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Issue 4 - June 2005

We now have a date for the annual Children’s Legal Service conference. It will be held on Saturday 17 September 2005 at the Marriott Hotel in Parramatta. Details of speakers and a registration form are included in the issue.

This issue of the CLS Bulletin contains two research essays by Sydney University law student, Andrea Hadaway. Andrea has been a student on placement with the CLS. Her essay, Transferring Juvenile Offenders to Correctional Centres: The Juvenile Offenders Legislation Amendment Act 2004 (NSW) examines the recent move by the NSW Government to enact legislation enabling the transfer of control of Kariong Detention Centre from the Department of Juvenile Justice to the Department of Corrective Services. The legislation goes beyond this transfer of responsibility for a detention centre. The legislation creates greater administrative power to transfer children from juvenile detention centres to juvenile correctional centres and to adult jails with a lack of judicial oversight or review of the transfer mechanism.

Andrea’s other essay, Detention as the Last Resort? Finding Accommodation for Children Facing Criminal Charges examines an issue that any lawyer practising regularly in the Children’s Court will be familiar with. Most practitioners will have acted for a child at one point who has no accommodation options and has ended up in custody despite Australia’s international obligations to ensure that detention should be a last resort. The paper argues that there is a disjuncture between the use of custody as a form of crisis accommodation and the otherwise diversionary focus of juvenile justice.

We are also grateful to Public Defender, Richard Button for the use of his notes from a talk he gave to Legal Aid practitioners on 29/4/05 on Relationship and Tendency Evidence.

We are also grateful to Andrew Mariner who has provided some very useful information on the Department of Juvenile Justice Post Release Program.

I have written a practical paper for lawyers who do not regularly act for children to give them a better understanding of the client group.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference in September.

Teresa O’Sullivan
Senior Solicitor
Children’s Legal Service

Articles for Issue 4 (All articles are in pdf format)