What options are available to a young person on a Referral Order (RO) who wishes to relocate outside of England and Wales?

Things to consider:

England and Wales share the same legal jurisdiction, however, there is no such relationship with Scotland, Northern Ireland or other countries.

A RO commences once a contract has been negotiated with the child and signed by the child and the chair of the youth offender panel, usually following the first panel meeting. It is good practice for the primary carer to sign the contract as well.

Revocation of the order due to change of circumstances, where the RO has commenced

An application can be made by the child to the panel for the revocation of the order. For example, when there has been a change in the child’s circumstances such as moving abroad which would make it impossible to comply with the contract. The panel should discuss the request to revoke the order with the child. Where it is agreed that revocation would be appropriate and that a variation of the contract would not be sufficient, the child should be referred to court for the court to consider revocation and resentencing.

Referral back to court to consider revocation and resentence, where the RO has not commenced

A referral order is available to a court if “arrangements for the implementation of referral orders are available in the area in which it appears to the court that the offender resides or will reside”. Our interpretation of existing guidance is that the correct approach would be for the panel to promptly refer the child back to court to consider revocation and resentence. The panel should not hold an initial panel meeting, where it is clear that the order will be unworkable due to there being no arrangements available for the implementation of the RO in the area where the child resides or will reside.

Further resources: