportunities to education.

9. (1) A court considering any question with respect
to a child under this Act may ask the Department to
arrange for a social services officer or such other person as
the court considers appropriate, to report to the court on
such matters relating to the welfare of that child as are
required to be dealt with in the report.

(2) The report may be made in writing, or orally,
as the court requires.

(3) If the report referred to in this section is in
writing, a copy of such report shall be made available to
the child having regard to his age and maturity and to his
legal representative.

(4) It shall be the duty of the Department or, as the
case may be, any other person with whom arrangements
have been made to furnish a report under subsection (1), to
comply with any requests for a report under this section.

(5) Nothing in this section shall authorise the
disclosure to a child information which the court has
determined on the recommendation of the preparer of the
report or a social services officer to be of such a private
and confidential nature pertaining to a parent or has the
potential of causing mental trauma to the child.

Children with
disabilities.

Social inquiry
reports.

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PART II - LEGAL CAPACITY AND
GUARDIANSHIP OF CHILDREN

10. In this Part, unless the context otherwise
requires —

"court" means the Supreme Court;
"maintenance" includes education;
"person" includes any local authority, school or

institution.
11. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained

in any law relating to the wills of children, a married child
may make a will relating to his property, real and personal,
and of every kind whatever.

12. (1) A child may be appointed as an executor or a
trustee but shall be incapable of exercising the office until
he has attained the age of eighteen years.

(2) Letters of administration under any law
relating to the administration of the estates of deceased
persons shall not be granted to anyone before he has
attained the age of eighteen years.

13. (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary a
child has the right to and may pursue in the same manner
as if he were of full age legal proceedings to recover any
sum of money which may be due to him for salary, wages
or piece work.

(2) All contracts, whether by speciality or by
simple contract, henceforth entered into by children for the
repayment of money lent, or to be lent, or for goods
supplied or to be supplied (other than contracts for
necessaries), and all accounts stated with children shall be
absolutely void:

Provided that this subsection shall not
invalidate any contract into which a child may by an
existing or future law or by the rules of common law or
equity enter, except such as now by law are voidable.

(3) No action shall be brought whereby to charge
any person upon any promise made after full age to pay
any debt contracted during childhood, or upon any
ratification made after full age of any promise or contract
made during childhood, whether there shall or shall not be
any new consideration for such promise or ratification after
full age.

Interpretation of
words used in
this Part.

Testamentary
capacity of
married child.

Child executors
and
administrators.

Legal
proceedings as
regards contracts
with children.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

14. (1) The mother and father of a child, subject to
sections 16, 19 and 21 and any order of the court, each
shall be guardian of and subject to subsection (2) each shall
have a right of access to the child.

(2) A Court shall when considering the issue of
custody or access have regard to the past contribution of
the parent to the care, maintenance and upbringing of the
child.

(3) On the death of one parent, the surviving
parent, if any, shall, subject to this Act, be guardian of the
child:

Provided that if the parents were separated,
and the deceased parent had custody of the child, the
surviving parent may be guardian of the child either alone
or jointly with any guardian appointed by the deceased
parent, and

(a) where no guardian has been appointed by the
deceased parent; or

(b) in the event of the death or refusal to act of the
guardian or guardians appointed by the
deceased parent,

the court may, if it thinks fit, appoint a guardian to act
jointly with the surviving parent.

15. (1) The father or mother of a child may by deed or
will appoint any person to be guardian of the child after his
or her death, provided that the father of a child born out of
wedlock may only appoint a guardian if he has been
granted custody of such child pursuant to section 21.

(2) Any guardian appointed in accordance with
subsection (1) shall act jointly with the surviving parent, if
any, unless the surviving parent objects to his so acting.

(3) If the surviving parent so objects, or if the
guardian so appointed considers that the surviving parent is
unfit to have the custody of the child, the guardian may
apply to the court, and the court may either —

(a) refuse to make any order (in which case the
surviving parent shall remain sole guardian);
or

(b) make an order that the guardian so appointed
shall —

(i) act jointly with the surviving parent;
or

Access and rights
of parent as
guardian of child.

Power of father
and mother to
appoint
testamentary
guardians.

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(ii) be the sole guardian of the child.

(4) Where the court makes an order under sub-
section (3) (b) (ii) that a person shall be the sole guardian
of a child, the court may —

(a) make such order regarding —
(i) the custody of the child; and
(ii) the right of access to the child of the

surviving parent, as the court thinks
fit, having regard to the welfare of
the child; and

(b) make a further order requiring the surviving
parent to pay the guardian a weekly or other
periodical sum towards the maintenance of the
child as the court thinks reasonable having
regard to the means of the surviving parent.

(5) The powers conferred by subsections (3) and
(4) may be exercised at any time and include powers to
vary or discharge any order previously made.

(6) Where guardians are appointed by both
parents, the guardians so appointed shall after the death of
the surviving parent act jointly.

(7) If under section 14 a guardian has been
appointed by the court to act jointly with a surviving
parent, he shall continue to act as guardian after the death
of the surviving parent, but if the surviving parent has
appointed a separate guardian, the guardian appointed by
the court shall act jointly with the guardian appointed by
the surviving parent.

(8) A person appointed guardian by a parent may
disclaim his appointment, but no such disclaimer has effect
unless —

(a) it is in writing signed and made within a
reasonable time after his first knowing that the
appointment has taken effect, and

(b) the written disclaimer had been served upon
the Director of Child and Welfare Services
twenty-one days previously.

16. Subject to this Act, a child's parent may appoint a
guardian or guardians to his own child or children as if he
were of full age.

Powers of child's
parents.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

17. (1) Where two or more persons act as joint
guardians of a child and they are unable to agree on any
question affecting the welfare of the child, any of them
may apply to the court for its directions, and the court may
make such order regarding the matters of difference as it
may think proper.

(2) The power of the court under subsection (1)
shall, where one of the joint guardians is the surviving
parent of the child, include power —

(a) to make such order regarding —
(i) the custody of the child; and
(ii) the right of the access to the child of the

surviving parent, as the court thinks fit,
having regard to the welfare of the
child;

(b) to make an order requiring the surviving
parent to pay a weekly or other periodical sum
towards the maintenance of the child as the
court thinks reasonable having regard to the
means of the surviving parent;

(c) to vary or discharge any order previously
made under this section.

18. Without prejudice to any other powers specifically
vested in guardians by virtue of this Act, every guardian
under this Act has all such powers over the estate and the
person of a child as any guardian would have had prior to
the coming into operation of this Act.

19. The Supreme Court may, in its discretion, on being
satisfied that it is in the best interests of the child, remove
from office any testamentary guardian, or any guardian
appointed or acting by virtue of this Act, and may also if it
considers it to be for the welfare of the child, appoint
another guardian in place of the guardian so removed.

20. In any case where a decree for judicial separation,
or a decree nisi or absolute for divorce has been
pronounced and the court in those proceedings has
determined in the best interest of the child to declare the
parent by reason of whose misconduct the decree is made
to be a person unfit to have the custody of the child, if any,
of the marriage then, in such case, the parent so declared to
be unfit shall not, upon the death of the other parent, be
automatically entitled as of right to the custody or

Application to
court for leave if
joint guardians
disagree.

Powers of
guardians.

Power of court to
remove or
substitute
guardian.

Guardianship in
case of divorce
or judicial
separation.

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guardianship of such child; provided that the court may, if
satisfied, determine whether there has been a change of
circumstances necessitating the grant of custody or
guardianship to such parent.

PART III - CUSTODY

21. (1) The mother of any child born out of wedlock
shall be the guardian of that child and a court shall be
capable of exercising with respect to the child born to a
single woman all the powers conferred upon it by this Act
with respect to a child born within wedlock.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the mother of any
child born out of wedlock shall have and be entitled to the
custody of the said child, until it attains the age of eighteen
years.

(3) The mother of any child born out of wedlock
may be deprived of her custody under this Act by order of
a court where —

(a) such mother has deserted or abandoned the
child in such a manner likely to endanger the
health or well-being of the child;

(b) such mother is by reason of intemperate or
immoral habits, (such as prostitution or
drunkenness,) or for any reason, unfit to have
custody of the child;

(c) such mother does not exercise proper care and
control of the child;

(d) the order depriving her of custody, if made,
will be in the best interest of the child, and a
social service officer has so confirmed by a
written report or in evidence before the court;

(e) the court is satisfied that there exists some
other circumstances not provided under
paragraphs (a) to (d) which render the mother
unfit to exercise the rights and assume the
duties of custody.

(4) Without prejudice to subsection (3) the father
of a child born out of wedlock may in the course of any
proceedings for a maintenance order or in other
proceedings make application to any court for custody of
the child and the court may make such order if it is shown

Guardianship and
custody of a
child born to a
single woman.

[CH.132 – 18 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

to the satisfaction of the court that it is in the child's best
interest for him to have custody.

22. (1) A court may, upon the application of any of
the parents of a child or in the course of the hearing of any
such application by one parent make such order as it may
think fit regarding —

(a) the custody of the child; and
(b) the right of access to the child mentioned in

section 14 by either parent; and
(c) any other matter affecting the child, having

regard to the age and the best interests of the
child and taking into consideration the conduct
and wishes of the parents and the child.

(2) Where a court makes an order under
subsection (1) or under section 21(4) giving the custody of
the child to one parent, it may further order that the other
parent pays to the parent having custody of the child a
weekly or other periodical sum towards the maintenance of
the child as the court thinks reasonable having regard to the
means of the parents.

(3) Where any order as to custody of the child or
payment to a parent of a periodical sum for the
maintenance of the child had been previously made by
another court, a court may, if it is of like or superior
jurisdiction to the latter court and it thinks fit, in the
exercise of its power to make an order for the custody or
maintenance of the child under this section, discharge the
previous order and substitute any order as it may think fit.

(4) An order may be made under subsection (1) or
(2) as regards the custody or maintenance of a child
notwithstanding that the parents of the child are then
residing together.

(5) An order under subsection (1) or (2) may be
varied or discharged by a subsequent order made on the
application of either parent or, in the case of an order under
subsection (1), after the death of either parent on the
application of any guardian under this Act, without
prejudice to the powers conferred by the other provisions
of the Act upon an officer of the Department.

(6) A parent granted custody of, or access rights
to, the child under subsection (1), may apply to the court to
voluntarily give up such custody or access to the child.

Court may make
order as to
custody.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 19





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

23. No agreement contained in any separation deed
made between the parents of a child shall be held invalid
by reason only of its providing that a parent of such child
shall give up the custody or control thereof to the other,
however, the court shall not enforce any such agreement, if
it is of the opinion that it will not be for the benefit of the
child.

24. (1) Subject to any other law to the contrary, where
a maintenance order has been made the court shall, in
addition to any other powers for enforcing compliance with
the order, have power, in any case where there is any
pension, income or sum payable to the person against
whom the order is made and capable of being attached,
after giving that person and the person by whom the
pension, income or sum is payable an opportunity of being
heard, to order that such part as the court may think fit of
any such pension, income or sum be attached and paid to
the person named by the court.

(2) An order under subsection (1) shall be an
authority to the person by whom the pension, income or
sum is payable to make the payment so ordered, and the
receipt of the person to whom the payment is ordered to be
made shall be a good discharge to the person by whom the
pension or income is payable.

25. Where the parent of a child applies to the Supreme
Court for a writ or order for the production of a child, and
the court is of the opinion that the parent has abandoned or
deserted the child, or that he has otherwise so conducted
himself that the court should refuse to enforce his right to
the custody of the child, the court may, in its discretion,
decline to issue the writ or make the order.

26. If at the time of the application for a writ or order
for the production of a child, the child is being brought up
by another person, the court may, in its discretion, if it
orders the child to be given up to the parent, further order
that the parent pays to such person the whole of the costs
properly incurred in bringing up the child, or such portion
thereof as shall seem to the court to be just and reasonable,
having regard to the circumstances of the case.

27. Where a parent has —
(a) abandoned or deserted his child; or
(b) allowed his child to be brought up by another

person at that person's expense for such a
length of time and under such circumstances

Effect of
separation deed
between parents.

Garnishing.

Power of court as
to production of
child.

Power of court to
order repayment
of cost of
bringing up
child.

Court in making
order to have
regard to conduct
of parent.

[CH.132 – 20 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

as to satisfy the court that the parent was
unmindful of his parental duties,

the court shall not make an order for the delivery of the
child to the parent, unless the parent has satisfied the court
that, having regard to the welfare of the child, he is a fit
and proper person to have the custody of the child.

28. (1) Upon any application by the parent for the
production or custody of a child, if the Supreme court is of
the opinion that the parent ought not to have the custody of
the child having regard to the guiding principle mentioned
in section 3(1), and that the child is being brought up in a
different religion to that in which the parent has a legal
right to require that the child should be brought up, the
court may, having regard to the age and maturity of the
child, and if it considers it in the best interests of the child,
order that the child be brought up in the religion in which
the parent has a legal right to require that the child should
be brought up.

(2) Nothing contained in this section or in sections
26 and 27 shall interfere with or affect the power of the
court to consult the wishes of the child in considering what
order ought to be made under this section, or diminish the
right which any child now possesses to the exercise of its
own freedom of thought, conscience and religion having
regard to its age and maturity.

29. Where in any proceeding before any court —
(a) the custody or upbringing of a child; or
(b) the administration of any property belonging

to or held on trust for a child, or the
application of the income thereof,

is in question, the court shall in deciding that question,
have regard to the guiding principle mentioned in section 3
(1) and shall not take into consideration whether the claim
of the father, in respect of such custody, upbringing,
administration or application is superior to that of the
mother, or vice-versa.

30. (1) It is a general duty of the Department —
(a) to safeguard and promote the welfare of

children; and
(b) to mediate in any situation where the rights of

a child are infringed upon and especially with
regard to the protection of a child, the child's

Power of court as
to child's
upbringing.

Principle on
which questions
relating to
custody,
upbringing, etc.,
of children are to
be decided.

Duty of
Department to
safeguard
children.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 21





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

health and education, and the child's
succession rights to the property of his parents.

(2) The Department shall keep a register of
disabled children and shall provide assistance and
accommodation for any disabled child in need who appears
to require such assistance and accommodation as a result of
having been lost or abandoned or is seeking refuge, save
where any such child is otherwise cared for in any other
government institution providing care for that child.

31. Where the Department —
(a) is informed that a child is in police protection;

or
(b) has reasonable cause to believe that a child's

rights are being infringed or the child is
suffering or likely to suffer harm; or

(c) has reasonable cause to believe that a parent,
guardian or any person having custody of a
child is able, but refuses or neglects, to provide
the child with adequate food, shelter, clothing,
medical care or education,

the Department shall make or cause to be made such
enquiries as it considers necessary to enable it to decide
whether it should take action to safeguard or promote the
welfare of the child.

32. Nothing in this Act shall restrict or affect the
inherent jurisdiction of the Supreme court to appoint or
remove guardians or its paramountcy as a superior court of
record.

PART IV - FAMILY MAINTENANCE,
MAINTENANCE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF
MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY AS BETWEEN

THEMSELVES

33. Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every
man is hereby required to maintain his own children and
also every child, whether born in wedlock or not, which his
wife may have living with her at the time of marriage to
him so long as such children are unable to maintain
themselves.

34. Every widow and unmarried woman is hereby
required to maintain her own children, and every woman

Duty to
investigate
infringements of
child's rights.

Saving.

Duty of man to
maintain
children.

Duty of woman
to maintain
children.

[CH.132 – 22 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

having children to whom any man is primarily bound under
section 33 to maintain, is hereby required to maintain those
children in the event of his failing to perform his
obligation.

35. A court shall have power to make, vary or revoke a
maintenance order —

(a) for the benefit of a child notwithstanding the
mother was domiciled abroad at the date of the
child's birth and that the child was born
abroad;

(b) for the benefit of a spouse notwithstanding the
proceedings are brought by or against a person
residing outside The Bahamas.

36. For the purposes of this Act, every child under
sixteen years of age shall be presumed unable to maintain
himself by reason of tender age, unless the contrary is
shown.

PART V - PROCEEDINGS TO ENFORCE RIGHT
TO MAINTENANCE

37. (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of section
41 and subject to section 42 any person entitled to be
maintained (hereinafter referred to as the "dependant") by
another person as provided by this Act, or any person
having the care and custody of the dependant may, if the
person, or some one of the persons, if more than one who
is liable to maintain the dependant fails to do so, make a
complaint before a magistrate for an order of maintenance,
including an additional order where applicable for the
maintenance of a parent of that child as is provided for in
section 3 of the Matrimonial Causes (Summary
Jurisdiction) Act.

(2) The magistrate shall inquire into the matter
and, if there is reasonable cause to believe that the
complainant or the dependant is entitled to be maintained
by the person or persons against whom the complaint is
made, and that that person or those persons have neglected
to comply with the requirements of this Act, he shall issue
a summons to him or them to appear before the court at a
time and place to be mentioned in the summons to answer
the matter of the complaint.

Application by
person who may
be abroad.

Burden of proof
as to ability of
child to maintain
himself.

Mode of
compelling
performance of
duties imposed
by this Act.

Ch. 126.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 23





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) If any dependant becomes chargeable to any
department or agency of the Ministry responsible for social
welfare, any person authorised by the head of that
department or agency may make complaint before a
magistrate on behalf of the dependant who has become
chargeable to the department or agency, and thereupon the
magistrate shall proceed in the same way as if the
dependant had himself made the complaint.

38. Where, on hearing any application under section
37, the court is of the opinion that any of the matters in
question between the parties would be more conveniently
dealt with by the Supreme Court, the court may refuse to
make a maintenance order on the application and no appeal
shall lie from that refusal, but, if in any proceedings in the
Supreme Court relating to or comprising the same subject
matter as that application the Supreme Court so orders, the
application shall be re-heard and determined by the
magistrate's court in the same district as the first mentioned
court.

39. (1) At the time and place mentioned in the
summons, the magistrate shall proceed to inquire into the
matter and, if satisfied that the complainant or the
dependant on whose behalf the complaint is made is
entitled under this Act to be maintained by the party
against whom the complaint is made, (hereinafter referred
to as the "respondent") and that the respondent has
neglected his duty in that respect the magistrate shall
proceed to inquire into his means and if satisfied that the
respondent is capable of maintaining or contributing to the
maintenance of the complainant, or the dependant on
whose behalf the complaint is made, the magistrate shall
proceed to make a maintenance order against the
respondent directing him to pay a periodical sum which,
having regard to the matters set out in section 53 the
magistrate thinks just:

Provided that if the complaint has been made
under section 37 by a person authorised by the head of a
department or agency, the magistrate, if he sees fit, may
order the party or parties against whom the complaint is
made to pay some person to be named in the order, a sum
not exceeding one hundred dollars a week for every week
during which the Government department or agency has
given relief, such sum, however, not to exceed the amount
of that relief.

Refusal of order
in case more
suitable for
Supreme Court.

Proceedings on
hearing of
complaint.

[CH.132 – 24 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(2) A magistrate in directing the payment of a
periodical sum as maintenance for a child may also order
the respondent to pay an additional lump sum to defray any
expenditure previously incurred by the applicant in respect
of the birth, death, welfare or education of the child.

40. Subject to section 41 any order of maintenance
made under this Act shall, in the case of a child, be deemed
to be in force until the child attains the age of eighteen
years and, in the case of any other person, for the period
named in the order:

Provided that —
(a) the order for that other person may be renewed

at any time by any magistrate having
jurisdiction to make an order;

(b) where that other person to be maintained is
unable to maintain himself by reason of old
age or by reason of an illness or infirmity
likely to be permanent, as determined by a
registered medical practitioner, the magistrate
may make the order of maintenance for the
rest of the natural life of that person.

41. Any person against whom any order has been made
under this Act by a magistrate's court may at any time
apply to the court to cancel or vary it, and, if he satisfies
the magistrate on due inquiry that he has ceased to be
capable of maintaining or contributing to the maintenance,
because of illness or physical or mental disability, or any
change in his circumstances, (financial or otherwise), or
that the person whom he was ordered to maintain is not
able to maintain himself, the magistrate may cancel or vary
the order as the court sees fit.

42. (1) Any single woman who is with child, or who
has been delivered of a child may —

(a) either before the birth of that child; or
(b) at any time before the child attains the age of

eighteen years or sooner marries,

make application to the magistrate of the district in which
she resides for a summons for a declaration of parentage to
be served on the man alleged by her to be the father of the
child.

(2) A single woman who has been delivered of a
child may, upon proof that —

Limitation of
time for
operation of
order of
maintenance.

Cancellation and
variation of
order.

Application for
declaration of
parentage.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 25





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) before the birth she was party to a marriage
which would have been valid but for the
provisions of any law making it void on
account of her, or the other party to the
marriage , being under the age at which she, or
the other party, might legally contract a
marriage; and

(b) the said other party had access to her within
twelve months before the birth,

make at any time an application under this section against
that other party before the child attains the age of eighteen
years or sooner marries.

(3) An application under subsection (1) may be
made by a woman who was a single woman at the date of
the birth of the child whether or not she was a single
woman at the time of the application, and the reference to a
single woman in subsection (2) shall be construed
accordingly.

(4) If the application is made before the birth of
the child, the woman shall make a deposition on oath
stating who is the father of such child, and the magistrate
shall thereupon issue his summons to the person alleged to
be the father of that child to appear before the magistrate's
court at such time, not being less than four days from the
issue of the summons, as the summons shall direct.

(5) Nothing shall enable an application to be made
under the foregoing provisions of this section in respect of
a child born prior to the date of the coming into operation
of this Act if an application could not be made under
section 4 of the Affiliation Proceedings Act, prior to its
repeal, by reason only of the lapse by that date of the
period of time prescribed by that Act for the bringing of the
application under that Act.

(6) Where an issue of paternity arises in any
proceedings before a Magistrate in respect of a child
referred to in the foregoing provisions of this section the
determination of that issue shall not be made upon
evidence —

(a) given by the mother; or
(b) given by a person alleging to be the father,

that is not corroborated in some material particular by other
evidence to the court's satisfaction unless a presumption as

Ch. 133.

[CH.132 – 26 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

is mentioned in section 7(1) of the Status of Children Act
arises in the proceedings and is not rebutted and which
section, for the removal of doubt, applies for the purposes.

43. (1) If a court makes a maintenance order and it
appears that the person who is to make the payment under
that order is about to leave The Bahamas and has not made
adequate provision for the payment of any sums ordered to
be paid during his absence the court may, if it thinks it
expedient so to do upon an application by or on behalf of
the dependant order that the person shall make the
necessary provision before leaving.

(2) It shall be lawful for such magistrate to issue a
summons directed to such person requiring him to appear
before the magistrate at the time therein mentioned and to
show cause why an order should not be made against him
prohibiting him from leaving The Bahamas:

Provided that the magistrate may, if he thinks
it expedient so to do, either in the first instance or
subsequent to the issue of a summons issue a warrant
addressed to the Commissioner of Police and all peace
officers to apprehend such person and cause him to be
brought before him or any other magistrate.

(3) A person who attempts to leave or leaves The
Bahamas and has failed to make the requisite provision in
breach of an order made under subsection (1) is guilty of
an offence punishable on summary conviction to a fine of
five hundred dollars and to imprisonment for three months.

44. Whenever any spouse is a patient in a mental
hospital, or hospital, or is an inmate in a house for the
aged, or is in a rehabilitation centre provided or maintained
by the Government out of public monies, the other spouse
is required to contribute towards the maintenance of such
spouse therein, and sections 45 to 48 shall mutatis
mutandis apply in that case and, for the purposes of those
sections, every spouse shall be deemed a person entitled to
be maintained by the other spouse within the meaning of
this Act:

Provided that the sum which the contributing
spouse shall be required to pay shall be based on his
personal circumstances and ability to pay.

Ch. 130.

Satisfying
obligation under
order.

Liability of
spouse to pay for
other spouse's
maintenance in
mental hospital,
etc.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 27





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

MAINTENANCE OF PERSONS IN PUBLIC
INSTITUTIONS

45. If any dependant is a patient in a mental hospital, or
hospital, or is a resident of a home for the aged or child
care centre, or is in a rehabilitation centre, being provided
or maintained or subsidised out of public monies, the
Director may make a complaint before a magistrate, who
shall thereupon inquire into the matter and, if it appears to
the magistrate that the dependant is entitled to be
maintained by any person or persons under this Act, he
shall summon the person or persons liable under this Act
for the maintenance of the other person to appear before
him at a time and place to be mentioned in the summons,
and to show cause why he or they should not contribute
towards the maintenance of the dependant.

46. (1) At the time and place mentioned in the
summons referred to in section 45 the magistrate shall
proceed to inquire into the matter and, if satisfied that the
dependant in respect of whom the complaint is made is
entitled under this Act to be maintained by the party or
parties (hereinafter referred to as "the party") against
whom the complaint is made, shall proceed to inquire into
his or their means.

(2) If the magistrate is satisfied that the party is of
sufficient ability to maintain or contribute towards the
maintenance of the dependant in respect of whom the
complaint is made, the magistrate shall proceed to make an
order against the party ordering him to pay to the person
authorised to receive by the head of the Government
department or agency such periodical sum which, having
regard to the party's means, and all circumstances of the
case, the magistrate thinks just.

(3) In addition to the periodical sum referred to in
subsection (2), the magistrate may order any further sum,
not exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars a week to be
paid by the party for every week during which the
dependant in respect of whom the complaint was made has
been in the hospital, mental hospital, home for the aged,
child care centre or rehabilitation centre as aforesaid.

(4) Any order made under the foregoing
provisions of the section shall —

(a) stand discharged upon the death of the
dependant in respect of whom it was made, or

Orders in respect
of persons in
mental hospitals,
etc.

Proceedings for
orders under
section 45.

[CH.132 – 28 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

upon his discharge from the hospital, mental
hospital, house for the aged, child care centre,
or rehabilitation centre, as the case may be;

(b) if the party against whom an order is made
under this section has previously had a
maintenance order made against him in respect
of the same dependant, the last mentioned
order shall not be enforced so long as the order
made under this section is enforceable.

(5) No maintenance order shall subsequently be
made under section 39 so long as any order under this
section remains in force in respect of the same dependant.

(6) The powers exercisable by a magistrate under
the provisions of the preceding subsections of this section
and of section 45 in respect of a dependant who is eligible
to be maintained by another person shall also be
exercisable in respect of a dependant who is in receipt of or
eligible to receive benefits under the National Insurance
Act and accordingly those provisions shall mutatis
mutandis apply to the National Insurance Board.

47. Any order made under this Act for the payment of
any sum may be enforced by distress or other means and,
in the manner, prescribed in the Magistrates Act, and
except as otherwise provided by this Act, all proceedings
under this Act before a magistrate shall be as nearly as
possible according to the procedure under that Act.

48. Any person against whom a maintenance order has
been made by a magistrate under the provisions of this Act
or who is aggrieved by any decision made in respect of
such order may appeal from that order or decision, as the
case may be, to the Supreme Court in accordance with the
provisions of the Magistrates Act relating to appeals from
decisions of magistrate's courts.

COLLECTION OF MONEY PAYABLE UNDER
MAINTENANCE ORDERS

49. For the purposes of this Act, the person who is
directed by the magistrate pursuant to section 50 of the
Magistrates Act to collect monies shall be the collecting
officer in respect of any monies payable under a
maintenance order unless there has been another person
designated in the order or by the Registrar of the Supreme
Court by notice for the purpose.

Ch. 350.

Enforcement of
order
Ch. 54.

Appeals as
regard
maintenance
orders.


Ch. 54.

Collection
officer.
Ch. 54.

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50. (1) When a magistrate makes a maintenance order
for a child born out of wedlock, he shall provide in that
order that all payments under the maintenance order be
made to the officer referred to in section 49 and thereupon
all payments made thereunder shall be made to that
collecting officer unless upon representation expressly
made in that behalf by the applicant for the maintenance
order he is satisfied that it is more appropriate for the
payments to be made otherwise.

(2) Payment of any amount under a maintenance
order may be made to the collecting officer in person or by
letter sent by registered post addressed to the collecting
officer and posted in time to be delivered to him on the day
appointed for payment.

51. (1) A collecting officer shall receive all payments
made to him under this Act and shall make payment to the
person as is named in the maintenance order of the sum
directed to be paid thereunder or such part thereof as he
receives without any deduction therefrom.

(2) Where the maintenance order provides that
payment be made to the collecting officer the applicant for
the order shall thereupon state to the collecting officer his
postal address, if any, or make arrangements with the
collecting officer to receive payment under the order by
attendance at the office of the collecting officer weekly.

52. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any other Act limiting the time within which summary
proceedings are to be taken, such limitation shall not apply
to proceedings for making application for a maintenance
order except as provided by sect ion 42 and section 13 of
the Matrimonial Causes (Summary Jurisdiction) Act.

(2) Any person for the time being under an
obligation to make payments in pursuance of a
maintenance order under this Act, shall give notice of any
change of address within fourteen days to —

(a) such person, if any, as may be specified to
receive the money in the order;

(b) the clerk to the court that made the order,

and any person failing without reasonable excuse to give
such a notice commits an offence and is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.

Power to order
payments to be
made through
collection
officer.

Processing by
collecting officer
of payment.

Limitation period
not to apply and
notice of change
of address.


Ch. 126.

[CH.132 – 30 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

53. A magistrate in making a maintenance order shall
have regard to —

(a) the income, earning capacity, property and
other financial resources which each the
dependant and the respondent has or is likely
to have in the foreseeable future;

(b) the financial needs, obligations and
responsibilities which each the dependant and
the respondent has or is likely to have in the
foreseeable future;

(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the
dependant before the application;

(d) the age of the respective dependant and the
respondent; and the duration of any
cohabitation;

(e) any physical or mental disability of either the
dependant or the respondent;

(f) the contributions made by each of the parties to
the welfare of the family or household;

(g) any other matter which in the circumstances of
the case the court may consider relevant
including any such matters as are mentioned in
subsections (5) and (7) of section 4 of the
Matrimonial Causes (Summary Jurisdiction)
Act.

54. (1) Where default is made in paying any sum
ordered to be paid by a maintenance order, the court shall
not enforce payment of the sum in accordance with section
46 of the Magistrates Act except by an order made on the
application of the person entitled to the payments under the
maintenance order.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall be
made not earlier than the fifteenth day after the making of
the order for the enforcement of which it is made, but
subject to this, an application may be made at any time
notwithstanding anything contained in any Act.

(3) Where at the time and place appointed for the
hearing or adjourned hearing of an application under this
section the applicant appears but the person in default does
not, the court may proceed in his absence:

Provided that the court shall not begin to hear
the application in his absence unless either it is proved to

Matters for
magistrate's
consideration.

Ch. 126.

Enforcement of
order.


Ch. 54.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

the satisfaction of the court on oath, or in such other
manner as may be prescribed, that the summons was
served on him within what appears to the court to be a
reasonable time before the hearing or adjourned hearing, or
the person in default has appeared on a previous occasion
to answer the application.

55. (1) If an application under section 54 is
substantiated on oath, any magistrate acting for the district
as a court having jurisdiction to hear the application may
issue a warrant for the arrest of the person in default
whether or not a summons has been previously issued.

(2) If upon the return of such warrant, or if by the
admission of the person in default, it appears that no
sufficient distress can be had, then the magistrate shall, by
warrant under his hand, cause the person in default to be
committed to prison, there to remain for any term not
exceeding three months unless such sum and costs and all
reasonable charges attending the said distress together with
the costs and charges of the committal and conveyance to
prison be sooner paid and satisfied.

(3) A court shall not impose imprisonment in
respect of a default to which this section relates unless the
court has inquired in the presence of the person in default
whether the default was due to his wilful refusal or
culpable neglect, and shall not impose imprisonment as
aforesaid if it is of opinion that the default was not so due;
and without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this
subsection, a court shall not impose imprisonment as
aforesaid —

(a) in a case in which the court has power to make
an attachment of earnings order under section
24(1), unless the court is of opinion that it is
inappropriate to make such an order;

(b) in any case, in the absence of the defendant;
(c) for a period exceeding twelve weeks.

(4) When a magistrate commits a person in default
to prison under this Act, unless the magistrate otherwise
directs —

(a) the committal shall not operate to discharge
the person from his liability to pay the sum for
which the committal was made;

(b) no arrears shall accrue under the order during
the time of his imprisonment and arrears shall

Committal for
non-payment.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

continue to occur once that person has been
released from prison.

56. Subject to the provisions of sections 46, 57 and 58
a maintenance order for the benefit of a child shall not,
except for the purpose of recovering money previously due
under the order, be of any validity after the child has
attained the age of eighteen years or has died.

57. (1) If, on the application of the parent or guardian
of a child, it appears to the court that the child is or will be
engaged in a course of education or training after attaining
the age of eighteen years, or that the child is suffering from
a mental or physical disability, and that it is therefore
expedient for payments to be made under the order after
the child attains that age, then subject to subsection (2), the
court may by order direct that payments be so made for
such period not exceeding three years from the date of the
order as may be specified in the order.

(2) The period specified in an order made under
subsection (1) may from time to time be extended by a
subsequent order so made, but shall not in any case extend
beyond the date when the child attains the age of twenty-
one years except in the case of a disabled child or a child
pursuing full time education.

58. (1) A maintenance order made by a court of sum-
mary jurisdiction may, at any time on application be
revoked, revived or varied by a magistrate having regard to
all the circumstances.

(2) An order for maintenance of a child against a
father or mother shall cease to have effect on the custody
of the child being granted to that father or mother by the
court.

(3) An order for maintenance of a child may be
made and enforced against the estate of a deceased person
who has been declared the father or mother of the child
under a declaration of parentage.

(4) Where a declaration of parentage has been
made, an order for recovery of arrears of expenses incurred
in the maintenance of a child may be made even after the
death of the child.

59. On the hearing of proceedings for the enforcement,
revocation, revival, variation or discharge of a maintenance
order, the court may remit the whole or any part of the sum
due under the order if the person responsible to pay such

Duration of order
for benefit of
child.

Continuance of
payment in
certain cases.

Variation or
revocation of
maintenance
orders.

Power to remit
arrears.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 33





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

maintenance was prevented from doing so due to illness,
mental disability, his incarceration in a correctional
institution or by reason of some other circumstance beyond
his control.

60. (1) Whenever a maintenance order is made against
the father or mother, a court may, at the time of making the
order or from time to time thereafter, on being satisfied that
the applicant —

(a) is not a fit and proper person to have custody
of the child; or

(b) has since died, or has become of unsound
mind, or is in prison,

appoint a person who is willing to have custody of the
child to be the custodian of the child.

(2) The appointment of a custodian may be made
on the application on behalf of the Director of the
Department or of the person having custody of the child or
of the person against whom the maintenance order is made.

(3) The appointment of a custodian may be
revoked and another person appointed to have custody of
the child.

(4) A custodian shall have power to apply for the
recovery of all payments in arrears becoming due under a
maintenance order as any other applicant would have been
entitled to do.

(5) Where any order of appointment or of
revocation of the appointment of a custodian is made, the
court may also order the child to be delivered to the person
appointed to have custody of the child.

(6) If a child in respect of whom a maintenance
order has been made is wrongfully removed from the
person in whose custody he is, the court may, on the
application of the custodian, make an order that the
custody of the child be recommitted to the applicant having
regard to any report from the Department or other evidence
relevant to the issue.

(7) Any person who contravenes an order made
under subsection (6) or hinders the carrying out of the
order commits an offence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or
two years imprisonment, or to both such fine and term of
imprisonment.

Appointment of
custodian.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

61. (1) A person who misapplies any money paid for
the maintenance of a child in his custody thereby resulting
in the neglect of the child commits an offence punishable
on summary conviction by a fine of five thousand dollars
and to imprisonment of two years and in such
circumstances the court shall consider if custody should be
varied in the best interests of the child.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any other law, hearsay evidence may be admitted by the
court in proof of an offence under subsection (1).

PART VI - CARE AND PROTECTION OF
CHILDREN SUPERVISION ORDERS

62. (1) If any person who has attained the age of
eighteen years and has the custody, charge or care of any
child assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes him,
or causes or permits him to be assaulted, ill-treated,
neglected, abandoned or exposed, in a manner likely to
cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health
(including injury to or loss of sight, or hearing, or limb, or
organ of the body, and any mental derangement), that
person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon
summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand
dollars or imprisonment for two years or both, or, upon
conviction before the Supreme Court, to a fine not
exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for five
years or both.

(2) For the purposes of this Act the persons
specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) shall, in the circumstances
described in those paragraphs, be deemed to have
neglected a child in a manner likely to cause injury to the
child's health, that is to say —

(a) a parent or other person legally liable to
maintain the child who, being able to do so,
fails to provide for the child;

(b) an adult with whom a chi Id under three years
of age was in a bed, where it is proved that —

(i) the child's death was caused by
suffocation (not resulting from disease
or the presence of any foreign body in
the infant's throat or air passages); and

Misapplying
maintenance
money.

Cruelty to
children.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 35





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(ii) the adult was, at the time of going to
bed under the influence of alcohol or
any drug;

(c) any adult having the custody, charge or care of
any child under fourteen years of age who
allows that child to —

(i) be in any room or yard containing —
(A) any body of water, whether

naturally or artificially formed or
stored in a container; or

(B) a flame; or
(ii) to have access to any flammable

substances,

not sufficiently protected to guard against the risk of that
child being drowned, burnt or scalded, as the case may be,
without taking reasonable precautions against the risk, and
by reason thereof that child is killed or suffers serious
injury:

Provided that neither this subsection nor any
proceedings taken thereunder, shall affect the liability of
any person to be indicted for manslaughter or for any
offence against the Penal Code.

(3) Any adult who gives, or causes to be given, or
sells or causes to be sold, to any child any intoxicating
liquor, except upon the order of a duly qualified medical
practitioner for the purpose of treating sickness, or in case
of other urgent cause, shall be deemed to have ill-treated
that child in a manner likely to cause injury to the child's
health.

(4) An owner or operator of an establishment that
sells or serves intoxicating liquor or tobacco products shall
not be guilty of an offence under subsection (3) if he
proves to the satisfaction of the court that at the time of
such sale he took all reasonable steps to ascertain and
reasonably believed that the person to who the intoxicating
liquor or tobacco product was sold was not a child.

(5) A person may be convicted of an offence
under this section —

(a) notwithstanding that actual suffering or injury
to health, or the likelihood of actual suffering

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

or injury to health, was obviated by the action
of another person;

(b) notwithstanding the death of the child in
respect of whom the offence is committed.

(6) Upon the trial of any adult for infanticide or
for the manslaughter of a child of whom the adult had the
custody, charge or care, it shall be lawful for the jury, if he
is acquitted of that charge and the evidence establishes the
commission by law of an offence under this section to find
the adult guilty of the latter offence.

63. (1) Every person who has information indicating
that a child is suffering or has suffered significant harm,
shall forthwith report that information to the Director.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or any
statutory provision, a person who performs professional or
official duties with respect to a child, including —

(a) a physician, nurse, dentist, pharmacist,
psychologist or other health care professional;

(b) a school principal, teacher, counsellor, social
worker, youth or recreational leader, member
of the clergy or child care worker; or

(c) a police officer, probation officer or youth care
worker,

who, in the course of that person's professional or official
duties, has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is
suffering or has suffered significant harm, shall forthwith
report the suspicion to the Director together with the
information upon which it is based.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply whether or not
the information is confidential or privileged except that
nothing in this section shall be taken to affect or abrogate
the privilege that attaches to a communication between an
attorney and his client.

(4) No civil action lies against a person by reason
of that person reporting information pursuant to subsection
(1) or (2) unless the reporting of that information is done
falsely and maliciously.

(5) Every person who —
(a) contravenes subsection (2) or (6); or

Mandatory
reporting of child
abuse.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 37





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) falsely and maliciously reports information to
the Director indicating that a child is suffering
significant harm or is suspected thereof,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or
imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

(6) No person shall reveal or be compelled to
reveal the identity of a person who has reported
information to the Director pursuant to subsection (1)
or (2).

(7) On receiving a report pursuant to subsection
(1) or (2) the Director shall —

(a) cause an investigation to be made in the
circumstances of the case;

(b) arrange for the provision of such child care
services as he considers necessary; and

(c) make application for such order under this Act
as he considers appropriate.

64. (1) Where a parent or a guardian of a child
determines that he is unable to control the child, it is the
duty of that parent or guardian to seek the assistance of an
officer of the Department or any other authorised officer
for the purpose of establishing parental control.

(2) Lack of parental control is evidenced by, but not
limited to, the failure of the child to regularly attend
school, the child being away from home at night beyond
hours that would be considered desirable in view of the
norm expected of a child of the respective age, or the child
being abusive to parents or teachers.

(3) On the application of an officer of the Department
or any other authorised person, a magistrate's court may if
it is satisfied that it is expedient to deal with the child as
provided in this subsection, make —

(a) a supervision or interim supervision order
placing a child under the supervision of the
Department while leaving the child in the
custody of his or her parents or guardians; or

(b) a care order or an interim care order placing
the child in the custody of the Department
where the child's parents or relatives are
unable to care and maintain the child, and

Supervision and
care orders.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

where no other alternative measures are
available to protect the child.

(4) While a supervision order is in force no
person may —

(a) cause the child be known by a new surname;
or

(b) change the school he was attending at the
inception of the order; or

(c) remove him from the island of The Bahamas
in which he resided at the inception of the
order,

without either the written consent of every person who has
parental responsibility for the child or the leave of the
court.

(5) The particulars of any approach to the
Department made under subsection (1) by a parent or
guardian shall be entered into the Children's Register.

65. (1) The magistrate's court shall require a written
social inquiry report in respect of a child before making a
supervision order or a care order.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Department to
prepare a social inquiry report and it shall comply with the
request of the magistrate's court whenever required to
produce a social inquiry report.

(3) The Department shall cause to be made home
visits by a social services officer to interview the parents or
guardian of the child concerned and to carry out
investigations concerning the child before submitting a
social inquiry report.

(4) Where the child in respect of whom the social
inquiry report is made is considered by the Department to
be of sufficient age and understanding, he or she shall be
interviewed by a social services officer.

(5) A social inquiry report shall contain matters
relating to the welfare of the child and recommendations as
to any action to be taken by the magistrate's court.

(6) The magistrate's court shall take the
information contained in the social inquiry report into
account in so far as it is relevant to the order being made.

Social inquiry
reports.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 39





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(7) If the magistrate's court is not satisfied with
any recommendation made by the social services officer in
the social inquiry report, it shall state and record its reasons
for not complying with the recommendation.

66. The magistrate's court, without prejudice to section
71, may only make a supervision or care order under this
Part, if it is satisfied that —

(a) the child concerned is suffering or is likely to
suffer harm; and

(b) that the harm, or probability of harm, is
attributable to —

(i) the care given to the child, or likely to
be given to the child if the order were
not made, not being what it would be
reasonable to expect a parent to give to
a child; or

(ii) the child being beyond parental control.

67. Before making an application for a supervision
order, the social services officer or an authorised person
shall be satisfied that there is need for continuous
supervision enforced by a court order.

68. The duties of a supervisor while a supervision order
is in force are —

(a) to be friendly to, advise, and assist the
supervised child;

(b) to advise the parents;
(c) to make plans for the child's future in

consultation with the child and his or her
parents or guardian;

(d) to apply to the court to discharge or vary the
order if necessary;

(e) to take such other reasonable steps as may be
necessary to reduce any harm to the child.

69. (1) A supervision order shall be made for one year
but may be extended on the application of the Department.

(2) An extension of a supervision order shall
require a written report by the Department.

(3) The duty to enforce a supervision order shall
be vested in the Department.

Grounds for
making a
supervision or
care order.

Application for a
supervision
order.

Duties of a
supervisor under
a supervision
order.

Duration and
enforcement of a
supervision
order.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

70. (1) A supervision order shall require the
supervised person —

(a) to inform the supervisor of any change of his
or her address;

(b) to allow the supervisor to visit him at his or
her home.

(2) The First Schedule makes further provisions with
respect to supervision orders.

71. (1) A magistrate’s court may in making a care
order or an interim care order, direct that the child be
placed in —

(a) the care of foster parents;
(b) an approved children's home;
(c) a juvenile correction centre;
(d) a treatment centre;
(e) the care of a person whom the court considers

fit,

having regard to any recommendation of a social services
officer.

(2) An application for a care order may only
be made —

(a) after all possible alternative methods of
assisting the child have been tried without
success, and the harm from which the child is
suffering or is likely to suffer requires his
removal from where he is living; or

(b) the danger to which the child is exposed is so
severe as to require his immediate removal
from where he is living.

(3) The duty to enforce the care order shall be
vested in the Department.

72. The object of a care order is —
(a) to remove a child from a situation where he is

suffering or is likely to suffer harm; and
(b) to assist the child and those with whom he was

living or wishes to live with to examine the
circumstances that have led to the making of
the order and to take steps to resolve or

Requirements as
to change of
address and
visits.

First Schedule.

Care order and
its enforcement.

Purpose of a care
order.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 41





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

ameliorate the problem so as to ensure the
child's return to the community.

73. (1) A care order shall, depending on the age of the
child, be for a maximum period of three years or until the
child reaches the age of eighteen years, whichever is the
earlier.

(2) Subject to subsection (1), a care order may be
renewed upon application by the Department.

(3) A care order during its currency shall be
reviewed at least once in ninety days by the Department
who may make recommendations to the court as to the
steps to be taken having regard to the outcome of the
review,

(4) No care order or supervision order shall be
made with respect to a child who has reached the age of
seventeen years or, in the case of a child who is married,
sixteen years.

74. (1) The person in charge of the approved
children's home or the foster parent with whom the child is
placed shall be responsible for the care of the child while
the child is in his custody.

(2) The child's contact with parents, relatives and
friends while he is in the approved children home or with a
foster parent shall be encouraged unless it is not in the best
interests of the child.

(3) The person in charge of an approved children
home or the foster parent with whom the child is placed
shall ensure that the child's development while in the
approved home or with the foster family, particularly his
health and education, is given paramount attention.

(4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this
section shall relieve the Department of its responsibility to
ensure the proper care of a child while in the custody of an
approved children's home or foster parent with whom the
child has been placed by the Department.

75. (1) It is the duty of the Department, before, during
and after the termination of the care order, to work with the
parents, guardians or relatives, to whom the child returns or
is expected to return after the termination of the care order.

(2) The duties of the Department under this
section include providing child and family counselling, and
gaining the assistance of those in the community who can

Duration of a
care order.

Parental
responsibility
vested in
residential home
or in foster
parent.

Special duties of
the social
services officer
in relation care
orders.

[CH.132 – 42 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

help in the process of resolving the problems which caused
the care order to be made.

(3) In carrying out its duties under this section, the
Department shall have regard to the wishes of the child.

(4) Where a child is placed with a foster family, it
shall be the responsibility of the Department to
communicate with the guardians or parents of the child, to
inform them of the progress of the child and to arrange a
trial period for the child to be at home as soon as it is
appropriate.

(5) The social services officer shall visit the child
during the trial period at home and make plans for the
future of the child in consultation with foster parents, the
natural parents or the adoptive parents.

76. (1) A magistrate's court may, on hearing
information on oath by a social services or authorised
officer make an interim supervision or care order in respect
of a child if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds
to believe that the circumstances with respect to the child
are as mentioned in section 66.

(2) The maximum period for an interim order is
three months.

(3) If the social services or authorised officer
wishes to recommend a full care or supervision order, he
shall present such a recommendation to the court during
the period of the interim order.

77. (1) The magistrate's court may, in addition to, or
in proceedings for a supervision order, care order, interim
supervision order or interim care order, make an exclusion
order prohibiting a named person from having contact with
both the child and persons looking after the child.

(2) Before making an exclusion order, the
magistrate's court shall be satisfied that it is necessary for
the protection of the child and to safeguard the child's
welfare.

(3) The Second Schedule has effect with respect
to the requirements and undertakings ensuing upon the
making of an exclusion order.

(4) The magistrate's court may specify the
duration of the exclusion order.

Interim
supervision order
and interim care
order.

Exclusion order.

Second Schedule.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 43





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

78. (1) Any person who breaches an exclusion order
commits a summary offence and shall be dealt with in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and for this
purpose a social services officer or authorised person may
proceed by way of complaint against the offender without
prejudice to the right of any other person to do so.

(2) The magistrate's court may vary or discharge
an exclusion order on the application of the person named
in the order or of the child concerned.

79. (1) The magistrate's court may, in proceedings for
an application for a care order, on hearing information on
oath, make a search and production order authorising a
social services officer with or without a police officer, to
enter any premises specified in the order and to search for
and remove to a place of safety, any child whom the social
services officer has reasonable cause to believe is suffering
or is likely to suffer significant harm or is in need of care
and protection.

(2) A child removed on a search and production
order shall be produced before a magistrate within forty-
eight hours after his or her removal save where there is no
sitting of the court then at the commencement of the next
sitting.

80. (1) A social services officer, an authorised person
or a police officer, who has reasonable grounds for
believing that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer
significant harm or is in need of care and protection or is
ill-treated or neglected shall make enquiries to decide
whether to act to safeguard the child's welfare and may —

(a) take the child and place him under emergency
protection in a place of safety for a maximum
period of forty-eight hours; or

(b) take such steps as are reasonable to ensure that
the child's removal from any hospital, or other
place, in which he is then being
accommodated is prevented.

(2) As soon as possible and in any case within the
period of forty-eight hours referred to in subsection (1), the
social services officer, the authorised person or police
officer, as the case may be, shall make a report to the
magistrate's court and to the Children's Registry.

(3) Nothing is subsection (1) shall be construed as
authorising entry upon any premises without a search and

Enforcement of
exclusion order.

Search and
production order.

Duty of social
services officer
to investigate and
act.

[CH.132 – 44 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

production order or a warrant issued by a justice of the
peace upon information on oath for the purpose.

(4) A person who places a child under emergency
protection may, if he deems it necessary, ensure the
provision of medical attention or treatment, including a
medical examination of the child.

(5) Whenever a child is placed under emergency
protection, his parents or the persons with whom the child
was living shall be informed as soon as practicable and
shall be allowed to have contact with the child unless it is
not in the interests of the child.

81. (1) A police officer shall provide assistance to a
social services officer or to an authorised person in order
for that person to carry out the duties specified in
section 80(1).

(2) A police officer who has placed a child under
emergency protection shall ensure that within twenty-four
hours arrangements are made for the accommodation of the
child outside of police precincts.

(3) Without prejudice to section 80(5) where a
child is dealt with under section 80(1), the person bringing
the child before the magistrate shall cause notice of the
grounds on which the child is being brought before the
court, including all relevant particulars, and of the date on
which such matter will be heard to be served in accordance
with subsection (4).

(4) The notice referred to in subsection (3) shall
be served at least one clear day before such date —

(a) on the Director if the child is to be brought
before the court in Nassau;

(b) in any other case, on the social services
officer, if any, of the respective Family Island
or where there is none, the Director;

(c) on any parent or person from whose custody
the child was removed or has parental
responsibility for the child;

(d) on the Minors Advocate,

so, however that no such notice shall be necessary
whenever a social services officer or the Minors Advocate,
as the case may be, is the person bringing the child before
the court.

Responsibility of
police officer.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(5) Upon receipt of the notice referred to in subsection
(4), it shall be the duty of the Director or the social services
officer on whom it is served to make such investigations
and render a report to the court containing information as
to the child's home surroundings, school record, age, health
and character, as the social services officer is able to obtain
and as, in his opinion, is likely to be of assistance to the
court.

82. (1) For the purposes of this Act a child shall be
deemed to be ill-treated or neglected who, having no parent
or guardian, or a parent or guardian unfit to exercise care
and guardianship or not exercising proper care and
guardianship, is either falling into bad associations or is
exposed to moral danger.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the
provisions of subsection (1) it shall be evidence that a child
is falling into bad associations or is exposed to moral
danger if —

(a) he is found destitute, or deserted by his parent
or guardian;

(b) he is under the care of a parent or guardian,
who by reason of immoral, antisocial or
criminal habits or substance abuse is unfit to
have the care of him;

(c) he is found sleeping at night in the open air, or
is found wandering without any settled place
of abode, or without visible means of
subsistence, or is found wandering having no
parent or guardian or a parent or guardian who
does not exercise proper care and
guardianship;

(d) he is found begging or receiving alms or
inducing the giving of alms (whether or not
there is any pretence of singing, playing,
performing, offering anything for sale or
otherwise) or is found in any street, premises
or place for the purpose of so begging or
receiving alms or inducing the giving of alms;

(e) the child is a member of a household whereof
a member has committed the offence of incest
in respect of another member of that
household;

Determination of
whether child
being ill-treated,
etc.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(f) he frequents the company of any reputed thief
or vagrant;

(g) he frequents the company of any common or
reputed prostitute;

(h) the child lodges or resides in or frequents a
house or part of a house used by prostitutes for
the purposes of prostitution, or is otherwise
living in circumstances calculated to cause,
encourage or favour her seduction or
prostitution;

(i) he frequents any public bar or any gambling
house;

(j) he is found unlawfully buying or receiving or
in possession of any dangerous drug:
Provided that a child shall not be deemed to

come within the scope of paragraph (g) of this subsection if
the only common or reputed prostitute whose company he
frequents is his mother and it is proved that she exercises
proper guardianship and due care to protect the child from
falling into bad associations and from exposure to moral
danger.

(3) For the purposes of this Act a child shall be
considered to be in need of care and protection if that
child —

(a) having no parent or guardian, or having a
parent or guardian unfit to exercise care and
guardianship, or not exercising proper care and
guardianship is either falling into bad
associations, or exposed to moral danger, or
beyond control;

(b) is being cared for in circumstances in which
the child's physical or mental health or
emotional state is being seriously impaired or
there is a substantial risk that it will be
seriously impaired;

(c) is a child in respect of whom any offence
mentioned in section 113(5) has been
committed or attempted to be committed;

(d) is a member of the same household as a child
in respect of whom such an offence has been
committed;

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 47





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(e) is a member of the same household as a person
who has been convicted of such an offence in
respect of a child.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), the fact that
a child is found —

(a) destitute;
(b) wandering without any settled place of abode

and without visible means of subsistence;
(c) begging or receiving alms (whether or not

there is any pretence of singing, playing,
performing or offering anything for sale);

(d) loitering for the purpose of so begging or
receiving alms,

shall, without prejudice to the generality of the provisions
of subsection (3) (a), be evidence that the child is exposed
to moral danger.

83. Any person who without reasonable cause removes
a child placed under emergency protection from a place of
safety without the authority of the person in whose care
and control the child is, commits an offence and is liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars or to imprisonment for two years or to
both fine and term of imprisonment.

84. Any of the following persons may apply for a
supervision or care order to be discharged or varied —

(a) the child concerned if he has attained age
fourteen years;

(b) the child's parent or guardian;
(c) the person who has parental responsibility;
(d) the person with whom the child was living

before the order was made;
(e) a social services or an authorised officer.

85. (1) When the magistrate's court is satisfied that
information concerning or affecting the welfare of a child
is being withheld by any person, it may summon that
person to disclose the information and such person shall be
obliged to disclose such information.

(2) A person who refuses to make a disclosure in
breach of subsection (1) shall on summary conviction be

Offence to
remove a child
from a place of
safety without
authority.

Persons who may
apply for
discharge or
variation of
supervision or
care order.

Requirements to
disclose
information.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

liable to a fine of five hundred dollars unless he shows he
has reasonable cause for such refusal.

86. (1) A social services or authorised officer acting
on behalf of the Director of the Department, or a police
officer above the rank of sergeant, may, if there is
reasonable cause to believe that a child is in need of a
medical examination to enable a determination to be made
as to whether the child has been the subject of an offence
or for some reason requires a report concerning the child's
physical or mental condition apply to a magistrate to order
that the child be examined by a registered medical
practitioner.

(2) When a magistrate is satisfied upon an
application made under subsection (1) that there is
reasonable cause to believe in the need for such
examination, he shall order the examination to be made
and that order shall have effect as if it were a warrant for
the arrest of a suspect.

(3) The fact that an order has been made under
subsection (2) shall be reported to the Children's Registry.

FOSTER-CARE PLACEMENTS

87. (1) Where a care order has been made the social
services officer may place the child with a person who is
willing to undertake the care and maintenance of the child
(hereinafter referred to as a "foster parent") .

(2) An application to foster a child shall be made
to the Department except that a relative of a child without a
parent or guardian may foster the child without first
applying to the Department and the provisions of this
section shall not apply to him or her.

(3) The rules set out in the Third Schedule shall
apply to foster care placements.

PART VII - APPROVED CHILDREN HOMES

88. (1) An approved children home shall provide
substitute family care for a child in its custody until such
time as the parents of the child are able to provide adequate
care to meet his basic needs or the child can be reunited
with its family or arrangements made for its custody or
other permanent placement.

Medical
examination of
child.

Conditions for
foster-care
placements.

Third Schedule.

Purposes of
approved
children homes.

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(2) It shall be the responsibility of the staff of the
approved children home, the social services or authorised
officer and any other person to assist the child to become
reunited with his parents or guardian.

(3) After a child has been returned home from an
approved children home, the social services or authorised
officer shall keep in regular contact with the child and his
family until the completion of the order or its discharge.

(4) Where a child is unable to return to his or her
parents or to go to foster parents or has no parent, nor a
foster parent, he shall, where possible, be encouraged and
assisted by the approved children home and the social
services or authorised officer until placement can be
arranged for the child.

89. While a child is in an approved children home on a
care order, the Administrator and staff of the home have
parental responsibility for the child.

90. A person who removes a child from an approved
children home without reasonable cause commits an
offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for
three years, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.

91. (1) When a court has been informed on
information on oath that a child has been removed
unlawfully from an approved children home, it may make a
recovery order.

(2) A recovery order may —
(a) direct any person who is in possession of the

child to produce him on demand to any social
services or authorised officer;

(b) require removal of the child by or on behalf of
the person named in the order;

(c) require any person who has information
leading to the child's whereabouts to disclose
it;

(d) authorise a search by any police officer or
social services or authorised officer of any
premises where the child is believed to be
staying; and

(e) specify the name of the child in question and
the person who has the current parental
responsibility.

Responsibility of
staff of home.

Removal of child
from approved
children home.

Recovery order.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

92. Any of the following persons may apply for a
recovery order —

(a) a parson with parental responsibility for the
child; or

(b) a social services or authorised officer.

93. (1) A child who runs away from an approved
children home to which he has been committed or from a
person in whose care he has been placed on emergency or
committed by the court on a care order may, pending
investigation —

(a) be brought back to the approved children
home or to the person from which or from
whom he has run away; or

(b) be put in an alternative approved home or
place of safety.

(2) As soon as possible, the child shall be
interviewed by the social services or authorised officer
who shall also interview the person in charge of the home
or the person in whose care the child has been placed.

(3) The child may then be returned to where he
had been placed or, if that is not in the child's best interests,
he may be moved by the social services or authorised
officer under a care order or otherwise returned to court for
a variation or discharge of the order.

94. (1) Where an approved children home has custody
of a child who has a parent or guardian, the court may
order the parent or guardian to contribute towards the
child's maintenance.

(2) The amount contributed shall be reasonable
and within the means of the parent or guardian and may be
varied by the court if there is a change in the person's
circumstances.

(3) A contribution order made under this section
shall remain in force as long as the child is in the home; but
a person contributing may, at any time, apply to the court
for the order to be varied or discharged on the ground that
his circumstances have changed since the order was made.

95. The Minister may make regulations for carrying
this Part into effect, and in particular for —

(a) prescribing the medical arrangements to be
made for protecting the health and well-being

Application for a
recovery order.

Escape from
approved
children home.

Court's power to
order or guardian
to contribute.

Regulations for
giving effect to
this Part.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

of the children in approved children
homes; and

(b) regulating the management and conduct of and
discipline in approved children homes.

PART VIII - ESTABLISHMENT, FUNCTIONS AND
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL

COMMITTEE FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

96. (1) There shall be and is hereby established a body
to be known as the National Committee for Families and
Children (hereinafter referred to as "the Committee"),
consisting of twelve members appointed by the Minister
from among persons representing governmental and non-
governmental organisations concerned with the welfare of
families and children.

(2) The Director of the Department shall be an ex
officio member of the Committee without the right to vote.

(3) In making the appointments under subsection
(1) the Minister shall ensure that there is representation
from the several Family Islands or group of Family Islands.

(4) The term of office of the members of the
Committee appointed under subsection (1) above shall be
for a period of one year subject to subsection (5), but each
member shall be eligible for reappointment.

(5) The term of office of the person appointed by
the Minister to be chairman may be for a period not
exceeding two years.

97. The functions and terms of reference of the
Committee shall be as follows —

(a) promoting, monitoring and evaluating the
implementation of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child, and ensuring that the
Government meets its national and
international obligations as a party to the
Convention;

(b) promoting, monitoring and evaluating the
implementation of the goals reached at the
world summits on the Convention on the
Rights of the Child;

(c) promoting public awareness on the national
legislation affecting families and children, and

Establishment of
the national
Committee for
families and
children.

Functions and
terms of
reference of the
Committee.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

facilitating effective and efficient planning and
coordination of efforts among and between
nongovernmental organisations, service clubs,
churches and other organisations involved in
the provision of services for families and
children;

(d) ensuring that the various institutions,
communities and homes in The Bahamas
understand and apply the standards of
protection and care of children set out in this
Act and regulations made hereunder and in the
Convention on the Rights of the Child within
their institutional, community or family
setting;

(e) recommending and advocating to, and at
different levels and institutions of, the
Bahamian society policies for —

(i) policies for the care, protection and
maintenance of families and children in
The Bahamas;

(ii) the contribution of resources from the
international community and the local
private sector.

98. The Ministry shall oversee the work of the
Committee and take such action as is considered necessary
to implement its recommendation.

PART IX - PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING
CHILDREN

99. (1) In any proceedings in which a court is hearing
an application for an order under this Act, or is considering
whether to make such an order, the court may summon the
child concerned to attend such stage or stages of the
proceedings as may be specified in the summons.

(2) The power conferred by subsection (1) shall be
exercised in accordance with any rules of court.

(3) Subsections (4) to (6) apply where —
(a) an order under subsection (1) has not been

complied with; or
(b) the court has reasonable cause to believe that it

will not be complied with.

Oversight powers
of the Ministry.

Attendance of
child at hearing.

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(4) The court may make an order authorising a
police officer —

(a) to take charge of the child and to bring him to
court; and

(b) to enter and search any premises specified in
the order if he has reasonable cause to believe
that the child may be found on the premises.

(5) The court may order any person who is in a
position to do so to produce the child to court.

(6) Where the court has reason to believe that a
person has information about the whereabouts of the child,
it may order him to disclose that information to the court.

(7) A person who without reasonable excuse fails
to comply with an order made under subsection (5) or (6)
commits an offence and upon summary conviction is liable
to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for three months or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

100. (1) Subsection (2) applies where a child who is
called as a witness in any family proceeding does not, in
the opinion of the court, understand the nature of an oath.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any law, the child's evidence may be heard by the court if,
in its opinion —

(a) he understands that it is his duty to speak the
truth; and

(b) he has sufficient understanding to justify his
evidence being heard,

and there shall not be a need for corroboration.
(3) In any family proceedings before any court

hearsay evidence on any issue concerning the care,
custody, control, maintenance or welfare of a child shall be
admissible notwithstanding any law or rule of law.

(4) For the purpose of this Act, "family
proceedings" means —

(a) any proceedings relating to adoption,
wardship, maintenance, care, custody or
control of a child;

(b) any matrimonial proceedings or proceedings
ancillary thereto.

Evidence given
by, or with
respect to
children.

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101. (1) Where a magistrate is satisfied that a child in
respect of whom an offence is alleged to have been
committed —

(a) is unable, on the evidence of a duly qualified
medical practitioner, by reason of the child's
bodily or mental condition, to attend before the
court in proceedings relating to the offence; or

(b) is kept away from such proceedings by threats
or fear of bodily harm,

the magistrate may order the taking of a deposition by an
approved recording device in accordance with Rules of
Court made under section 76 of the Supreme Court Act.

(2) The term “an approved recording device”
means a device for recording sound or visual images or
both approved by the Chief Justice by notice published in
the Gazette.

(3) Rules of Court made for the purposes of this
section may provide for the manner and the circumstances
under which a deposition shall be taken, including
dispensing with the child being in the physical presence of
the alleged offender or any other person.

(4) Subject to subsection (6), the digital audio file
or, as the case may be, the audio and video file of the
whole or any part of the evidence, depositions or
proceedings recorded by a person using an approved
recording device is admissible in evidence as a true and
official record of the evidence, depositions or proceedings.

(5) Where a transcript is requested for the purpose
of any appeal or otherwise, the transcript shall —

(a) be prepared from the official record referred to
in subsection (4) by; and

(b) be certified as an accurate transcript of the
official record by the person who prepared it.

(6) Where any dispute arises with respect to the
content of a transcript prepared from the official record, a
party may apply to the presiding judge or magistrate to
resolve the dispute and determine the content of the
transcript to accord with the official record.

(7) The original record prepared pursuant to
subsection (1) shall be filed in the office of the registrar or
clerk of the court and shall not be removed except on the

Evidence by
video recorded
deposition where
child unfit to
attend court.

Ch. 52.

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order of a judge or magistrate, but nothing in this
subsection precludes any party or his counsel from
obtaining a copy of the record for his personal use.

(8) The Chief Justice may direct that the official
record made by use of an approved recording device be
erased, cancelled, destroyed or otherwise disposed of after
such period from the making of the record as the Chief
Justice may determine.

(9) Any person who —
(a) wilfully records or transcribes, in a false or

incorrect manner, any evidence or other matter
recorded under this section;

(b) wilfully alters or falsifies any record under this
section or any transcription of it; or

(c) wilfully certifies as correct any transcription of
such record which he knows to be false or
incorrect,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine of ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for two
years.

(10) Rules of Court may prescribe fees for the
preparation of a transcript or a copy of the official record.

102. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any other law, where, in any proceedings against any
person for any offence the evidence of any child of tender
years called as a witness, even though not given upon oath,
as it is the opinion of the court the child does not
understand the nature of an oath —

(a) may be received, if, in the opinion of the court,
the child is possessed of sufficient intelligence
to justify the reception of the evidence and
understands the duty of speaking the truth;

(b) if otherwise taken and reduced into writing in
accordance with the provisions of the Criminal
Procedure Code, or of this Part, shall be
deemed to be a deposition within the meaning
of that Code and the Evidence Act
respectively.

(2) Subject to subsection (1) evidence admitted by
virtue of this section shall be subject to the same rules of
law and procedure as the sworn evidence of a child.

Evidence of child
of tender years.

Ch. 91.



Ch. 65.

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(3) In any trial, no court shall be required to give
the jury a warning about convicting the accused on the
uncorroborated evidence of a child, in any case where the
only reason for requiring the warning is that it is the
evidence of a child notwithstanding anything to the
contrary in any law.

(4) Any child whose evidence is received pursuant
to subsection (1) of section 100 who wilfully gives false
evidence in such circumstances that the child would, if the
evidence had been given on oath, have been guilty of
perjury shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished for
perjury as if he or she had been sworn.

(5) In this section "child of tender years" means a
child under the age of fourteen years.

103. (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence
under the Penal Code or the Sexual Offences Act in respect
of a child, the court may make an order requiring such
person to submit to a medical examination and testing for
the purpose of ascertaining whether such person is a carrier
of a communicable disease, if satisfied that such
examination and testing is in the best interests of the child.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
any enactment an order made under subsection (1) shall be
carried out as soon as practicable notwithstanding any
notice of appeal unless the court that made the order or the
appeal court otherwise sees fit to stay the order and any
person who fails to submit to a medical examination when
ordered to do so shall be guilty of an offence and
punishable on summary conviction to imprisonment for
one year.

(3) A person having knowledge or possession of
information relating to any examination or test carried out
under subsection (1) shall regard and deal with such
information as secret and confidential; and any such person
who communicates or attempts to communicate such
information to any person —

(a) other than to a person to whom he is
authorised to communicate it; or

(b) otherwise than for the purposes of this Act,

commits an offence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars and
to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Disease testing
of convicted
offender.
Ch. 84.
Ch. 99.

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(4) An order made under this section may give
directions in respect of such ancillary matters as are
necessary for the proper carrying out of the order and for
such communications of the results of any examination or
test as is necessary in the best interests of the child.

104. (1) Where a person having the custody, charge or
care of a child has been —

(a) convicted, in respect of that child, of any of
the offences mentioned in section 110(5);

(b) committed for trial for any such offence; or
(c) bound over to keep the peace towards the

child,

by any court, that court may order that child to be brought
before a juvenile court with a view to the juvenile court
making an order under Part VI and shall direct that the
Director and the Minors Advocate be informed, as soon as
practicable, of the order made.

(2) Where any court has, under this section, made
an order directing that a child be brought before a juvenile
court, it shall be the duty of the following persons to bring
the child before the juvenile court —

(a) the complainant, if he is a social services
officer or police officer, in the proceedings
against the person having the custody, charge
or care of the child; or

(b) if that complainant is not a social services
officer or police officer, the senior police
officer present in court at the time that the
order was made.

PART X - REPRESENTATION AND MONITORING
OF CHILDREN CHILDREN'S REGISTRY

105. (1) The provisions of the Fourth Schedule shall
have effect with respect of the constitution and functions of
the Minors Advocate.

(2) Where in any proceedings a child is brought
before the court and it appears to the court that the child is
in need of legal representation in those proceedings, the
court shall —

(a) refer the case to the Minors Advocate;

Disposal of case
by order of court.

Representation
by Minors
Advocate.
Fourth Schedule.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(b) if the court thinks fit, adjourn the proceedings
until such time as the court considers sufficient
to allow the Minors Advocate to consider the
case; and

(c) cause to be delivered to the Minors Advocate a
notice of its determination under this section.

(3) Where a case is referred to the Minors
Advocate under subsection (2) —

(a) the Minors Advocate shall act as the child's
legal representative in the proceedings if the
child so consents, directly or through his
parents or guardian;

(b) if the Minors Advocate has cause to believe
that any of the fundamental rights and
freedoms of the individual protected under
Chapter III of the Constitution have been or
are being contravened in relation to any child
he may institute or carryon, on behalf of the
child, any proceedings for redress under
Article 28 of the Constitution.

(4) On application at any time by the Minors
Advocate, the court may order any person to produce any
information, record or document, or a certified copy of
such record or document, to the Minors Advocate if —

(a) there are reasonable grounds to believe the
information, record or document is material
for determining whether a child is in need of
care and protection;

(b) there are reasonable grounds to believe the
person has possession or control of the
information, record or document; and (c) the
person neglects or refuses to produce the
information, record or document to the Minors
Advocate.

(5) Subsection (4) shall not apply to information,
records or documents privileged from disclosure or
regarded as confidential under any law, unless the court is
satisfied that there is a substantial risk that the child will be
further endangered.

106. (1) For the purposes of this Act there shall be a
Children's Register and a Children's Registry.

Establishment of
Children's
Register.

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(2) The Children's Register shall consist of such
information as is supplied by persons who make or are
required co make a report under section 64, 107 or 108 as
the case may be.

(3) The Minister may make regulations
prescribing the procedure for the entry of information into
the Register, the form and contents of the Register, the
duties of officers and staff of the Registry, the location of
registration centres, and any other matter necessary to give
effect to the provisions of this section.

107. (1) Where any action is taken under section 80 or
information comes to the Director pursuant to section 108
or 112 in respect of a child, the event shall be reported to
the Children's Registry in accordance with the provisions
of this section.

(2) A report to the Children's Registry shall —
(a) be made as soon as is reasonably possible;
(b) be in such form as may be prescribed; and
(c) contain all the material facts giving rise to the

belief that an offence has been committed or is
being committed or that a child is otherwise in
need of care and protection.

(3) Subsection (1) applies even if the information
that occasioned the steps to be taken are based —

(a) is privileged as a result of a relationship of
attorney-at-law and client; or

(b) is confidential and its disclosure is prohibited
under another Act,

unless there is a substantial risk that the welfare of the
child will be further endangered.

108. (1) It shall be the duty of the officer in charge of a
police station at which a report is made or from which
investigations are being carried out in respect of an offence
allegedly committed upon a child to inform the Children' s
Registry within twenty-four hours of the receipt of the
allegation and of its particulars.

(2) On receiving any report under this Act about a
child, the officer in the Registry shall inform the Director
who shall —

Duty to report to
Children's
Registry.

Assessment and
investigation of
reports to
registry.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(a) cause the matter to be further investigated and
any necessary further steps to be taken as the
case may require;

(b) inform the person having custody, care or
control of the child, of the report, unless, in the
opinion of the Director, such information
would cause physical or emotional harm to
any person, endanger the safety of the child or
impede an investigation under paragraph (a).

PART XI - CHILDREN DETAINED OR BROUGHT
BEFORE A COURT

109. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any
law —

(a) it shall be conclusively presumed that no child
under the age of ten years can be guilty of an
offence;

(b) it shall not be presumed that a child aged ten
or over is incapable of committing an offence.

110. (1) Where a person, whether charged with an
offence or not, is brought before any court otherwise than
for the purpose of giving evidence, and it appears to the
court that the person is a child, the court shall —

(a) make due inquiry as to the age of that person;
and

(b) for that purpose, shall take such evidence as
may be forthcoming at the hearing of the case.

(2) An order or judgment of the court shall not be
invalidated by any subsequent proof that the person's age
has not been correctly stated to the court, and the age
presumed or declared by the court to be the age of the
person so brought before it shall, for the purposes of this
Act, be deemed to be the true age of that person.

(3) Where it appears to the court that the person so
brought before it has attained the age of eighteen years,
that person shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed
not to be a child.

(4) Where, in any charge or information for any
offence under this Act or any of the offences mentioned in
the Fifth Schedule, except offences specified in
subsection (5) —

Age of criminal
responsibility.

Determination of
age.

Fifth Schedule.

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(a) it is alleged that the person by or in respect of
whom the offence was committed was a child
or was under or had attained any specified age;
and

(b) the person appears to the court to have been, at
the date of the commission of the alleged
offence, a child or to have been under or to
have attained the specified age, as the case
may be,

the person shall for the purposes of this Act be presumed at
that date to have been a child or to have been under or to
have attained that age, as the case may be, unless the
contrary is proved.

(5) The offences referred to in subsection (4) are
offences against the following sections of the Sexual
Offences Act, sections 6 (rape), 7 (procuring defilement of
person under eighteen), 10 (carnally knowing person under
fourteen), 11 (carnally knowing person fourteen and under
sixteen, 12 (sexual intercourse with a person suffering
mental disability), 20 (forcible taking with intent to have
carnal knowledge) 21 (unlawful detention with intent to
have carnal knowledge) or 22 (abduction of unmarried
person under sixteen).

111. (1) Arrangements shall be made for preventing a
child who is —

(a) at a police station in connection with the
commission of any offence, whether
committed by the child or by any other person;

(b) being conveyed to or from any criminal court,
correction centre or place of safety; or

(c) waiting before or after attendance in any court,

from associating with any adult, not being a relative, who
is charged with any offence other than an offence with
which the child is jointly charged.

(2) A child referred to in subsection (1) shall, if a
female, be, in the instances mentioned in paragraphs (a)
and (b) of that subsection, under the care or control of a
female social services or police officer.

112. (1) Where a person apparently a child is
apprehended, with or without warrant, and cannot be
brought forthwith before a court, the officer or sub-officer

Ch. 99.

Separation of
children from
adults.

Bail or detention
of child.

[CH.132 – 62 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

of police in charge of the police station to which the person
is brought shall as soon as practicable —

(a) ascertain the identity of and contact the parent
or guardian;

(b) so inform the office of the Director and the
office of the Minors Advocate;

(c) enquire into the case and may, in accordance
with the Bail Act, release the person on a
recognizance being entered into by the person
or his parent or guardian (with or without
sureties) for such amount as will, in the
opinion of the officer secure the person's
attendance upon the hearing of the charge, and
shall so release that person unless —

(i) the charge is one of homicide,
(ii) it is necessary in the person's interest

to remove the person from
association with any reputed criminal
or prostitute, or

(iii) the officer has reason to believe that
the person's release would defeat the
ends of justice.

(2) Where a person apparently a child is
apprehended and is not released under subsection (1) the
police shall cause the person to be detained in a juvenile
correction centre until the person can be brought before a
court.

(3) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
this Act or any other law where a child (under the age of
fourteen years) comes into police custody for an alleged
offence and the provisions of subsection (4) apply, the
officer shall not proceed to file a complaint if the child in
the presence of —

(a) a parent or guardian;
(b) a social services officer; and (c) the would be

virtual complainant,

admits the offence and agrees to undertake such an
assignment as could be the subject of an order under the
Offenders (Community Service and Supervision Order)
Act for such period not exceeding six months as is

Ch. 103.

Ch. 104.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 63





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provided in a written undertaking to be executed by the
child and parent or guardian.

(4) The alleged offence for which the child has
come into custody —

(a) does not involve an assault upon a teacher or
physical injury to any person or the use of a
weapon or dangerous instrument; or

(b) does not involve damage to or appropriation of
property in excess of fifty dollars,

and the child involved has not been previously dealt with
under subsection (3) or has been the subject of an order of
a court for a criminal offence.

(5) There shall be included in the undertaking to
be signed under subsection (4) an undertaking by the
parent or guardian to pay to the Treasurer a sum not
exceeding five hundred dollars in the event of the child
failing to carry out the assignments without reasonable
cause.

(6) It shall be deemed a term of any undertaking
mentioned in subsection (4) that in the event of a wilful
breach by a child of its terms, the child may be prosecuted
for the alleged offence referred to in subsection (3) and
which may be done notwithstanding any period of
limitation for doing so has expired.

113. (1) Any court on remanding or committing for
trial a child who is not released on bail shall commit that
child to custody in a juvenile correction centre named in
the commitment, to be detained there for a period for
which the child is remanded or until the child is there
delivered in due course of law:

Provided that in the case of a child who has
attained the age of fourteen years —

(a) the court shall not be obliged so to commit that
child if the court based upon sworn
information certifies that the child is of —

(i) so unruly a character that the child
cannot safely be so committed, or

(ii) so depraved a character that the child is
not a fit person to be so detained; and

(b) where the court so certifies, the child may be
committed to such place, including an adult

Remand or
committal to
juvenile remand
centre.

[CH.132 – 64 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

correctional centre, as may be specified in the
commitment warrant.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the court which
makes an order under subsection (1), committing a child to
custody may, on application —

(a) vary the order; or
(b) revoke the order in respect of a child referred

to in the proviso to subsection (1).

(3) If an application under subsection (2) cannot
conveniently be made to the court which made the order
for commitment, action under that subsection may be taken
by any competent court that would have had jurisdiction
but for its geographical location.

(4) If the order is not revoked, the child may be
committed to such place, including an adult correctional
centre, as may be specified in the commitment warrant.

114. (1) When a child is charged with any offence or is
for any other reason brought before a court in relation to an
offence, the child's parent or guardian may, in any case,
and shall, if such parent or guardian can be found and
resides within a reasonable distance, be required to attend
at the court before which the case is heard or determined
during all the stages of the proceedings, unless the court is
satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require the
attendance.

(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (a) of section
112(1), where a child is arrested or taken to a juvenile
remand centre, the officer or sub-officer of police in charge
of the police station in the district of the court before which
the child will appear shall take such steps as are practicable
to cause the parent or guardian of that child, if he can be
found, to be warned to attend court.

(3) For the purpose of enforcing the attendance of
a parent or guardian and enabling him to take part in the
proceedings and enabling orders to be made against him, a
summons may be issued and served on him requiring
attendance before the court; and the provisions of the
Criminal Procedure Code Act as are applicable to the
summoning of a witness shall, with the necessary
adaptations and modifications, apply to the procedure on
such summons.

Attendance at
court of parent of
child charged
with an offence,
etc.

Ch. 91.

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(4) The parent or guardian whose attendance is
required under this section shall be the parent or guardian
having the actual possession and control of the child:

Provided that the attendance of such parent
shall not be required if the child is, prior to the institution
of the proceedings, removed from the parent's custody or
charge by an order of a court.

115. (1) Where a child is to be brought before any
court charged with an offence, the person bringing the
child before the court shall cause notice of the charge and
its particulars on which the child is brought before the
court and of the date on which such matter will be heard, to
be served in the manner and to the extent mentioned in
section 81(4) which shall mutatis mutandis apply.

(2) Where a child is brought before a court, it shall
be the duty of such court to explain to the child in as
simple language as possible —

(a) the reason for him being before the court; and
(b) that he if not legally represented is entitled to

the assistance of the Minors Advocate if he so
requests directly or through his parent or
guardian.

(3) Where a child is charged before a court with
any offence and does not have legal representation having
declined the use of the service of the Minors Advocate, it
shall be the duty of the court to ascertain the defence, if
any, of the child so as to put, or assist the child and the
child's parent or guardian in putting, such questions to any
witness as appear to be necessary.

PART XII - JUVENILE COURTS

116. (1) In this Part —
"child" means a person under the age of fourteen

years; "juvenile" means a person who has
attained the age of ten and is under eighteen
years;

"young person" means a person who has attained
the age of fourteen and is under the age of
eighteen years.

(2) The Chief Justice may by Order establish in
any magisterial district a juvenile court which shall

Notice to
appropriate
officers of
charges against
child.

Juvenile courts.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

exercise such jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by
this Act.

(3) A juvenile court shall consist of a magistrate
as chairman and other members appointed as hereinafter
provided.

(4) The Minister after consultation with the Chief
Justice may by Order in respect of any juvenile court
appoint a panel of not less than six persons from whom the
members, other than the chairman, of the court at any
sitting thereof shall be selected as hereinafter provided.

(5) Subject to subsection (6), every appointment
to the panel shall be for a period of not more than three
years but shall be revocable at any time by the Minister
after consultation with the Chief Justice —

(a) on the ground of the member's inability to
discharge the functions of the office (whether
arising from infirmity of body or mind or any
other cause); or

(b) for misbehaviour; or
(c) absence without reasonable explanation to the

chairman from three consecutive sittings of the
court as reported in writing by the chairman as
having caused postponement of the continued
hearing of a matter before the court.

(6) A person shall not be eligible for appointment
if he is under the age of twenty-five years or has attained
the age of sixty-five years and shall cease to be a member
on attaining age sixty-five, save however he may continue
in office for such period as is notified to the Minister in
writing by the chairman as being a period necessary to
enable that member to continue to participate in
proceedings in which evidence was taken before he
attained that age.

(7) At any sitting of a juvenile court the court
shall consist of the chairman and two other members,
selected by the chairman from the panel of persons
appointed under subsection (4) and at least one member of
the court shall be a woman.

117. (1) A juvenile court shall have the jurisdiction
conferred upon juvenile courts by this Act and in addition
all those powers of a magistrate under the Magistrates Act

Jurisdiction and
powers of
juvenile courts.
Ch. 54.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 67





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

and the Criminal Procedure Code Act which are necessary
for the exercise of that jurisdiction.

(2) The words "conviction" and "sentence" shall
cease to be used in relation to juveniles dealt with by a
magistrate's or juvenile court and any reference in any. law
whether made before or after the coming into operation of
this section to a person convicted, a conviction or a
sentence shall in the case of a juvenile be construed as
including a reference to a person found guilty of an
offence, a finding of guilty or an order made upon such a
finding or upon the admission of guilt, as the case may be.

118. In the determination of any question or matter
before a juvenile court the decision of the majority of the
members of the court shall prevail:

Provided that any question of law that arises
shall be decided by the chairman alone and the chairman
alone shall decide whether any question is or is not a
question of law.

119. In the exercise of any jurisdiction conferred upon a
juvenile court the members thereof shall enjoy immunities
as are enjoyed by a magistrate in the exercise of his
jurisdiction.

120. (1) Save as is otherwise provided, every matter
brought before a juvenile court shall be heard and
determined in a summary way.

(2) Where a child or young person is brought
before a juvenile court for any offence it shall be the duty
of the court as soon as possible to explain to him in simple
language the substance of the alleged offence.

(3) Where a child is brought before a juvenile
court charged with any offence other than homicide the
case, subject to any right of appeal, shall be finally
disposed of in the juvenile court.

(4) Where a young person is brought before a
juvenile court charged with any indictable offence other
than one mentioned in the Fifth Schedule and the court
considers that it is expedient, in the interests of the young
person, to deal summarily with the case, the court shall put
to the young person the following question, telling him that
he may consult his parent or guardian before replying; "Do
you wish to be tried by the court or by a jury?" and the
court shall explain the meaning of being so tried and the
place where the trial would be held.

Ch. 91.

Decision of
majority of
juvenile court to
prevail.

Immunities of
members of
juvenile courts.

Procedure in
juvenile courts
prior to hearing.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(5) Where —
(a) a child or young person is brought before a

juvenile court charged with homicide;
(b) a young person is charged with an indictable

offence mentioned in the Fifth Schedule; or
(c) a young person is charged with any other

indictable offence and the court does not
consider it expedient to deal with the case
summarily or the young person charged does
not agree to be tried by the juvenile court,

the court shall remit the case to a magistrate to be dealt
with in accordance with the provisions of the Magistrates
Act, the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code Act.

121. Where the juvenile court proceeds to hear and to
determine the charge it shall first ask the person charged
whether he admits the offence.

122. (1) If the child or young person does not admit the
offence the court shall then hear the evidence of the
witnesses in support thereof. At the close of the evidence in
chief of each such witness, the magistrate shall ask the
child or young person or if he sees fit, the child's or young
person's parent or guardian, whether he wishes to put any
questions to the witnesses.

(2) If the child or young person instead of asking
questions wishes to make a statement he shall be allowed
to do so. It shall be the duty of the court to put to the
witnesses such questions as appear to be necessary. The
court may put to the child or young person such questions
as may be necessary to explain anything in the statement of
the child or young person.

(3) If it appears to the court that a prima facie case
is made out, the evidence of any witnesses for the defence
shall be heard, and the child or young person shall be
allowed to give evidence or to make any statement.

(4) If the child or young person admits the offence
or the court is satisfied that it is proved, he shall then be
asked if he desires to say anything in extenuation or
mitigation of the penalty or otherwise; before deciding how
to deal with him the court shall obtain such information as
to his general conduct, home surroundings, school record,
and medical history, as may enable it to deal with the case
in the best interests of the child or young person and may

Ch. 54.
Ch. 84.
Ch. 91.
Plea.

Procedure at
hearing.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 69





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

put to him any question arising out of such information.
For the purpose of obtaining such information or for
special medical examination or observation the court may
from time to time remand the child or young person on bail
or to a place of detention.

(5) If the child or young person admits the offence
or the court is satisfied that it is proved, and the court
decides that a remand is necessary for purposes of inquiry
or observation, the court may cause an entry to be made in
the court register that the charge is proved and that the
child or young person has been remanded.

123. (1) Juvenile courts shall sit as often as may be
necessary for the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction
conferred upon them by this Act.

(2) A juvenile court shall sit either in a different
building or room from that in which sittings of courts other
than juvenile courts are held, or on different days from
those on which sittings of such other courts are held; and
no persons shall be present at any sittings of a juvenile
court except —

(a) members and officers of the court;
(b) parties to the case before the court, their

counsel, and witnesses and other persons
directly concerned in that case;

(c) the parents or guardians of any child or young
person concerned in that case;

(d) such other persons as the court may specially
authorise to be present.

124. Where a child or young person is tried before any
court which is not a juvenile court, then such court shall, in
relation to that child or young person have all the powers
of a juvenile court.

125. (1) Where a juvenile court has made a
determination that the charge against the child or young
person has been proven that court may, subject to the
provisions of this Act, make an order —

(a) dismissing the case;
(b) for probation for a specified period not

exceeding three years, under the Penal Code
(c) in accordance with the provisions of the

Offenders (Community Service and

Sittings of
juvenile courts.

Court other than
juvenile court to
have powers of
juvenile court.

Methods of
dealing with
child offenders.

Ch. 84.

Ch. 104.

[CH.132 – 70 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

Supervision Order) Act either in addition to or
without making any other order under this
subsection;

(d) committing the offender to the care of any fit
person, whether a relative or not, who is
willing to undertake the care of the offender
and in addition or in lieu thereof restricting his
movement for a specified period under a
curfew;

(e) where the offender is a young person ordering
the offender to pay a fine, damages or costs;

(f) sending the offender to an adult or juvenile
correctional centre;

(g) ordering the parent or guardian of the offender
to pay a fine, damages or costs;

(h) ordering the parent or guardian of the offender
to enter into a recognizance for the good
behaviour of such offender;

(i) either in addition to or without making any
other order under this subsection, ordering the
parent or guardian and the offender to attend
together over a period not less than six weeks
such parenting or counselling classes as have
been arranged by the Department for parents
and their children at such times as arranged
with the Department having regard to the time
constraints of the parent and the offender;

(j) either in addition to or without making any
other order committing the offender to a
treatment centre.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1), other than
paragraphs (i) and (j) thereof, shall be construed as
authorising the court to deal with any case in any manner
in which it could not be dealt with apart from that
subsection.

(3) An order for the payment of a fine not
exceeding five hundred dollars may be made against a
parent or guardian who, having been required to attend
before the court or attend counselling classes as aforesaid
has failed to do so, but no such order of a fine shall be
made without giving the parent or guardian an opportunity
of being heard.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 71





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) Any sums ordered under this section to be paid
by a parent or guardian may be recovered from him as if he
had been convicted of the offence in respect of which the
child was charged and a fine had been imposed upon him:

Provided that in determining any term of
imprisonment to be imposed under this subsection for
nonpayment, the Court shall take into account the impact
of such sentence on any family member of the person to be
sentenced.

(5) A parent or guardian may appeal against an
order made against him under this section as if he had been
convicted by a magistrate court of the offence in respect of
which the child or young person was charged.

(6) The provisions of subsection (7) shall apply in
any case where —

(a) a correctional order has been made under
subsection (1) (f) in respect of a young person;
and

(b) the Director at any time during the period of
the offender's detention at a juvenile
correctional centre, establishes to the
satisfaction of a juvenile court that the
offender is of so recalcitrant a character that it
is not expedient that he should continue his
detention at such centre; or

(c) has, during the period specified in the order for
his detention, attained the age of eighteen prior
to the expiration of that period.

(7) A court may, notwithstanding anything to the
contrary, direct that the offender be detained in such place
(including an adult correctional centre) and for such time,
not exceeding the unexpired portion of the original period
specified for his detention and on such conditions as the
court may think fit.

126. (1) Sentence of death shall not be pronounced on
or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if it
appears to the court that at the time when the offence was
committed he was under the age of eighteen years, but in
place thereof the court shall order him to be detained for
such period as may be determined by the court and set out
in the order.

(2) A person ordered to be detained under
subsection (1) shall, notwithstanding anything in the other

Restriction on
punishment.

[CH.132 – 72 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

provisions of this Act, be liable to be detained in such
place including, save in the case of a child who has not
attained the age of fourteen years, an adult correctional
centre, and under such conditions as the Minister may
direct, and, while so detained, shall be deemed to be in
legal custody.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other
law on ordering the detention of any person under
subsection (1), the court may specify a period which that
person should serve before becoming eligible for parole.

(4) No child shall be ordered to undergo
imprisonment or be committed to prison in default of
payment of a fine, damages or costs.

(5) No young person shall be ordered to undergo
imprisonment if he can be suitably dealt with in any other
way, whether by probation, fine, committal to a place of
detention or industrial school, or otherwise.

(6) A young person ordered to undergo
imprisonment shall not be allowed to associate with adult
prisoners.

(7) A court shall not order a child under the age of
twelve years to be sent to a juvenile correctional centre
unless for any reason the court is satisfied that the child
cannot suitably be dealt with otherwise.

127. (1) The provisions of subsections (1), (2) and (3)
of section 126 shall mutatis mutandis apply to a child or
young person who admits to the commission of or is
proven to have committed an offence mentioned in the
Fifth Schedule.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this
section, where an offender has been sentenced by a
relevant sentence of detention to a term of detention and
either —

(a) he has attained the age of 18; or
(b) he has attained the age of 14 and has been

reported to the Minister by the committee of
visitors of the institution in which he is
detained as exercising a bad influence on the
other inmates of the institution or as behaving
in a disruptive manner to the detriment of
those inmates,

Detention of
children and
young persons
for certain
crimes.
Fifth Schedule.

CHILD PROTECTION [CH.132 – 73





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the Minister may direct that he shall be treated as if he had
been sentenced to imprisonment for the same term.

(3) Where the Minister gives a direction under
subsection (2) in relation to an offender, the portion of the
term of detention imposed under the relevant sentence of
detention which he has already served shall be deemed to
have been a portion of a term of imprisonment and the
remaining period of that sentence shall be served in an
adult correctional centre.

(4) A sentence of detention imposed in accordance
with section 126 or this section shall during its currency be
reviewed by a judge upon the expiration of every three
years with a view as to whether it should be maintained or
decreased having regard to the reported conduct of the
offender during his detention notwithstanding section
126(3) and for that purpose the Registrar of the court shall
cause the offender to be brought before a judge.

128. (1) Any court before which is brought any
juvenile in respect of whom any offence endangering his
safety or occasioning bodily injury to him has been
committed, may, if satisfied that the best interests of the
juvenile so require, make an order in accordance with
subsection (2).

(2) An order under subsection (1) may —
(a) require the parent or guardian of the juvenile

to enter into a recognizance to exercise proper
care and guardianship; or

(b) commit the juvenile to the care of any fit
person, whether a relative or not, who is
willing to undertake the care of the juvenile; or

(c) either in addition to, or without making any
order under paragraph (a) or (b), place the
juvenile under a care or supervision order;

(d) be an exclusion order made in accordance with
Part VI against any person found guilty of
such offence as is referred to in subsection (1)
except that where that person is the parent of
the juvenile, the order may set out such
conditions for supervised contact between that
parent and the juvenile, as the court may think
fit having regard to the best interests of the
juvenile;

Child victim.

[CH.132 – 74 CHILD PROTECTION





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(e) if there are reasonable grounds to believe that
a person is likely to interfere with a party who
has custody of a juvenile, prohibit that person
from contacting or interfering with, or
attempting to contact or interfere with, the
party who has custody of the juvenile;

(f) where any person found guilty of such offence
as is referred to in subsection (1) is a person
having the custody, charge, or care of the
juvenile, require —

(i) that person, or
(ii) the juvenile or any other juvenile who

resides with that person,
to receive counselling for a specified period

from a fit person, qualified by his knowledge
of psychology or psychiatry, appointed by the
court.

(3) A person referred to in subsection (2)(f) shall
be guilty of a summary offence punishable by a fine of five
hundred dollars if he fails without reasonable cause to
comply with the requirement mentioned in that subsection.

(4) Any party to proceedings under this section
may apply to the court for a variation or discharge of an
order, if circumstances have changed significantly since
the order was made and notice of the application shall be
given to all other parties to the proceedings at least seven
days before the date set for hearing of the application.

(5) If a court before which any juvenile is brought
is not in a position to decide whether any or what order
ought to be made under this section, it may make such
interim order as it thinks fit for the detention of the juvenile
or continued detention in a place of safety, or for his
committal to the care of a fit person, whether a relative or
not, who is willing to undertake the care of the juvenile.

(6) Any interim order made under subsection (5)
shall not remain in force for more than thirty days, but at
any time within such period the court may, if it considers it
expedient s0 to do, make a further interim order, so,
however, that in no case shall any interim order remain in
force for more than sixty days after the date of the first
order made under subsection (5).

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(7) If the court by which an interim order is made
is satisfied on any occasion that, by reason of illness or
accident, the juvenile is unable to appear personally before
the court, any further interim order which the court has
power to make on that occasion may be made in the
absence of the juvenile.

(8) In making an order under this section for the
committal of a juvenile to the care of a fit person or for
placement of a juvenile in a place of safety, the court shall
consider the best interests of the juvenile and give priority
to placing the juvenile with a relative or, if that is not
consistent with the best interests of the juvenile, committal
or placement of the juvenile as follows —

(a) in a location where the juvenile can maintain
contact with relatives and friends;

(b) in the same family unit as the brothers and
sisters of the juvenile;

(c) in a location that will allow the juvenile to
continue in the same school.

129. If it appears to a court that any juvenile or a parent
having entered into a recognizance under this Act has
failed to comply with any of the conditions of that
recognizance, the court may adjudge the recognizance to
be forfeited and the sum of money named therein to be
payable by the parent, guardian or other surety, and
thereupon that recognizance may be enforced against such
parent, guardian or other surety as if the sum of money
named therein were a fine ordered to be paid by a court of
summary jurisdiction upon summary conviction of an
offence.

130. (1) Where a juvenile has been placed under the
supervision of the Department or any authorised person, an
officer of the Department or person —

(a) shall, while the order remains in force, visit,
advise and befriend the child when necessary
and where appropriate endeavour to find
suitable employment for the juvenile; and

(b) may, if it appears necessary in the interest of
the juvenile so to do, at any time while the
order remains in force and he is under the age
of eighteen years, bring him before a juvenile
court or magistrate as the case may be.

Enforcement of
recognizance.

Special
provisions
relating to
probation.

[CH.132 – 76 CHILD PROTECTION





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(2) The court before which a juvenile is brought
under subsection (1) may, if it thinks it desirable in his
interest, order him to be sent to a juvenile correctional
centre or commit him to the care of a fit person, whether a
relative or not, who is willing to undertake his care.

(3) Where the court before which any person is
bound by his recognizance or in respect of whom a
probation order is made under the Penal Code, is a juvenile
court, the attainment by that person of the age of eighteen
years shall not deprive a juvenile court of jurisdiction to
enforce his attendance and deal with him in respect of any
failure to observe the conditions of his recognizance or of
jurisdiction to vary or discharge the recognizance.

131. (1) A court, before making a correctional order
with respect to any child, shall endeavour to ascertain the
religious persuasion of the child.

(2) Every correctional order shall contain a
declaration as to the age and religious persuasion (if
ascertained) of the child with respect to whom the order is
made.

(3) Every court which makes a correctional order
in relation to any juvenile shall cause to be delivered with
as little delay as possible to the Minister —

(a) the order; and
(b) a record embodying all such information in the

possession of the court with respect to the
juvenile as is, in the opinion of the court,
material to be known by the Minister.

(4) Pending the admission into a juvenile
correction centre of a juvenile in respect of whom a
correctional order is made, the juvenile shall be detained in
a place appointed by the Minister for use as a remand
centre, unless the court which made the order has
otherwise directed, or a court which would have
jurisdiction as the court which made the order but for its
geographical location, otherwise directs.

(5) Where a court orders a child or young person
to be sent to a juvenile correction centre, the order shall be
the authority for his detention in a juvenile correction
centre for such period as shall be specified in the order, not
being a period ending after the date on which he attains the
age of eighteen years.

Ch. 84.

Provisions
relating to
committal to
child correctional
centre.

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(6) Where a child under the age of fourteen or a
young person is detained in a juvenile correction centre as
punishment for the commission of an offence and he
attains the age of eighteen before the expiration of the
period of detention he was ordered to undergo as
punishment for the commission of an offence he shall be
liable to serve the remaining period of detention
subsequent to that age in an adult correctional centre.

(7) A juvenile detained under any correction order
and while being conveyed to or from any juvenile
correctional centre shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

132. A party to any proceedings in a juvenile court may
be represented therein by counsel other than the Minors
Advocate.

133. Any order, judgment or process purporting to be
signed by the chairman of a juvenile court shall be deemed
to have been duly made, given or issued by the court and
the record of any proceedings before a juvenile court shall
be deemed to be a true record of the proceedings, and
judicial notice shall be taken by all courts of any order,
judgment, process or record purporting to be so signed.

PART XIII - PLACES OF DETENTION

134. This Part shall apply to New Providence but may
be extended to such places in the Family Islands as the
Minister may by Order direct.

135. (1) The Minister may by Order declare any place
or premises to be a juvenile correction centre or a place of
detention.

(2) A juvenile correction centre or place of
detention may be appropriated to boys or girls or to boys
and girls as the Minister may direct.

(3) The premises being used at the coming into
operation of this Act as detention centres and known as
The Willie Mae Pratt Centre and the Simpson Penn Centre
for the accommodation of girls and boys, respectively,
shall be considered places declared under subsection (1)
until an order of the Minister is made thereunder to the
contrary.

136. Subject to section 126(7), no child under the age of
twelve years shall be received into a juvenile correction
centre or a place of detention and no person shall be

Representation
by counsel.

Signification of
judgments,
orders and
process.

Application.

Minister may
declare places or
premises to be
places of
detention.

Age limits.

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retained in the centre or place after he has attained the age
of eighteen years.

137. (1) An order for the commitment of a child to a
juvenile correction centre or place of detention shall be in
the form in the Sixth Schedule.

(2) The production of such order, or a certified
copy thereof, shall be sufficient evidence of the authority
to detain such child in such juvenile correction centre or
place of detention until the child shall attain the age
specified in the order:

Provided that the superintendent of such juvenile
correction centre or place of detention shall not incur any
liability for damages if, owing to the absence of a
certificate of the birth of such child he detains such child
after such child has attained the age specified in the order
in the reasonable belief that such child has not attained that
age.

138. (1) It shall be lawful for the Minister to appoint a
visiting committee for any juvenile correction centre or
place of detention declared under this Act.

(2) Any minister of the religious denomination
specified in the detention order as that to which the child
appears to belong may visit the child at the juvenile
correction centre or place of detention, for the purpose of
instructing him in religion, on such days and at such times
as may be fixed by rules.

139. (1) A child who has been ordered to be sent to a
juvenile correction centre or place of detention and who —

(a) absconds from such juvenile correction centre
or place of detention, or from any hospital or
institution in which he is receiving medical
attention; or

(b) absconds whilst being conveyed to or from
such juvenile correction centre or place of
detention or to or from any hospital or
institution; or

(c) being outside such juvenile correction centre
or place of detention, runs away from the
person in whose charge he is, or fails to return
to such juvenile correction centre or place of
detention upon the revocation of his licence; or

Form of
detention order.
Sixth Schedule.

Visitors.

Absconding and
failure to comply
with licence or
recall.

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(d) being outside such juvenile correction centre
or place of detention under the provisions of
section 145 or 146 fails to return to such
juvenile correction centre or place of detention
upon the expiration of the period of time for
which he was so permitted to be outside such
juvenile correction centre or place of detention
or fails to return when required to do so or
fails to comply with the conditions, if any,
imposed by the superintendent under the
provisions of either of the said sections,

may be apprehended without warrant and returned to such
juvenile correction centre or place of detention.

(2) Any person who —
(a) knowingly assists directly or indirectly any

child to abscond —
(i) from a juvenile correction centre or

place of detention; or
(ii) during the currency of an order for the

commitment of. such child from any
hospital or institution in which such
child is receiving medical attention; or

(iii) during the currency of an order for the
commitment of such child from any
other place whatsoever at which such
child is, under the provisions of this Act,
at the time of the escape; or

(b) directly or indirectly induces any child so to
abscond; or

(c) knowingly harbours or conceals or assists in so
doing a child who has absconded or runs away
as mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d)
of subsection (1); or

(d) knowingly harbours or conceals a child whose
licence has been revoked or who has been
recalled to a juvenile correction centre or place
of detention, or knowingly assists in so doing,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on
summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for twelve months, or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

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140. A coroner's inquest shall in every case be held
whenever a child dies while detained in a juvenile
correction centre or place of detention.

141. Where a child committed to a juvenile correction
centre is by virtue of the provisions of this Act or of any
rule not living within the precincts of the centre, he shall
nevertheless for all purposes of discipline be subject to all
rules applicable to inmates of the centre.

142. It shall be lawful for the authority or person
responsible for the management of any institution other
than a prison or juvenile correction centre whether
supported out of the public funds or by voluntary
contributions, to agree with the Minister for the use of the
institution or any part thereof as a place of detention on
such terms as may be agreed upon between them and the
Minister.

143. The expenses incurred in respect of a juvenile
correction centre or place of detention, including the
expenses of the maintenance of any child detained therein,
shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Fund.

144. The Minister may at any time, on the
recommendation of the superintendent order any child —

(a) to be discharged from a juvenile correction
centre or place of detention; or

(b) to be removed from one juvenile correction
centre or place of detention to another or from
a juvenile correction centre to a place of
detention or from a place of detention to a
juvenile correction centre but so that the total
period of his detention shall not be increased
by such removal; or

(c) to be released from a juvenile correction centre
or place of detention under a licence to be
issued by the superintendent in the form
prescribed by the rules, in order that such child
may live under the charge of any trustworthy
and respectable person named in the licence
and willing to receive and take charge of him;
and

(i) in the case of a child under sixteen years
to keep him in regular attendance at a
school;

Inquest on death
of detained child.

Detention outside
juvenile
correction.
centre.

Provisions
regarding places
of detention.

Expenses.

Power to
discharge or vary
order.

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(ii) in the case of a child who has attained
sixteen years to keep him in regular
attendance at a school or regularly
employed in some trade, occupation or
calling:

Provided that the Minister may, on the
recommendation of the superintendent order the
superintendent to revoke such licence and to
recall such child to a juvenile correction centre
or place of detention.

145. (1) The superintendent of a juvenile correction
centre or place of detention may, grant a licence in the
form prescribed by the rules to any resident of such centre
or place of detention who is a child and has attained the
age of sixteen permitting him to be outside such centre or
place of detention between the hours of six o'clock in the
morning and six o'clock in the evening other than on
Sundays and public holidays for the purpose of being
gainfully employed by an employer approved by the
visiting committee, but such child shall be deemed to
remain under the supervision of the said superintendent,
who may at any time revoke such licence without incurring
any liability for damages suffered by the employer.

(2) Any person employing a child as provided in
subsection (1) hereof shall be required to render weekly to
the superintendent a report on the conduct of the child in
such form as may be prescribed by the rules.

(3) The earnings of a child employed under the
provisions of subsection (1) hereof shall be paid by the
employer to the superintendent, who shall —

(a) deduct therefrom, from time to time, and pay
to the child such sums as may be necessary for
his expenses whilst outside the juvenile
correction centre or place of detention in the
course of his employment; and

(b) from time to time retain the balance of such
earnings on trust for the child in such manner
and upon such conditions as may be prescribed
by the rules.

Permission for
resident to
engage in
extramural
employment.

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146. (1) The superintendent of a juvenile correction
centre or place of detention may permit a resident of such
centre or place of detention from time to time to visit his
home for such period between the hours of eight o'clock in
the forenoon and six o'clock in the evening upon such
conditions as the superintendent may decide.

(2) In the case of the serious illness of a relative of
a resident of a juvenile correction centre or place of
detention or of any other person, not being a relative of
such resident, but who stands in loco parentis to such
resident, the superintendent of such centre or place of
detention may, in his discretion permit such resident to be
outside the centre or place of detention for a period not
exceeding forty-eight hours at anyone time, upon such
conditions as the superintendent may decide.

147. (1) It shall be an offence for any person to publish
any material which is intended, or is likely, to identify —

(a) any child as being involved in any proceedings
before a court in which any power may be
exercised by the court with respect to that or
any other child; or

(b) an address or school as being that of a child
involved in any such proceedings; or

(c) any child concerned in those proceedings,
either as being the person against or in respect
of whom the proceedings are taken or as being
a witness therein.

(2) In any proceedings for an offence under this
section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he
did not know, or had no reason to suspect, that the
published material was likely to identify the child.

(3) The court may, if satisfied that the welfare of
the child requires it, by order dispense with the
requirements of subsection (1) (a), (b) or (c) to such extent
as may be specified in the order.

(4) For the purposes of this section “publish"
includes —

(a) broadcast by radio or television;
(b) causing to be published in any newspaper or

by any other manner whatever; and "material"
includes any information, picture or other form
of representation.

Permission for
resident to visit
home or be
absent from
centre or place of
detention in
certain
circumstances.

Offence in
publication of
particulars of
child.

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(5) Any person who contravenes this section
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to
a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or
to both such fine and term of imprisonment.

148. If any matter is published or broadcast in
contravention of section 147 the following persons
namely —

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

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

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

would be liable to prosecution.

PART XIV - MISCELLANEOUS

149. Save as otherwise provided in this Act an appeal
shall lie to the Supreme Court from any order or decision
made under this Act by a magistrate or juvenile court and
the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code Act and any
Rules of Court shall mutatis mutandis apply to such appeal
as they apply to other appeals from a magisterial court in
criminal proceedings.

150. The Rules Committee under section 76 of the
Supreme Court Act may from time to time make rules of
court for regulating the practice (including scales of fees)
in respect of proceedings of any kind under this Act in a
court, and may by the same or other rules assign to any
particular court the determination of any applications or
classes of applications involved in or related to those
proceedings.

151. (1) Where a court has to determine the issue of
parentage in any proceedings under this Act the court may,
on the application of any party to the proceedings or on its
own motion, make an order, upon such terms as may be

Persons liable for
publication
contrary to
section 147.

Appeals.

Ch. 91.

Rules of court.
Ch. 53.

Determination of
parentage issue.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

just, requiring any person to give any evidence which may
be material to the question, including a blood sample for
the purpose of blood test or for DNA analysis.

(2) Any person sought to be tested shall be made a
party to the proceedings and the court may draw such
inferences as it thinks appropriate from any refusal by a
party to submit a sample of his blood to facilitate a test.

(3) The court may, on the application of the
mother of the child, vary or amend an order made under
this section.

(4) This section is without prejudice to the
provisions of the Status of Children Act, and any Rules
made under section 15 of that Act shall mutatis mutandis
apply to any steps to be taken under this section to
determine the issue of parentage as they apply for that
purpose under that Act.

(5) Any specimen obtained pursuant to subsection
(1) shall after the completion of any test or analysis for
which it was obtained be destroyed or not be used for any
other purpose and the results of that test or analysis shall
only be disclosed and made use of in the proceedings in
which that test or analysis was ordered.

(6) Any person who retains or makes use of a
specimen or discloses any results contrary to subsection (5)
shall be guilty of a summary offence punishable by
imprisonment for two years and a fine of ten thousand
dollars.

152. (1) The Minister may make regulations generally
for the better carrying out of the provisions and purposes of
this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of
subsection (1), the Minister may make regulations —

(a) defining child abuse;
(b) prescribing reporting requirements for child

abuse;
(c) providing for the protection of children;
(d) as to matters concerning the issue of child

pornography;
(e) providing for the prevention of the use of illicit

drugs and also for the rehabilitation of
children;

Ch. 130.

Regulations.

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(f) prohibiting the trafficking of children.

(3) Regulations made under subsection (1) may
prescribe in relation to any contravention of the regulations
a penalty not exceeding five thousand dollars or five years
imprisonment or both and may provide additional penalties
for continuing or repeated offences.

(4) The Regulations may also, subject to the other
provisions of this Act or any Rules of court provide for the
charging of fees for the issue of any document or the
reimbursement of the Department of any expenses incurred
on behalf of a person under this Act.

153. In any proceedings duly initiated before a court
under the provisions of this Act or the Matrimonial Causes
(Summary Jurisdiction) Act, nothing shall in this or that
Act preclude the court from exercising any power which it
is competent to do in the proceedings pursuant to the
provisions of either Act save that no person shall thereby
be twice liable to any penalty or to make payment of any
sum.

154. (1) Any juvenile panel in existence at the time of
the coming into operation of this Act shall continue in
existence in accordance with the terms of its appointment
as if it were constituted under this Act and no proceedings
pending at that time shall be prejudiced by any repeal made
by this Act of any provisions pursuant to which that panel
was appointed.

(2) Any application, order, appointment or other
thing made or having effect for the purposes of any Act
amended by this section and pending or in force
immediately before the coming into operation of this Act
shall be deemed to have been made under or for the
purposes of the corresponding enactment in this Act and
any proceedings or other thing begun under the Act so
amended may be continued under this Act as if begun
thereunder.

(3) Nothing in this Act shall have the effect of
rendering any person liable to any penalty for any offence
greater than that co which he was liable on the date when
the offence was committed.

(4) The Minister may by Order amend the
provisions of the First, Second or Third Schedule.

155. The Commissioner of Police shall within the
competence of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, after

Avoidance of
doubt.
Ch. l26.

Transitional.


Co-operation of
law enforcement
authority

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consultation with the Minister, make such arrangements as
are necessary having regard to the Convention to secure the
expeditious despatch of —

(a) matters involving any child who has been
brought to the attention, or has come into the
custody, of the police;

(b) the service of any process issued by a court in
respect of maintenance under any Act.

.

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FIRST SCHEDULE

SUPERVISION ORDERS (Section 70)

INTERPRETATION

1. (1) In this Schedule —
"the responsible person", in relation to a supervised

person means —
(a) any person who has parental responsibility

for him; and
(b) any other person with whom he is living;

"the supervised person" means the child with
respect to whom a supervision order is made;

"supervision order" means a supervision order
under section 64;

"the supervisor" means where the supervision order
places the supervised person under the
supervision of the Department, such officer of
the Department as is for the time being
assigned to him by the Department.

(2) The above definition of "supervisor" applies
for the purpose of section 68.

REQUIREMENT TO COMPLY WITH SUPERVISOR'S
DIRECTIONS

2. (1) A supervision order may require the
supervised person to comply with any directions given
from time to time by the supervisor and requiring him to do
all or any of the following —

(a) to live at a place or places specified in the
directions for a period or periods so specified;

(b) to present himself to a person or persons
specified in the directions at a place or places
and on a day or days;

(c) to participate in activities specified in the
directions on a day or days to be specified.

(2) It shall be for the supervisor to decide whether
and to what extent he exercises any power to give
directions under sub-paragraph (1).

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(3) This paragraph does not confer on a supervisor
power to give directions in respect of any medical or
psychiatric examination or treatment.

REQUIREMENTS IMPOSED ON RESPONSIBLE
PERSONS

3. (1) With the consent of any responsible person, a
supervision order may include a requirement —

(a) that he take all reasonable steps to ensure that
the supervised person complies with any
direction given by the supervisor under
paragraph 2;

(b) that he take all reasonable steps to ensure that
the supervised person complies with any
requirement included in the order under
paragraph 4 or 5;

(c) that he comply with any directions given by
the supervisor requiring him to attend at a
place specified in the directions for the
purpose of taking part in activities so
specified.

(2) A direction given under sub-paragraph (1)(c)
may specify the time at which the responsible person is to
attend and whether or not the supervised person is required
to attend with him.

(3) A supervision order may require any person
who is a responsible person in relation to the supervised
person to keep the supervisor informed of his address, if it
differs from the supervised person's.

MEDICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATIONS

4. (1) A supervision order may require the
supervised person —

(a) to submit to a medical or psychiatric
examination; or

(b) to submit to any such examination from time
to time as directed by the supervisor.

(2) Any such examination shall be required to be
conducted —

(a) by, or under the direction of, such registered
medical practitioner as may be specified in the
order;

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(b) at a place specified in the order and at which
the supervised person is to attend as a non-
resident patient; or

(c) at a health service hospital or (in the case of a
psychiatric examination) a hospital or mental
nursing home at which the supervised person
is, or is to attend as, a resident patient.

(3) A requirement of a kind mentioned in
subparagraph (2) (c) shall not be included unless the court
is satisfied, on the evidence of a registered medical
practitioner, that —

(a) the supervised person may be suffering from a
physical or mental condition that requires, or
may be susceptible to, treatment; and

(b) a period as a resident patient is necessary if the
examination is to be carried out properly.

(4) No court shall include a requirement under this
paragraph in a supervision order unless it is satisfied
that —

(a) where the child has sufficient understanding to
make an informed decision, he consents co its
inclusion; and

(b) satisfactory arrangements have been, or can
be, made for the examination.

(5) This paragraph does not apply in the case of an
interim order or an order pending appeal.

MEDICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT

5. (1) Where a court proposes to make or vary a
supervision order and is satisfied, on the evidence of a
registered medical practitioner, that the physical condition
of the supervised person is such as required and may be
susceptible to treatment, the court may include in the
supervision order a requirement that the supervised person
shall, for a period specified in the order, submit to
treatment of one of the following descriptions so
specified —

(a) treatment by or under the direction of a
registered medical practitioner specified in the
order;

(b) treatment as a non-resident patient at a place
specified in the order;

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(c) treatment as a resident patient in a health
service hospital.

(2) Where a court proposes to make or vary a
supervision order and is satisfied, on the evidence of a
medical practitioner recognised for the purposes of the
Mental Health Act that the mental condition of the
supervised person is such as requires and may be
susceptible to treatment, the court may include in the
supervision order a requirement that the supervised person
shall, for a period specified in the order, submit to
treatment of one of the following descriptions so
specified —

(a) treatment by or under the direction of a
registered medical practitioner specified in the
order;

(b) treatment as a non-resident patient at a place
specified in the order;

(c) treatment as a resident patient in a hospital or
mental nursing home.

(3) No court shall include a requirement under this
paragraph in a supervision order unless it is satisfied
that —

(a) where the child has sufficient understanding to
make an informed decision, he consents to its
inclusion; and

(b) satisfactory arrangements have been, or can
be, made for the treatment.

(4) If a medical practitioner by whom or under
whose direction a supervised person is being treated in
pursuance of a requirement included in a supervision order
by virtue of this paragraph —

(a) is unwilling to treat or direct the treatment of
the supervised person, or (b) is of the
opinion —

(i) that the treatment should be continued
beyond the period specified in that
behalf in the order, or

(ii) chat the supervised person needs
different treatment, or

(iii) that he is not susceptible to treatment, or

Ch. 230.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(iv) that he does not require further
treatment,

the practitioner shall make a report in writing to that effect
to the supervisor.

(5) On receiving a report under sub-paragraph (4)
the supervisor shall refer it to the magistrate's court, and on
such a reference the court may make an order cancelling or
varying the requirement.

(6) This paragraph does not apply in the case of an
interim order or an order pending appeal.

RESTRICTION ON DIRECTIONS

6. (1) The total number of days in respect of which a
supervised person or responsible person may be required to
comply with directions given under paragraph 2 or 3 shall
not exceed ninety or such lesser number, if any, as may be
specified in the order.

(2) For the purpose of calculating the total number
of days in respect of which such directions may be given
the supervisor may disregard any day in respect of which
directions were previously given in pursuance of the order
and on which the directions were not complied with.
INFORMATION TO BE GIVEN TO SUPERVISOR ETC.

7. (1) A supervision order may require the
supervised person —

(a) to keep the supervisor informed of any change
in his address; and

(b) to allow the supervisor to visit him at the place
where he is living.

(2) The responsible person in relation to a
supervised person shall —

(a) if asked by the supervisor, inform him of the
supervised person's address (if it is known to
him); and

(b) if he is living with the supervised person,
allow the supervisor reasonable contact with
the supervised person.

DURATION OF SUPERVISION ORDER

8. (1) Subject to any other enactment providing for
its termination, a supervision order (other than an interim

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order or an order pending appeal) shall, unless previously
revoked, cease to have effect —

(a) the end of the period specified in the order
unless it is extended under subparagraph (2);

(b) when the supervised person attains the age of
eighteen years;

(c) on the making of a care order with respect to
the supervised person;

(d) on the making of any order by the Supreme
Court allowing the removal of the supervised
person out of the jurisdiction.

(2) On an application made by the supervisor a
magistrate court may make an order extending, or further
extending, the duration of a supervision order for such
period not exceeding one year as the court may specify.

(3) A supervision order may not be extended
beyond —

(a) the end of the period. elf three years beginning
with the date on which it was initially made; or

(b) the date on which the supervised person attains
the age of eighteen.

(4) This paragraph is without prejudice to any
other law.

VARIATION AND REVOCATION OF SUPERVISION
ORDER

9. (1) A supervision order may be revoked or varied
by the court on the application of —

(a) any person who has parental responsibility for
the child;

(b) the child himself if he has attained age
fourteen years; or

(c) the supervisor.

(2) On the application of a person —
(a) who is not entitled to apply for the order to be

revoked, but
(b) with whom the child is living,

a supervision order may be varied by the court in so far as
it imposes a requirement which affects that person.

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(3) In this paragraph "the court" means —
(a) where the supervision order was made by a

court other than a magistrate's court, that court
or;

(b) in any other case, a magistrate's court; but
where the supervision order was made by a
court on the determination of an appeal from
another court, it shall be treated for the
purpose of this sub-paragraph as made by the
latter court.

EFFECT ON EARLIER ORDERS

10. The making of a supervision order with respect to a
child revokes any earlier supervision order (including a
supervision order made by a court of summary jurisdiction
exercising criminal jurisdiction) made with respect to him
which would otherwise continue in force.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

SECOND SCHEDULE

EXCLUSION REQUIREMENTS ETC. (Section 77)

EXCLUSION REQUIREMENT

1. (1) For the purposes of section 77 and this
Schedule an exclusion requirement is any one or more of
the following —

(a) a provision requiring the relevant person to
leave a dwelling-house in which he is living
with the child;

(b) a provision prohibiting the relevant person
from entering a dwelling-house in which the
child lives; and

(c) a provision excluding the relevant person from
a defined area in which a dwelling-house in
which the child lives is situated.

(2) The court may provide that the exclusion
requirement is to have effect for a shorter period than the
other provisions of the relevant order.

POWER OF ARREST

2. (1) Where the court makes a relevant order
containing an exclusion requirement, the court may attach
a power of arrest to the exclusion requirement.

(2) Where the court attaches a power of arrest to
an exclusion requirement of the relevant order, it may
provide that the power of arrest is to have effect for a
shorter period than the exclusion requirement.

EXTENSION OF PERIOD OF REQUIREMENT OR
POWER OF ARREST

3. Any period specified for the purposes of paragraph
1(2) or 2(2) may be extended by the court (on one or more
occasions) on an application to vary or revoke the relevant
order.

EXECUTION OF POWER OF ARREST

4. (1) Where a power of arrest is attached to an
exclusion requirement of a relevant order by virtue of
paragraph 2, a police officer may arrest without warrant

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be
in breach of the requirement.

(2) Where a power of arrest is attached to an
exclusion requirement of a relevant order by virtue of
paragraph 2 and a person is arrested under sub-
paragraph (1) —

(a) he shall be brought before a magistrate's court
within a period of forty-eight hours beginning
at the time of his arrest otherwise at its next
sitting; and

(b) the magistrate before whom he is brought may
remand him.

LAPSE OF EXCLUSION REQUIREMENT

5. If, while a relevant order containing an exclusion
requirement is in force, the Department has removed the
child from the dwelling-house from which the relevant
person is excluded to other accommodation for a
continuous period of more than twenty-four hours, the
relevant order shall cease to have effect in so far as it
imposes the exclusion requirement.

UNDERTAKING IN LIEU OF EXCLUSION
REQUIREMENT

6. (1) In any case where the court has power to
include an exclusion requirement in a relevant order, the
court may accept an undertaking from the relevant person.

(2) No power of arrest may be attached to any
undertaking given under this paragraph.

(3) An undertaking given to a court under this
paragraph —

(a) shall be enforceable as if it were an order of
the court, and

(b) shall cease to have effect if, while it is in force,
the Department has removed the child from
the dwelling-house from which the relevant
person is excluded by virtue of the undertaking
to other accommodation for a continuous
period of more than twenty-four hours.

(4) This paragraph has effect without prejudice to
the powers of the court apart from this paragraph.



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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

INTERPRETATION

In this Schedule —
"relevant order" means an interim care order or an

emergency protection order;
"relevant person" means the person who is the

subject of the exclusion order.

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THIRD SCHEDULE (Section 87)

FOSTER-CARE PLACEMENT RULES

1. These Rules may be cited as the Foster-Care
Placement Rules.

2. In these Rules, unless the context otherwise
requires —

"foster child" means a child placed with a foster
parent or foster family;

"foster family" means a family in which a child is
placed;

"supervising officer" means the social services or
the authorised officer.

3. These Rules apply to the placement of a child with
foster parents by a social services or; authorised officer.

4. Any person interested in fostering a child shall
complete the prescribed application form and submit it to
the Department.

5. (1) The following persons may apply to be foster
parents —

(a) a husband and wife;
(b) a single woman not below the age of twenty-

five years; or
(c) a single man not below the age of twenty-five

years.

(2) A single man may not foster a female child
under these Rules unless the Minister is satisfied that there
are special circumstances which justify the single man
being permitted to do so.

6. (1) Where a child's religion is known, the child so
far as possible shall be placed with a foster parent who is
of the same religion as the foster child.

(2) Where a child's religion is not known, the
child shall be placed with a foster parent who shall
undertake to bring up the child in accordance with his
religious denomination.



Citation.

Interpretation.

Application of
Rules.

Application to
foster a child.

Persons qualified
to foster children.

Religion.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

7. Wherever possible, a child shall be placed with a
foster parent who has the same cultural background as the
child's parents.

8. (1) Each foster parent shall, on the day on which
the child is placed with him, sign in the presence of a
witness an undertaking to the effect of paragraph 6(2).

(2) Where the prospective foster parent cannot
read the English language sufficiently to understand the
nature of the undertaking, the supervising officer or the
authorised officer concerned shall cause the undertaking to
be explained to the prospective foster parent in a language
which he understands and shall certify to that effect.

(3) Each foster parent shall be given a copy of the
undertaking signed by him.

(4) A copy of the undertaking shall also be kept in
the Department.

Cultural
background.

Undertaking by
foster parents.

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FOURTH SCHEDULE (Section 105)

CONSTITUTION AND FUNCTIONS OF OFFICE OF
MINORS ADVOCATE

1. (1) A person shall not be qualified to hold or act in
the office of Minors Advocate unless he is a member of at
least five years standing of The Bahamas Bar or of the Bar
of any other country of The Commonwealth to which a
member of The Bahamas Bar is admitted without
examination.

(2) The powers of the Minors Advocate may be
exercised by him in person or through other fit persons
acting under and in accordance with his general or special
instructions.

2. (a) The Minors Advocate shall be entitled to such
emoluments and be subject to such other terms
and conditions of service as may from time to
time be prescribed by or under any law:

Provided that the emoluments, terms and
conditions of service of the Minors Advocate,
other than allowances that are not taken into
account in computing pensions, shall not be
altered to his disadvantage during his
continuance in office.

(b) the salary for the time being payable to the
Minors Advocate under this Act shall be
charged on and paid out of the Consolidated
Fund.

3. (1) Subject to subparagraphs (4) to (7), the Minors
Advocate shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty
years:

Provided that —
(a) he may at any time resign his office; and
(b) the Governor-General, acting on the

recommendation of the Prime Minister after
consultation with the Leader of the
Opposition, may permit a Minors Advocate
who has attained the age of sixty years to
continue in office until he has attained such
later age, not exceeding sixty-five years, as

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

may (before the Minors Advocate has attained
the age of sixty years) have been agreed
between them.

(2) Nothing done by the Minors Advocate shall be
invalid by reason only that he has attained the age at which
he is required by this paragraph to vacate his office.

(3) If the office of Minors Advocate is vacant or
the holder of that office is for any reason unable to perform
the functions thereof, a person qualified for appointment to
chat office may be appointed to act therein, and any person
so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of
subparagraph (1), continue to act until the office of Minors
Advocate is filled or, as the case may be, until the Minors
Advocate has resumed the functions of his office or the
appointment of that person is revoked by the Governor-
General acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal
Service Commission.

(4) The Minors Advocate may be removed from
office only for inability to discharge the functions of his
office (whether arising from infirmity of body or mind or
any other cause) or for misbehaviour and shall not be so
removed except in accordance with the provisions of this
section.

(5) The Minors Advocate shall be removed from
office by the Governor-General if the question of his
removal from office has been referred to a tribunal
appointed under subparagraph (6) and the tribunal has
recommended to the Governor-General that he ought to be
removed from office for inability as aforesaid or for
misbehaviour.

(6) If the Prime Minister represents to the
Governor-General that the question of removing the
Minors Advocate from office for inability as aforesaid or
for misbehaviour ought to be investigated then —

(a) the Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister, shall
appoint a tribunal, which shall consist of a
chairman and not less than two other members,
from among persons who hold or have held
office as a judge of a court having unlimited
jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in
some part of the Commonwealth or a court
having jurisdiction in appeals from any such
court; and

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(b) that tribunal shall enquire into the matter and
report on the facts thereof to the Governor-
General whether the Minors Advocate ought to
be removed from office for inability as
aforesaid or for misbehavour.

(7) The provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry
Act as in force immediately before the coming into
operation of this Act shall, subject to the provisions of this
Schedule apply as nearly as may be in relation to a tribunal
appointed under subparagraph (6) or, as the context may
require, to the members thereof as they apply in relation to
Commissions or Commissioners appointed under that Act,
and for that purpose shall have effect as if they formed part
of this Schedule.

(8) If the question of removing the Minors
Advocate from office has been referred to a tribunal under
subparagraph (6), the Governor-General, acting in
accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, may
suspend the Minors Advocate from performing the
functions of his office, and any such suspension may at any
time be revoked by the Governor-General, acting in
accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, and shall
in any case cease to have effect if the tribunal recommends
that the Minors Advocate should not be removed from
office.

4. (1) It shall be the duty of the Minors Advocate to
act as legal representative for any juvenile who is brought
before a court and who, himself or through any person
having the custody, care or control of the juvenile, requests
legal representation.

(2) Where the Minors Advocate is not acting as
legal representative of a juvenile under this section, he
shall nevertheless be entitled to attend as a party to any
proceedings in respect of a juvenile brought before a court,
if the Minors Advocate is satisfied that such attendance is
necessary in the best interest of the juvenile.

[CH.132 – 102 CHILD PROTECTION





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

FIFTH SCHEDULE (Section 110)

Murder, manslaughter or treason
Conspiracy or abetment of murder or treason
Offences under the fol1owing sections of the

Penal Code —
272 (causing maim or dangerous harm)
273 (use of deadly means of harm)
276 (garotting)
277(1) (intentionally endangering vessel)
292 (attempt to commit murder)
298 (infanticide)
323 (arson of dwelling house)
324 (arson of building)
326 (use of explosives)
339 (robbery and robbery with violence)
419 (threat by writing to cause death or harm)

Any offence under sections 6 (rape) 7 (procuration) 10
(sexual intercourse with a person under fourteen years) 11
(sexual intercourse with a person between fourteen and
sixteen years) 12 (sexual intercourse with a person
suffering mental disability) 20 (forcible taking of person
with intent) of the Sexual Offences Act.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SIXTH SCHEDULE (Section 137)

DETENTION ORDER

COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS

TO the Minister, to all persons authorised by the Minister,
or any peace officer and to the Superintendent of the
juvenile correctional centre.



WHEREAS ...........................late of ................................of
the age of ......years and of the ...............................religious
persuasion was this day brought before me the undersigned
and it was made to appear to me that the said.....................
*.............................................................................................
.............................................................................................
and that it was expedient for me to deal with him under the
Child Protection Act, and to order him to be sent to and
detained in a juvenile correction centre in............................
...........................for a period of ..........years and .................
months or until he should arrive at the age of .............years
(as the case may be).
THESE ARE THEREFORE TO COMMAND YOU the
said peace officer to take the said ........................and safely
convey him to ..........................................and deliver him to
. ...................................together with this Order AND I DO
HEREBY COMMAND THE SAID ................................to
receive the said.....................................................................
into the said juvenile correction centre and to detain him
therein or a period of .........years and ..........months or until
he shall arrive at the age of ........years (as the case may be)
and for so doing so this shall be your warrant.
Given under my hand and seal this ..........................day of
............................................

*here state the facts
to bring the child or
young person within
sections 112, 113,
122, 125, 127.

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