Children’s Court hearings are open to the public but a magistrate or judge may exclude individuals. Interpreters must be available if any party requires one. The court’s website provides a guide to processes.
Who can attend?
Members of the public can attend proceedings in the Children’s Court unless a magistrate or judge excludes particular people from attending (s 523 CYF Act). The police usually advise parents, guardians or a support person to attend court with the child.
The court must not proceed without an interpreter if a young person, parent or other party has difficulty communicating in English (s 526 CYF Act). Trained interpreters are made available at the court and can be requested through the court registry. More information about arranging an interpreter is available on the Children’s Court website.
A young person charged with a criminal offence has the option to give sworn evidence or no evidence at all. Advice should be sought from a lawyer about this.
For more information about your court hearing, ask your lawyer (see “Legal representation”). Information is also available from the registry staff at the court. You can also visit the Children’s Court virtual court website (http://childrenscourt.courtnexus.com), which provides information about court processes and the roles of those who work in courts. This site also includes two mock court hearings and interactive virtual tours of the courtroom.