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Legal custody is a legal term in England and Wales.


See section 13 of the Prison Act 1952.

In section 4 of the Official Secrets Act 1989, the expression "legal custody" includes detention in pursuance of any enactment or any instrument made under an enactment.[1]


Main article: Child custody

See section 86 of the Children Act 1975.

Mental patientsEdit

Any person required or authorised by or by virtue of the Mental Health Act 1983 to be conveyed to any place or to be kept in custody or detained in a place of safety or at any place to which he is taken under section 42(6) of that Act is, while being so conveyed, detained or kept, as the case may be, deemed to be in legal custody.[2] For this purpose "convey" includes any other expression denoting removal from one place to another.[3]


  1. The Official Secrets Act 1989, section 4(6)
  2. The Mental Health Act 1983, section 137(1)
  3. The Mental Health Act 1983, section 137(3)
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