Criminal Division of the Children’s Court
In practice, virtually all young people appearing in the Criminal Division of the Children’s An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. are legally represented.
If a young person is not represented, the case may be adjourned to enable them to obtain representation. Alternatively, they may be referred to the A lawyer who provides free assistance at court to a person who has been charged with a criminal offence and has not yet had any legal advice. at the court.
Family Division of the Children’s Court (child protection cases)
In the Family Division of the Children’s Court, children aged 10 and above must be given the opportunity to be legally represented. The lawyer must A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. on the child’s instructions and wishes.
Children under the age of 10 (or those who are considered to be insufficiently mature to give instructions for other reasons) are not legally represented unless the court finds that there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ in relation to the child. In exceptional circumstances, the court may To postpone a court case, to move the hearing to another time or another day. Also referred to as ‘standing over’, as in ‘standing the matter over’ or ‘standing down’. If a case is adjourned indefinitely it can only be brought back if one of the parties applies to the court. This was formerly called adjournment sine die. the case so that legal representation for the child can be obtained. In such cases, the child’s lawyer must act in accordance with what they consider to be in the child’s best interests and communicate any wishes expressed by the child.