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Children's Legal Service

Who we are

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:

  • Surry Hills Children's Court, 66-78 Albion St, Surry Hills, 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
  • Illawarra Children's Court (Port Kembla) Court House, Darcy Road, Port Kembla Tel: 02 4228 8299
  • Nowra Court House, 88 Plunkett Street, Nowra, Tel: 4228 8299
  • Goulburn Children's Court, Montague Street, Goulburn, Tel: 02 4228 8299
  • Woy Woy Court House, 78-80 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy, Tel:  02 8688 3800
  • Parramatta Children's Court, 2 George Street, Parramatta, Tel: 02 8688 3800
  • Sutherland Court House, cnr Flora & Belmont Streets, Sutherland Tel: 02 4228 8299
  • Wyong Children's Court, Cnr Hely Street & Anzac Avenue, Wyong, Tel: 4929 5482
  • Raymond Terrace Children's Court, William Street, Raymond Terrace, Tel: 02 4929 5482
  • Singleton Children's Court, 39 Elizabeth Street, Singleton, Tel: 02 6572 1170

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.

Representation

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.

Education

We deliver community education to young people and their workers in schools and youth services. We offer free crime prevention workshops around group offending (BURN), police powers, young peoples' rights in custody, cyber bullying, sexting, traffic law and the children's criminal justice system.

To enquire or make a booking for a legal workshop at your school or youth organisation, contact us at clscle@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

Location

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 Sydney, Campbelltown, Wollongong and Newcastle.

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, Albury, Port Macquarie and other courts serviced by those offices.

At other Children's Courts in New South Wales, Legal Aid NSW pays private lawyers to advise and represent children and young people.

Contact us

  • Sydney: 02 9219 5120 (Surry Hills Children's Court)
  • Parramatta: 02 8688 3800 (Parramatta Children's Court)
  • Campbelltown: 02 4628 2922 (Campbelltown Children's Court)
  • Wollongong: 02 4228 8299 (Sutherland Children's Court, Port Kembla Children's Court, Nowra Children's Court, Goulburn Children's Court)
  • Newcastle: 02 4929 5482 (Wyong Children's Court, Broadmeadow Children's Court, Woy Woy Children’s Court, Raymond Terrace Children’s Court, Singleton Children's Court)

Related information (brochures)

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.

Children's Legal Service conference papers