Consultation on Court Approval of Minor Settlements

Closes 24 Sep 2021

Opened 7 Jul 2021


The Department of Justice is seeking views on whether, and if so how, Government ought to legislate to require court approval of compensation settlements to children for personal injuries, in cases in which legal proceedings have not issued.

Why we are consulting

Currently in Northern Ireland compensation settlements for a child agreed during legal proceedings must be approved by the court and that award is then usually paid into court to be managed by the Court Funds Office until the child turns 18.

Where compensation is agreed without legal proceedings being issued, a parent, on behalf of his/her child, can seek court approval of the settlement however, this is voluntary procedure.

The absence of a legal requirement for all minor settlements to be approved by a court gives rise to a concern that there may cases in which parents are settling claims for a sum that may not properly compensate the child and which may not be spent in the child’s best interests. The Gillen Review of Civil Justice (2017) recommended legislation to address this.

The links to this consultation document and the young person's consultation document are located at the bottom of this page. 

The consultation document, young person’s consultation document, response questionnaire and impact assessments can also be viewed on the Department of Justice’s website at:

Give us your views


  • Anyone from any background


  • Family Justice
  • Civil Justice