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Legal Aid NSW services for under 18's - Children's Legal Services

The Children's Legal Service is a specialist unit of Legal Aid NSW. Our lawyers advise and represent children and young people aged under 18 who are involved in cases in the Children's Courts.

Our aim is to ensure that children and young people have access to professional, face-toface or telephone based legal advice at any stage of their legal proceedings.

What is the duty lawyer service and how do we assist young people at court?

We have Legal Aid duty lawyers at these Children's Courts:

  • Surry Hills Children's Court: 66-78 Albion St, Surry Hills
  • Campbelltown Children's Court: Cnr Railway and Queen Sts.
  • Parramatta Children's Court: Cnr George and O'Connell Sts.
  • Sutherland Children’s Court: Cnr Flora & Belmont Sts, Sutherland
  • Port Kembla Children’s Court: Darcy Rd, Port Kembla
  • Nowra Children’s Court: 88 Plunkett St, Nowra
  • Broadmeadow Children’s Court: 19-23 Lambton Rd, Broadmeadow
  • Wyong Children’s Court: Cnr Hely St & Anzac Pde, Wyong
  • Woy Woy Children’s Court: 78-80 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy

At other Children's Courts around New South Wales, Legal Aid provides private duty solicitors to advise and represent children and young people.

Duty lawyers are lawyers who are assigned to a particular court to represent young people appearing before the court that day. They will see you in the morning before your case gets called into court, give you advice and explain your options, and then represent you in court.

You do not need to contact Legal Aid in advance or see the lawyers before your first day of court.

Every young person facing a charge or an AVO application in the Children's Court of NSW is entitled to this service. There is no "application process" or tests applied. We are there to help anyone who wants to use our service.

Our lawyers are all specialised or highly experienced in working in the Children's Court, and most young people with cases in the Children's Court use the Legal Aid Service.

Visiting Legal Service and advice for young people in Detention Centres

Our lawyers visit each of the detention centres in NSW and give free legal advice and assistance to young people in custody. We can also help with bail applications and appeals.

We visit:

  • Acmena (Grafton)
  • Cobham (Werrington)
  • Frank Baxter (Kariong)
  • Orana (Dubbo)
  • Reiby (Airds)
  • Riverina (Wagga Wagga)

If young people want to see a visiting lawyer, they should ask a worker to put their name on the list to see Legal Aid NSW.

The Legal Aid Youth Hotline - Help over the phone

Young people who need advice about a criminal law problem, or think they might be in trouble with the law, can call the Youth Hotline on 1800 10 18 10.

This service is open until midnight during the week, and is 24 hours over the weekend.

By law, young people have the right to get legal advice if they are arrested and placed into custody.

Every Police station in NSW has details of the Legal Aid Hotline, and they should make the call for you. If they don't, you should ask.

You should always get legal advice when you go into custody, in the very least before deciding whether to make a formal statement to Police or do a Police interview.

See Fact Sheets - 'Police Interviews & Right to Silence'.

This Fact Sheet is designed to give you a very basic understanding of how the law works. If you have a legal problem, or want to know how these laws apply to a specific situation, you should speak to a lawyer. If you are under 18, you can call the Legal Aid Youth Hotline 1800 10 18 10.

© 2008 State of New South Wales through Legal Aid NSW

This work may be reproduced and distributed for most purposes, however some restrictions apply.

Oct 2011