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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)

Chapter 4 : Children’s Courts

Part 1 : Establishment, status and jurisdiction

45. Matters children’s court may adjudicate


(1) Subject to section 1(4), a children's court may adjudicate any matter, involving—
(a) the protection and well-being of a child;
(b) the care of, or contact with, a child;
(c) paternity of a child;
(d) support of a child;
(e) the provision of—
(ii) prevention or early intervention services;
(f) maltreatment, abuse, neglect, degradation or exploitation of a child, except criminal prosecutions in this regard;
(g) the temporary safe care of a child;
(h) alternative care of a child;
(i) the adoption of a child, including an inter-country adoption;
(j) a child and youth care centre, a partial care facility or a shelter or drop-in centre, or any other facility purporting to be a care facility for children; or
(k) any other matter relating to the care, protection or well-being of a child provided for in this Act.


(2) A children’s court—
(a) may try or convict a person for non-compliance with an order of a children’s court or contempt of such a court;
(b) may not try or convict a person in respect of a criminal charge other than in terms of paragraph (a); and
(c) is bound by the law as applicable to magistrates’ courts when exercising criminal jurisdiction in terms of paragraph (a).


(3) Pending the establishment of family courts by an Act of Parliament, the High Courts and Divorce Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the following matters contemplated in this Act:
(a) The guardianship of a child;
(b) the assignment, exercise, extension, restriction, suspension or termination of guardianship in respect of a child;
(d) the departure, removal or abduction of a child from the Republic;
(e) applications requiring the return of a child to the Republic from abroad;
(f) the age of majority or the contractual or legal capacity of a child;
(g) the safeguarding of a child’s interest in property; and
(h) surrogate motherhood.


(4)        Nothing in this Act shall be construed as limiting the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court as upper guardian of all children.