Children's Court


Latest News 2019




New Children’s Court Practice Note 13 – Section 38 Care plans

December 2019: The President of the Children’s Court has today issued a new Practice Note 13 – Section 38 Care plans.  The new Practice Note will commence on Monday 16 December 2019.   

Pursuant to Practice Note 13 care plans developed by agreement and filed under section 38 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998  (the Care Act) that seek to allocate parental responsibility, or aspects of parental responsibility to any person other than the parents of a child or young person or where a court order is otherwise sought for the purpose of giving effect to the care plan are to be listed before the Children’s Court within approximately 4 weeks of filing to enable the Court to determine whether or not orders should be made by consent.  

Under paragraph 5.2 of the Practice Note it is sufficient that, at the time of filing, the care plan notes that the parties have reached agreement subject to the parties obtaining independent legal advice as required under s38 (2B)(c) of the Care Act.  The Practice Note also stipulates that the appointment of a legal representative to act for a child or young person is deemed to have been made to a solicitor or barrister employed or engaged by Legal Aid NSW on the filing of the s 38 care plan.  This is to enable Legal Aid to be served prior to the first listing and be in a position to progress issues relating to the care plan prior to the first listing.   

Section 38 Care plans that do not require a court order to give effect to the care plan take effect upon filing the care plan in the registry and are not required to be listed.   

Practice Note 4 – Short Term Care Order Pilot Project and STCO Practice Sites

December 2019: The President has formally rescinded Practice Note 4 – Short Term Care Order Pilot Project and STCO Practice Sites as the pilot project is no longer operational.   

New protocol for the return of subpoenas for production in care and protection proceedings at Wagga Wagga Children's Court

December 2019: A new protocol has been issued to facilitate the making of orders for access to subpoenaed material in the absence of the parties in appropriate circumstances at Wagga Wagga Children's Court. Subpoenas for production issued from Wagga Wagga Children’s Court may be made returnable from the week commencing 8 October 2019 on Wednesday in the first or third week of the month at 9.30am.

Please also note that the protocol should be read in conjunction with Practice Note 5.

Children's Law News Volume 2 2019 issued

November 2019: CLN Volume 2 includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction. 

The Children's Court acknowledges NAIDOC Week 2019

July 2019: NAIDOC Week is an annual event to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to recognise and share the contributions that Aboriginal Australians make to our country and society.

The theme for NAIDOC week 2019 is: Songlines: Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let's work together for a shared future

The Children's Court of NSW acknowledges the impact of past laws and policies and is committed to doing what it can to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in Children's Court proceedings.

This week we acknowledge the important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff play in improving our understanding of issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  

Children's Court staff attended the NSW Department of Communities and Justice Flag Raising Ceremony to mark NAIDOC week. The event included an Acknowledgement of Country, and didgeridoo and dance performance. 

Court Liaison Officer for the Youth Koori Court, Alinta Tatana, a Wadjibal woman of the Bundjalung Nation, delivered a speech at the event (pictured). Alinta spoke about her work and education opportunities as a young Aboriginal woman.  She also discussed how the NAIDOC theme, 'Voice, Treaty, Truth', was particularly relevant to the Youth Koori Court, which is a Children's Court initiative to give Indigenous children, families and communities a greater voice in criminal proceedings.


Children's Law News Volume 1 2019 issued 

June 2019: CLN Volume 1 includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction. 

Support services for the Youth Koori Court

May 2019: The Department of Justice is seeking expressions of interest from suitable support services to assist in the delivery of the Youth Koori Court program. For more information, please see the Youth Koori Court – Support Services flyer

Recruitment of Community Panel Members for the Youth Koori Court 

May 2019: The Department of Justice is seeking respected community members within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to be appointed as Community Panel Members for the Youth Koori Court at Parramatta and Surry Hills. If you are interested in being a Community Panel Member, please complete an Expression of Interest form. For more information, please see Frequently Asked Questions

Youth Koori Court at Surry Hills 

February 2019: The sittings of the Youth Koori Court at Surry Hills commenced on 6 February 2019.  The President of the Children’s Court, Judge Johnstone and Children’s Magistrate Duncombe welcomed the Attorney General, the Honourable Mark Speakman SC and other distinguished guests at a ceremonial sitting to mark the commencement of sittings on 6 February 2019.  A transcript of the ceremonial sitting is now available. 

The Youth Koori Court involves Aboriginal Elders and other Respected Persons in the court process to provide advice to the magistrate in relation to cultural issues and to assist young people appearing before the Court to strengthen connections to their family, culture and community and encourage them to take steps to address the issues that may be impacting on their offending.  

The Youth Koori Court factsheet has been updated to reflect the expansion of the process to Surry Hills Children’s Court and Practice Note 11 has been amended and was re-issued on 1 February 2019. 

The recruitment process for Elders and Respected Persons for both Surry Hills Youth Koori Court and Parramatta Youth Koori Court is ongoing and further information about this process can be obtained through the Children’s Court’s project officer on 8688 1459.


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