Children's Court of New South Wales

Children's Court of New South Wales

The Children's Court of New South Wales is a court which deals with criminal offences committed by children over 10 and under 18 as well as with proceedings relating to the care and protection of children. The court commenced on 18 January 1988.


Colonial times

The treatment of juvenile offenders in the colony of New South Wales reflected the system of criminal law inherited from England. There was nothing unusual in that as the law of Australia at that time was heavily influenced by the social norms of English society.

As a result, children criminals were treated no differently than adult criminals. They were liable to the same harsh penalties. The Judicial Commission cites an example of one English judge who, after condemning a 10 year old boy to death, described the boy as “a proper subject for capital punishment”. The commission also noted that on one day in 1815, five children aged between eight and 12 years were hanged for petty larceny in England.


The first children's court was established under the Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act 1905. The Judicial Commission of New South Wales states the first court was set up in the spirit of parens patriae, a jurisdiction that was exercised by the superior courts of the United Kingdom and as a consequence, of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The court was set up in light of the widespread poverty and child neglect at that time. The courts had to assume the role of parent, protector and ultimate punisher.

Current court

The present children's court is constituted under the Children's Court Act 1987. It is an inferior court and is effectively a court of record. The court was established on 18 January 1988.


The court is composed of magistrates of the Local Court of New South Wales who are appointed by the Chief Magistrate of the Local Court of New South Wales. A magistrate so appointed is called a Children's Magistrate.

The chief magistrate may with concurrence of the New South Wales Attorney General appoint a children's magistrate to be the Senior Children's Magistrate.

The Senior Children's Magistrate is effectively a deputy chief magistrate of the Local Court.

Functions of the Senior Children’s Magistrate

The Senior Children’s Magistrate administers the court, arranges sittings of the Court, and convenes meetings of Children’s Magistrates. The senior children's magistrate also confers regularly with community groups and social agencies on matters involving children and the Court.

The current senior children's magistrate is Scott Mitchell.


The court exercises criminal jurisdiction under the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987. The court exercises care jurisdiction under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. In the past it also covered the Children (Care and Protection) Act 1987 until it was repealed in 1998.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Children's Court Clinic (New South Wales) — The Children s Court Clinic is a government body in New South Wales, a state of Australia, which prepares independent reports on children in Childrens Court of New South Wales proceedings.ConstitutionThe clinic is established by the New South… …   Wikipedia

  • Local Court of New South Wales — There are over 160 Local Courts in NSW. Local Court cases are heard by a magistrate without a jury. It hears summary offences (offences of a less serious nature). It hears civil claims up to $60 000 and has a Small Claims Division for claims less …   Wikipedia

  • Youth Drug and Alcohol Court of New South Wales — The Youth Drug and Alcohol Court of New South Wales is the generic name given to a harm minimization program administered through the Childrens Court of New South Wales. It is not a court itself, but is a children s court that specialises in… …   Wikipedia

  • New South Wales Department of Attorney General and Justice — overview Formed 2011 Preceding agencies Department of Justice and Attorney General Attorney General s Department Department of Juvenile Justice Department of Corrective Services Jurisdiction New South Wales Headquarters …   Wikipedia

  • New South Wales state election, 1999 — 1995 ← 27 March 1999 (1999 03 27) …   Wikipedia

  • New South Wales state election, 1991 — 1988 ← 25 May 1991 (1991 05 25) …   Wikipedia

  • New South Wales — a state in SE Australia. 5,126,217; 309,433 sq. mi. (801,430 sq. km). Cap.: Sydney. * * * State (pop., 2001: 6,609,304), southeastern Australia. Bounded by Queensland, the Pacific Ocean, Victoria, and South Australia, it has an area of 309,130 sq …   Universalium

  • List of New South Wales courts and tribunals — The following is a list of state courts and tribunals in New South Wales, a state of Australia. *Administrative Decisions Tribunal of New South Wales *Chief Industrial Magistrate s Court *Childrens Court of New South Wales *Children s Court… …   Wikipedia

  • Parramatta, New South Wales — ] dist1 = 23 dir1 = west location1 = Sydney CBD lga = City of Parramattacite web|url= Regions.asp?regiontype=2 slacode=6250 region=SO|title=Suburb Search Local Council Boundaries Sydney Outer (SO)… …   Wikipedia

  • Denham Court, New South Wales — Denham Court Sydney, New South Wales Denham Court Anglican Church Population …   Wikipedia