Children's Legal Service
The Children's Legal Service (CLS) of Legal Aid NSW advises and represents children and young people under 18 involved in criminal cases and Apprehended Violence Order applications in the Children's Courts. Our aim is to ensure that children and young people have access to professional, face-to-face or telephone based legal advice at any stage of their legal proceedings.
Who we help
If you're under 18 and need advice about a criminal law problem, or think you might be in trouble with the law, we can help.
How we can help
Advice and assistance
Help over the phone
Our telephone hotline provides legal advice and information to young people under 18, and operates 9am to midnight weekdays, with a 24-hour service from Friday 9am to Sunday midnight and also on public holidays.
More details about the Hotline and the Young Offenders Act.
Help at court
The Children's Legal Service has duty lawyers at the following courts:
- Bidura Children's Court, 357 Glebe Point Road, Glebe Tel: 02 9219 5120
- Broadmeadow Children's Court, 19-23 Lambton Road, Broadmeadow, Tel: 4929 5482
- Campbelltown Children's Court, cnr Railway & Queen Streets Tel: 02 4628 2922
- Hornsby Local Court, 294 Pacific Highway, Hornsby Tel: 02 8688 3800
- Parramatta Children's Court, cnr George & O’Connell Sts Tel: 02 8688 3800
- Port Kembla Local Court, Darcy Road, Port Kembla Tel: 02 9521 3733
- Sutherland Local Court, cnr Flora & Belmont Streets, Sutherland Tel: 02 9521 3733
- Woy Woy Children's Court, 78-80 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy, Tel: 8688 3800
- Wyong Children's Court, Cnr Hely Street & Anzac Avenue, Wyong, Tel: 4929 5482
For matters in the Local Court in NSW, see the duty lawyer at the court.
Help in detention
Our lawyers visit juvenile justice centres and give free advice and assistance to young people in custody. We can also help with bail applications and appeals.
We represent children and young people under 18 who have been charged with a criminal offence in the Children's Court. We also represent young people when they are a defendant in Apprehended Domestic Violence proceedings, even where there are no associated charges. When a young person is going to court, they should make sure to ask to see the duty solicitor before going into the court room.
We deliver community education to schools through projects like BURN, workshops about the law for youth workers and resources for young people about issues like cyber bullying, sexting, identity theft, police powers and the children's criminal law system.
Here are the links for the above:
The main office of the CLS is located at Parramatta Justice Precinct, Level 1, 160 Marsden Street, Parramatta NSW 2150.
CLS lawyers are also located at Campbelltown, Sutherland and Central Sydney.
Lawyers at a number of regional offices also represent children and young people in Children's Courts at various locations throughout the state. These include: Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Orange, Tamworth, Wagga and other courts serviced by those offices.
- Sydney: 02 9219 5120 (Bidura Children's Court)
- Newcastle: 02 4929 5482 (Wyong Children's Court, Broadmeadow Children's Court)
- Parramatta: (Parramatta Children's Court, Woy Woy Children's Court, Hornsby Local Court): 02 8688 3800
- Campbelltown: 02 4628 2922 (Campbelltown Children's Court)
- Sutherland: 02 9521 3733 (Sutherland Local Court, Port Kembla Local Court)
Related information (brochures)
- Children's Legal Service: helping young people in trouble with the law
- Get Street Smart: Under 18s: Know Your Legal Rights
- Get Court Smart
BURN is a short film with a crime prevention message that is part of Legal Aid's Community Legal Education (CLE) program for young people.
It aims to increase young peoples' awareness of the laws around group offending and robbery as well as their rights when dealing with the police.
For more information on legal problems for young people see the Lawstuff website.