Criminal appeals against Children’s Court decisions

If a young person believes that they have been wrongly found guilty, or that the penalty imposed is too harsh, an appeal can be made to the County Court against the magistrate’s decision (s 424 Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) (‘CYF Act’)).

There are two instances where an appeal must be made to the Supreme Court:

  • where the decision has been made by the president of the Children’s Court;
  • where the appeal is against an interim order. 

If a young person wishes to appeal, they must do so within 28 days. The young person will be asked to sign an undertaking to proceed with the appeal before an authorised person (usually a court registrar). That person will advise the young person of the date set for the hearing of the appeal.

The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) may appeal to the County Court against a sentence handed down in the Children’s Court if satisfied that an appeal should be brought because the sentence is manifestly inadequate (s 427).

If the County Court replaces a non-custodial sentence with a custodial sentence, the young person may, with the leave of the Court of Appeal, appeal to that court (s 430R).

Back to
Understanding our laws and courts