Children's Court

Court structure


Judicial officers

The President of the Children's Court of NSW

The President of the Children’s Court is appointed under s 6A Children's Court Act 1987, and must hold office as a Judge of the District Court. In addition to dealing with cases in the Children’s Court the President has responsibility for the administration of the Court including arranging the sittings of the Court, developing recommendations for rules in relation to the practice and procedure of the Court, issuing Practice Notes, overseeing the training of Children's Magistrates and consulting with community groups and agencies on matters involving children and the Court.

Children’s Magistrates

There are 16 specialist Children’s Magistrates, who are appointed under s 7 Children's Court Act 1987 for periods of up to five years. Children’s Magistrates are selected from the general pool of Magistrates appointed under the Local Court Act 2007 having regard to their knowledge, qualifications, skills and experience in dealing with children, young people and their families.      


Children’s Court cases are dealt with by Local Court Magistrates in locations where a specialist Children’s Magistrate is not available.


Children’s Courts

In NSW, the Children's Court sits in three courthouses specifically designated for the Court. These courthouses are located at Parramatta, Surry Hills and Broadmeadow.

The Children’s Court also sits at courts located at Campbelltown, Port Kembla, Sutherland, Nowra, Woy Woy and Wyong on a permanent basis.

In regional and rural areas outside these locations the Children’s Court sits on a regular basis. At these locations the sittings of the Children’s Court usually coincide with the sittings of the Local Court and are conducted by Local Court Magistrates.


Children’s Court registries

A court registry is the office attached to a particular court. There is a Children’s Court registry at each location where the Children’s Court sits. In some locations the Children’s Court registry is separate from the Local Court registry but in most locations enquiries can be made within the one office. Children’s Court registry staff can give you information about your court matter. 

Read more general information about what court staff can and can't do

Registrar of the Children’s Court

A registrar of the Children’s Court is designated for each Children’s Court registry. The registrar of the Children’s Court is responsible for the daily management and administration of the Court including maintaining the records of the Court, issuing court documents, managing court staff and the premises. The registrar of the Children’s Court also carries out some functions that are allowed under legislation. In some locations the registrar may assist the Court by calling through the cases listed on a particular day to ensure that they are ready to proceed. This is called a call-over.

Children's Registrars

Children’s Registrars are appointed under s 10A of the Children’s Court Act 1987. The main role of a Children’s Registrar is to conduct dispute resolution conferences in care and protection cases under s 65 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.  The purpose of a dispute resolution conference is to provide the parties in the case an opportunity to agree on action that should be taken in the best interests of the child or young person concerned.

Children’s Registrars may also perform functions as specified by the Children’s Court Rules 2000 or under other legislation.