In the state of New South Wales, any
defendant who is under the age of 18, who is alleged to have committed a crime
will have to appear before the Children’s Court.
The Children’s court is a Court, which was
established by the NSW Government to deal with young offenders as this court
while it may look like any Local Court in NSW, it is different in the sense
that The Children’s Court recognises that Young Offender’s make mistakes and
prioritises the importance of rehabilitation for the young offender, as opposed
to dealing with the young person like an adult.
Young persons who Commit Serious
It should be noted however that whilst
the importance of rehabilitation for young offenders is a priority in the
Children’s Court, the Children’s Court can hand down serious penalties
including a period of time to be served in a Youth
It should be noted however that
sentencing considerations are significantly considered and are of utmost importance
in circumstances where the young offender appearing before the Court is charged
with a very serious offence or it could be in circumstances where the Young
Offender has previously appeared before the Court on prior occasions.
Is the Children’s Court Open for the
NO. The children’s Court is closed to
the public. In some instances, the Magistrate can even make a
decision to exclude anyone who is not directly involved in the matter
before the Children’s Court when a specific matter is being heard individually.
Lodging an Appeal from the Children’s
A Young Offender (or a young person)
who wishes to Appeal their Sentence or Verdict (or both) can lodge an appeal to
the District Court, and it should be noted that the appeal must be lodged
within 28 days of the Court Order being made.
Legislation governing the Children’s
With respect to the legislation which
the Children’s Court is guided by, the Children (Criminal Proceedings)
Act 1987 (NSW) is the governing legislation for all Criminal matters
which come before the Children’s Court.
Are proceedings conducted in the
Children’s Court the same as the Local Court?
No. The Children’s Court proceedings
are conducted less- formally than the Local Court or any adult Court(s).
Can the Children’s Court deal with
Strictly Indictable offences?
No. Strictly Indictable offences and
any offence which is being dealt with on indictment cannot be finalised and
disposed of in the Children’s Court. Matters which are being dealt with on
indictment will be committed to a Higher Court, such as the District Court or
the Supreme Court.
It is very important that you speak with
a lawyer so that you can get the appropriate legal advice which you require
prior to going to court.
Our team of experienced solicitors are
there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.
*This article correctly reflects
the Laws of NSW as at 12th October 2022.
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