Children's Court of Queensland
|Children's Court of Queensland|
|Composition method||Vice-regal appointment upon nomination by the Premier following the advice of the Attorney-General and Cabinet|
|Authorized by||Queensland Parliament via the Childrens Court Act 1992 (QLD)|
|Decisions are appealed to||District Court of Queensland|
|Decisions are heard for appeals from||Children's Court, a division of the Magistrates' Court of Queensland|
|Judge term length||mandatory retirement by age of 70|
|Currently||Judge Michael Shanahan|
Decisions made by the Children's Court of Queensland may be heard on appeal to the District Court of Queensland; and the Children's Court of Queensland has appellate jurisdiction where for matters heard before a magistrate of the Children's Court.
The court should not be confused with the Children's Court which is a division of the Magistrates' Court of Queensland.
The court is constituted by either a single judge or a single magistrate depending on the nature of the crime allegedly committed. In most cases, the matters will be dealt with by either a children's court judge or children's court magistrate. However, if one is not available, then a district court judge or a magistrate may deal with the case even though they have not been appointed by the Governor of Queensland.
President of the Children's Court of Queensland
The Governor may appoint a president of the court. The president must be a children's court judge. The major functions of the president are to oversee the court and ensure that its work is carried out quickly and effectively. There is no deputy president of the court. However, the governor may appoint an acting president to act in the president's absence.
|Order||Name||Date appointed||Term in office||Notes|
|1||Judge Fred McGuire AO (since deceased)||1992||5–6 years|||
|2||Judge John Mervyn Robertson||1999||3–4 years|||
|3||Judge Kerry John O'Brien||2002||3–4 years|||
|4||Judge Julie Maree Dick SC||2007||2–3 years|||
|5||Judge Michael Shanahan||2011||5–6 years|||
Other members of the Court
The Governor may appoint a judge of the District Court of Queensland as a judge to the Children's Court. Judges are appointed based on their experience and interest in dealing with the children's court jurisdiction. The Governor may also appoint other district court judges to act as children's court judges.
The following are appointed as Children's Court judges as at April 2015:
- His Honour Judge John Robertson
- His Honour Judge Clive Wall RFD QC
- His Honour Judge Nicholas Samios
- Her Honour Judge Deborah Richards
- Her Honour Judge Sarah Bradley
- His Honour Judge Michael John Shanahan
- Her Honour Judge Julie Dick SC
- His Honour Judge Paul Smith
- Her Honour Judge Fleur Kingham
- His Honour Judge William Everson
- His Honour Judge Brian Devereaux SC
- His Honour Judge Brad Farr SC
- His Honour Judge Stuart Durward SC
- His Honour Judge John Baluch SC
Jurisdiction of Magistrates
A Children's Court magistrate has jurisdiction:
- to hear and determine all simple offences;
- to hear and determine most indictable offences if the child consents to it; and
- to conduct committal proceedings in relation to indictable offences.
A Children's Court magistrate also has powers to hear Child Protection matters pursuant to the Child Protection Act 1999.
Who may attend
Generally children's court cases are held in a closed court, although criminal offences dealt with by indictment are held in open court. This is against the usual principle that all common law courts are open to public, and reflects that children are being dealt with inside the court. Cases are held at different times to any other case being heard by the court on the day.
At a hearing, the following people may attend
- the child;
- their parent or other adult member of the child's family;
- a witness giving evidence;
- a person whose presence will provide emotional support to a witness;
- certain welfare services; and
- any other person who the court believes should be present.
The Children's Court of Queensland as a whole (including Judges and Magistrates) dealt with 5,431 juveniles in 2005–06 compared with 6,996 in 2004-2005. This represents a 22.4% decrease in the number of defendants. There was a 9.8% decrease in the number of juveniles appearing before a Children's Court Judge. Furthermore, there was an overall decrease of 29.3% in the number of charges brought against juveniles in Queensland in 2005-2006, at 1,771, down from 16,656 in the previous year. According to its Annual Review, unlawful entry with intent and theft (and related offences) accounted for 44.1% of all charges. Children's Court Magistrates disposed of 93% of juvenile cases in 2005-2006.
- YOUTH JUSTICE ACT 1992 - SECT 6 4 Child's Age Regulation
- Childrens Court Act 1992 (Qld) s 8
- Children's Court Act 1992 (QLD) s 4
- Coroners Act 2003 (Qld) s 9
- "His Honour Frederick McGuire AO". Judicial Profile. Supreme Court of Queensland. 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "His Honour Judge John M Robertson". Judicial Profile. Supreme Court of Queensland. 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "His Honour Chief Judge Kerry J O'Brien". Judicial Profile. Supreme Court of Queensland. 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "Her Honour Judge Julie M Dick SC". Judicial Profile. Supreme Court of Queensland. 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "His Honour Judge Michael Shanahan". Judicial Profile. Supreme Court of Queensland. 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Childrens Court Act 1992 (Qld) s 11
- Childrens Court Act 1992 (Qld) s 12
- Childrens Court Act 1992 (Qld) s 14
- Childrens Court Act 1992 (Qld) s 15
- Judicial Profiles - Queensland Supreme Court Library
- "Annual Report 2005-06" (PDF). Children's Court of Queensland. Queensland Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2007.