Judge Johnstone reappointed as Children's Court President
July 2021: Judge Peter Johnstone's term as President of the Children's Court of NSW has been extended for a further three years.
Since his appointment as President in 2012, Judge Johnstone has been concerned to promote and expand community services and resources to assist disadvantaged families and children at risk, across all of NSW, in particular in respect of mental health issues, family violence, drug and alcohol dependence, and homelessness.
His Honour is also keenly involved in addressing youth issues relating to children such as the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in the youth justice and care and protection systems. He has also advocated for prevention, early intervention, diversion and rehabilitation of children and young persons involved in the justice system, including the use of detention only as a last resort, increased use of the Young Offenders Act 1997, reducing the incidence of short-term remand, and greater attention to children not attending school.
Judge Johnstone's new term as President of the Children's Court began on 8 July 2021 and expires on 7 July 2024.
Children's Law News
July 2021: CLN 2021 Volume 1 has now been published and includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction.
January 2021: CLN 2020 Volume 2 has now been published and includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction.
July 2020: CLN 2020 Volume 1 includes a number of cases and papers which are of relevance to the Children's Court jurisdiction.
New Practice Note 14: Standardised Care Orders
April 2021: In February 2020, the President of the Children’s Court approved a set of standardised orders to be used in care proceedings. The orders have been drafted in plain English with the aim of improving their readability and consistency. Standardised orders will also facilitate the timely issue of orders and the electronic transmission of orders in the future.
The President of the Children’s Court has now issued a new Practice note 14 – Standardised Care Orders making use of the standardised care orders mandatory. Practice Note 14 will commence on Monday 3 May 2021 to allow legal practitioners time to transition to the new standarised care orders.
To assist legal practitioners draft orders that comply with the Court’s standardised orders scheme, an electronic template has been developed and a webinar will be held for legal practitioners on Tuesday 20 April 2021 between 1:15pm – 2pm to provide more information about the standard orders and the template.
To register for the webinar please email Jaspreet Singh-Bains at Jaspreet.email@example.com.
Standardised Care Orders
February 2020: The President of the Children's Court has approved standardised care orders to promote consistency of orders being used throughout the state and promote the use of wording that is easier to understand for participants who do not have legal training. The approved standard orders (PDF , n/a) have now been published on this website under Guidelines in the Practice and Procedure tab.
The Children's Court in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Justice and Legal Aid are currently working on a template to assist practitioners to transition to the standardised care orders scheme.
In the meantime, the Children's Court encourages all practitioners and parties to use the standardised care orders approved by the President.
Should you have any questions please direct your enquiry to Dominique Ferreira, Project Officer (02) 8688 1459.
Changes to listing arrangements at Surry Hills Children's Court
February 2020: The President of the Children's Court has approved changes to listing arrangements at Surry Hills Children's Court to commence from 2 March 2020. Under these changes criminal list days will now take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
As a consequence of these changes, Northern Beaches Police Area Command will now list matters on a Wednesday. The catchment areas for Children's Court criminal jurisdiction in the Sydney metropolitan area has also been updated to reflect the changes.