(Repealed by Children’s Act, Cap 141)
LAWS OF KENYA
THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT
Published by the National Council for Law Reporting
With the Authority of the Attorney-General
THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I – PRELIMINARY
PART II-PROCEEDINGS IN JUVENILE COURTS
4-Sitting of juvenile Courts
5-Prohibition of publication
6-Prevention of persons under 16 associating with adult offenders.
7-Children not allowed in court.
8-Power to clear court.
9-Power to require attendance of parent.
10-Bail of persons under 18 arrested.
11-Remand in custody.
12-Jurisdiction of Juvenile Courts.
13-Power to remit cases to juvenile courts
14-Considerations of welfare.
15-Words "conviction" and "sentence" not to be used of children and young persons.
16-Restrictions on Punishments
17-Methods of Dealing with Offenders
19-Power to Order Parent to Pay Fine, Etc.
PART III-PROTECTION OR DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN AND JUVENILES
20-Jurisdiction under Part III
21-Presumptions regarding custody, charge and care of children and juveniles.
22-When child or juvenile is in need of protection or discipline.
23-Penalty for cruelty to and neglecting children or juveniles.
24-Proceedings in respect of children and juveniles in need of protection or discipline.
25-Powers of court in respect of children or juveniles in need of protection or discipline.
26-Parent or guardian may be heard in any application.
27-Application of trusts for maintenance of children or juveniles.
28-Determination of court as to person's home, etc., to be final.
29-Warrants for search for children or juveniles.
30-Arrest without warrant.
PART IV-COMMITALS TO FIT PERSONS AND TO APPROVED SCHOOLS
31-Provisions as to orders of committal to fit persons
32-Contents of committal order.
33-Transmission of order.
34-Production of child or juvenile.
35-Harbouring or concealing child or juvenile.
36-Establishment of juvenile remand homes.
37-Approval of schools.
38-Minister may establish approved schools.
39-Obligations of managers.
40-Supervision of approved schools and juvenile remand homes.
41-Establishment of advisory council.
42-Leave of absence.
43-Release on licence.
44-Revocation of approved school order; duration of order.
45-Transfers and supervision after release.
46-Treatment of absconders and persons of bad character.
47-Removal to hospital.
48-Authority for detention in juvenile remand homes, approved schools and hospitals
49-Application of Part VI
50-Notification of taking possession of a person.
51-Notification of change of residence or of death.
52-Summary order for removal of person.
53-Removal of person in respect of whom an offence has been committed.
54-Appointment of chief inspector of children, inspectors of children and children's officers.
55-Duties of officers.
56-Powers of officers.
58-Appointment of local authorities.
59-Application of powers and duties.
60-Delegation of functions of county councils.
61-Delegation of certain powers and duties by appointed local authorities.
62-Powers of local authorities to incur expenditure in temporary care.
63-Approval of approved societies.
64-Appointment and powers of approved officers.
65-Escapes from fit persons, etc
66-Approved societies and appointed local authorities to report escape.
67-Escapes from juvenile remand homes and approved schools.
68-Assisting escape, etc.
69-Production of escaped person.
70-Presumptions and determination of age.
78-Grants, and expenses of the Minister.
THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT
8 of 1963, L.N. 256/1963, L.N. 149/1964, 11 OF 1970
Commencement: 31st December, 1963
An Act of Parliament to make provision for the protection and discipline of children, juveniles and young persons, and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith
1. This Act may be cited as the Children and Young Persons Act.
Cap. 128, Cap 211
2. In this Act, except where the context otherwise interpretation, requires -
“age”, where actual age is not known, means apparent age;
“appointed local authority” has the meaning assigned to that expression by section 58 of this Act;
“approved officer” means a person appointed under section 64 of this Act to be an approved officer;
“approved school” means a school approved under section 37 or established under section, 38 of this Act;
“approved society” means a society /approved by the Minister under section 63 of this Act;
“approved voluntary institution” means a voluntary institution approved under section 63 of this Act;
“authorized officer” means a police officer, administration police officer, administrative officer, inspector of children, children's officer and approved officer, and a chief or sub chief appointed under the Chief's Authority Act;
“chief inspector of children” means the person appointed as such under section 54 of this Act;
“child” means a person under the age of fourteen years;
“children's officer” means a person appointed to be a children's officer under section 54 of this Act;
“guardian”, in relation to a person under eighteen years of age, includes anyone who, in the opinion of the court, has charge or control of that person;
“home” means, in respect of any person under eighteen years of age. the place where, in the opinion of the court having cognizance of any case relating to him or in which he is concerned, his parent or guardian permanently resides or if there is no parent or guardian living, his parent or guardian last permanently resided:
Provided that -
(i) in the case of a parent or guardian having, or having had, more than one permanent place of residence such parent or guardian shall be presumed to be, or to have been, permanently resident at that place of his principal permanent residence;
(ii) where the court is unable to determine the home of any such person he shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have his home in the area of jurisdiction of the local authority in whose area he is found;
“inspector of children” means any person appointed to be an inspector of children under section 54 of this Act;
“juvenile” means a person who is of the age of fourteen years or more and is under the age of sixteen years:
“juvenile court”, without prejudice to the powers and Jurisdiction of the High Court, means a court constituted in accordance with section 3 of this Act; "Juvenile remand home" means a remand home established for the detention of persons under sixteen years of age or an institution agreed to be used as a juvenile remand home under section 36 of this Act;
“nursery” means any institution or place at which, for the time being, five or more children under the age of seven years are received and cared for regularly for reward;
“place of safety” means any mission, institution, hospital or other suitable place whether or not similar to the foregoing the occupier of which is willing to accept the temporary care of a child or Juvenile; and where no such place is available a Juvenile remand home or police station shall be deemed a place of safety for the purposes of this Act;
“voluntary institution” means a home or institution for the care of persons under eighteen years of age, whether for reward or not, supported wholly or partly by voluntary contributions or endowments, not being a school within the Cap. 211, meaning of the Education Act;
“young person” means a person who is of the age of sixteen years or more and is under the age of eighteen years.
PART II-PROCEEDINGS IN JUVENILE COURTS
11 of 1970, Sch
3. (1) For the purpose of hearing all charges against persons under eighteen years of age, except in cases where they are charged jointly with any person or persons over the age of eighteen years, and for the purpose of exercising any other jurisdiction conferred on juvenile courts by or under this or any other written law, there shall be courts called juvenile courts constituted in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) The Chief Justice may, by notice in the Gazette, in respect of any area appointed magistrate to be chairman or deputy chairman, and such number of other suitable persons as he may think fit, to constitute a panel of persons to try juvenile cases.
(3) The Chief Justice may from time to time, by notice in the Gazette, revise the composition of any panel by adding persons thereto or by removing persons therefrom or by substituting one person for another.
(4) Every juvenile court shall consist of either the chairman or the deputy chairman and a number of members of the panel in manner prescribed by rules made under section 77 of this Act, exercising jurisdiction within the area for which it is constituted, or of a magistrate sitting alone or m such other manner as may be so prescribed.
(5) Where in the course of any proceedings in a juvenile court it appears to the court that the person charged or to whom the proceedings relate is over eighteen years of age, or where in the course of any proceedings in any court other than a juvenile court it appears to the court that the person charged or to whom the proceedings relate is under eighteen years of age nothing in this section shall prevent the court if it thinks fit from proceeding with the hearing and determination of the case.
(6) Where any conviction or sentence made or passed by a court other than a juvenile court is appealed against or is brought before the High Court for confirmation or revision and it appears that the person convicted was at the time of the commission of the offence under eighteen years of age, the latter court shall have power to substitute for the conviction a finding of guilty in accordance with section 15 and to substitute for the sentence an order under section 17, of this Act.
Sitting of juvenile courts.
4. A juvenile court shall sit in a different building or room, or on different days, or at different times, from those in which sittings of courts other than juvenile courts are held and no person shall be present at any sitting of a juvenile court except -
(a) members and officers of the court;
(b) parties to the case before the court, their advocates and witnesses and other persons directly concerned in the case;
(c) parents or guardians of any person brought before the court;
(d) bona fide representatives of newspapers or news agencies;
(e) such other persons as the court may specially authorize to be present.
Prohibition of publication.
5. (1) No person shall publish the name or address of any person before a juvenile court, nor the name or address of any school which such person is or has been attending, nor any photograph of any such person, nor any matter likely to lead to the identification of such person, save with the permission of he court or in so far as is required by the provisions of this Act,
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand shillings.
Prevention of persons under 16 associating with adult offenders.
6. Arrangements shall be made for preventing persons under sixteen years of age while detained in a police station or while being conveyed to or from any court, or while waiting to attend in or leave any court, from associating with adults charged with or convicted of any offence other than an offence with which a person under sixteen years of age is jointly charged or convicted.
Children not allowed in court.
7. No child except an infant in arms shall, unless required by the court, be present in any court during the hearing of any case or during any proceedings preliminary thereto save with the permission of the court.
Power to clear court.
8. Where in any proceedings in relation to an offence against, or any conduct contrary to, decency or morality a person who, in the opinion of the court, is under eighteen years of age is called as a witness, the court may direct that all or any persons, not being members or officers of the court, or parties to the case or their advocates, or persons otherwise directly concerned in the case, shall be excluded from the court during the taking of the evidence of that witness.
Power to require attendance of parent.
9. Where a person under eighteen years of age is charged with any offence or is for any other reason brought before a court, his parent or guardian may in any case, and shall, if he 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 stages of the proceedings, unless the court is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require his attendance.
Bail of persons under 18 arrested.
10. Where a person apparently under the age of eighteen years is apprehended with or without warrant and cannot be brought forthwith before a court, the police or administrative officer to whom such person is brought shall inquire into the case, and may in any case, and unless -
(a) the charge is one of murder or manslaughter or other grave crime; or
(b) it is necessary in the interests of such person to remove him from association with any undesirable person; or
(c) such officer has reason to believe that the release of such person would defeat the ends of justice,
shall, release such person on a recognizance being entered into by his parent or guardian or other responsible person, with or without sureties, for such amount as will, in the opinion of such officer, secure the attendance of such person upon the hearing of the charge.
Remand in custody.
11. (1) A court, on remanding any person under eighteen years of age in custody, shall order him to be detained for the period for which he is remanded -
(a) if he is under sixteen years of age, in a juvenile remand home:
Provided that if there is no juvenile remand home within a reasonable distance of the court, the court shall make such order as to his safe custody as it deems fit;
(b) if otherwise, in a remand prison:
Provided that in the case of a juvenile the court may commit him to custody in a prison if it is satisfied that he is of so unruly a character that he cannot safely be remanded in custody to a juvenile remand home or that safely be remanded in custody to a juvenile remand home or that he is of so depraved a character that he is not a fit person to be so remanded.
(2) A remand to a juvenile remand home under this section may be varied and, in the case of a person who is over the age of fourteen years and who proves to be of so unruly a character that he cannot safely be detained in a juvenile remand home or to be of so depraved a character that he is not a fit person to be so detained may be revoked by the court and the person remanded to prison.
12. Jurisdiction of juvenile courts.
12. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Parts II and VII of the Criminal Procedure Code. a juvenile court may try a person under eighteen years of age for any offence other than manslaughter or an offence punishable by death except in cases where he is charged jointly with a person over eighteen years of age:
Provided that a young person brought before a juvenile court for an offence which would, apart from the provisions of this section, be triable only by the High Court, other than manslaughter or an offence punishable by death, may nevertheless elect to be tried before the High Court.
(2) References to subordinate courts of any class, in the First Schedule to Criminal procedure code, include a juvenile court.
Power to remit cases to juvenile courts.
13. (1) Subject to any rules or directions made or issued by the Chief Justice, where it appears to a court other than a juvenile court at any stage of the proceedings that a person charged before it with an offence other than murder manslaughter is under the age of eighteen years the court may and where within the area of a subordinate court's jurisdiction there is established a juvenile court having jurisdiction he subordinate court shall, remit the case to a Juvenile court:
Provided that -
(i) a charge made jointly against, such person and a person who has attained the age of eighteen years shall be heard by a court other than a juvenile
(ii) where a person under the age of eighteen years is charged with an offence the charge may be heard by a court other than a juvenile court if a person who has attained the age of eighteen years is charged at the same time with aiding, abetting, causing, procuring. allowing or permitting that offence;
(iii) nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preventing a court, if it considers in the circumstances (including the stage reached in the proceedings that it is proper so to do, from proceeding with the hearing and determination of the charge.
(2) Where in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section a case is remitted to a juvenile court after a finding that the person charged is guilty of the offence, the juvenile court to which the case has been remitted may deal with the offender in any way in which it might have dealt with him if he had been tried and found guilty by that court.
(3) No appeal shall lie against an order of remission made under this section, but nothing in this section shall affect any right of appeal against the verdict or finding on which such an order is founded, and if a person ha been found guilty by the High Court and remitted to a juvenile court for an order under section 17 of this Act, he may appeal against such finding to the Court of Appeal for East Africa
(4) A court by which an order remitting a case to a juvenile court is made under this section may give such directions as appear to be necessary with respect to the custody of the offender or for his release on bail or bond until he can be Brought before the Juvenile court, and shall cause to be transmitting to the clerk of the juvenile court a certificate out the nature of the offence and stating the stage reached in the case, and that the case has been remitted for the purpose of being dealt with under this section.
Considerations of welfare.
14. Every court dealing with a person under eighteen years of age who is brought before it shall have regard to his welfare and shall, in a proper case, take steps for removing him from undesirable surroundings and for securing that proper provision be made for his maintenance, education and training.
Words “conviction” and “sentence” not to be used of children and young persons.
15. The words "conviction" and "sentence" shall cease to be used m relation to persons under eighteen years of age dealt with by Juvenile courts, and any reference in any written law to a person convicted, a conviction or a sentence shall, in the case of such persons, be construed as including a reference to a person found guilty of an offence, a finding of guilt or an order made upon such a finding, as the case may be.
Restrictions on punishment.
16. (1) No child shall be ordered to imprisonment nor to detention in a detention camp.
(2) No child under the age of ten years shall be ordered by a juvenile court to be sent to an approved school unless there is no fit person or approved voluntary institution who is willing to take care of him, or unless for some other good reason the court considers that he cannot suitably be dealt with otherwise.
(3) (a) No juvenile or young person shall be ordered to imprisonment unless the court is of the opinion that he cannot be suitably dealt with in any other way permitted by law and the court shall duly record such opinion and the reason therefor.
(b) Any order of imprisonment made by virtue of this subsection shall be subject to confirmation by the High Court, and the offender shall be detained as an unconvicted prisoner in a prison pending confirmation and may not elect to commence his term of imprisonment forthwith.
(4) A juvenile or young person ordered to imprisonment shall where practicable, be confined apart from, and shall not be allowed to associate with, adult prisoners during his term of imprisonment.
(5) Where a juvenile or young person is ordered to imprisonment, the warrant of committal shall clearly show that such person is a juvenile or young person, as the case
Methods of dealing with offenders.
17. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law offenders, and subject to the provisions of this Act, where a person under eighteen years of age is tried for an offence, and the court is satisfied of his guilt, the court may deal with the case in one or more of the following ways-
(a) by discharging the offender under section 35 (1) of the Penal Code (Cap 63);
(b) by discharging the offender on his entering into a recognizance, with or without sureties;
(c) by making a probation order against' the offender under the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act (Cap 64);
(d) by committing the offender to the care of a fit person whether a relative or not, r an approved society or approved voluntary institution, willing to undertake his care;
(e) if the offender is under sixteen years of age by ordering him to be sent to an approved school suitable to his needs and attainments;
(f) subject to section 27 of the Penal Code, by ordering the offender in accordance with that section to undergo corporal punishment;
(g) by ordering the offender to pay a fine, compensation or costs, or any or all of them;
(h) by ordering the parent or guardian of the offender to pay a fine, compensation or costs as hereinafter provided;
(i) by ordering the parent or guardian of the offender to give security for his good behaviour as hereinafter provided;
(j) where the offender is a juvenile or young person, by ordering him to be imprisoned;
(k) in the case of a person who has attained the age of fifteen years, to deal with him in accordance with any Act which provides for the establishment and regulation of borstal institutions;
(l) in any other lawful manner:
Provided that a court committing an offender to an approved school shall, not order him to undergo corporal punishment as well, but a court may order a probationer to undergo corporal punishment for any breach of the probation order made against him without discharging the said order.
18. If it appears to the court on the evidence of a medical practitioner that a child or young person, although not of unsound mind, requires or may benefit from mental treatment, the court when making a probation order against him, may require him to undergo mental treatment at the hands or under the direction of a medical practitioner for a period not exceeding twelve months, subject to review by the court, as a condition of the probation order.
Power to order parent to pay fine, etc.
19. (1) Where a person under eighteen years of age is charged with an offence for the commission of which a fine, compensation or costs may be imposed, if the court is of the opinion that the case would be best met by the imposition of a tine. compensation or costs, whether with or without any other, punishment, the court may in any case, and shall if the offender is a child, order that the fine, compensation or costs imposed or awarded be paid by his parent or guardian instead of by the offender, unless the court is satisfied that the parent or guardian cannot be found or that he has not conduced to the commission of the offence by neglecting to exercise due care of the offender.
(2) Where a person under eighteen years of age is charged with an offence, the court may order his parent or guardian to give security for his good behaviour.
(3) An order under this section may be made against a parent or guardian who, having been required to attend, has failed to do so, but, save as aforesaid, no such order shall be made without giving the parent or guardian an opportunity of being heard.
(4) Any sums imposed and ordered to be paid by a parent or guardian under this section, or on forfeiture of any such security as aforesaid, may be recovered from him in like manner as if the order had been made on the conviction of the parent or guardian of the offence with which the offender was charged.
(5) A parent or guardian may appeal to the High Court against an order made under this section by a subordinate court.