Young people and going to court
Inside the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court Justice sits on the bench at the front of the courtroom, and lawyers sit facing him on another bench.
Members of the public and family can sit in the chairs behind the lawyers. Anyone can sit in the courtroom and listen to the evidence.
In some cases, the Supreme Court Justice may ask people to leave the courtroom and stop some evidence from being published in the media.
When inside the court you should:
- bow to the Supreme Court Justice when entering and leaving a courtroom
- enter and leave the courtroom quietly
- not talk, eat or chew gum
- turn off your mobile phone
- remove your sunglasses or hat.
Find out more information about courtroom rules.
Types of cases in the Supreme Court for a young person
This is where the lawyers and Supreme Court Justice speak briefly about what kind of case the young person should have.
The lawyer for the young person in detention may ask the Supreme Court Justice to allow them to stay in the community or release them from detention under supervision or other restrictions.
If the Supreme Court Justice agrees to release a young person from court, they may be placed under some restrictions.
These restrictions can include any of the following:
- a curfew, including electronic monitoring
- reporting to a probation and parole officer for supervision, or ot help with information to write a report for the court
- reporting to their local police station on a regular basis
- taking part in a program.
If the Supreme Court Justice doesn't release the young person they will have to stay in detention until their next court date.
This is when the young person's case is heard in front of a judge and group of people from the community - known as a jury.
The prosecutor will tell the court about the incident the young person was allegedly involved in.
The lawyer for the young person will tell the court why the young person should not be held responsible for the incident.
The jury will then say whether they think the young person is guilty or not guilty. This is called a verdict.
If the jury says the young person is guilty, the Supreme Court Justice will then give the young person a sentence.
This may be done another day. The Supreme Court Justice may ask for a pre-sentence report.
This is when a young person has agreed to plead guilty to an offence.
The charges will be read out to the young person and they will have to answer 'guilty'.
The Supreme Court Justice may then decide at the end of the hearing whether the young person is guilty or not.
If they are found guilty, the judge may ask for an assessment before they are sentenced.
Assessments for young people
The court may ask government services to write reports to help make the best decision about a young person.
Probation and parole officers write reports which can include information that help the court to:
- understand more about a young person's risks (and needs), and what may have influenced a young person to break the law
- provide information about the young person and their family
- understand whether they are suitable for the type of community-based order is being considered
- be sure they can be managed by Community Corrections while living in their identified community.
The young person will be interviewed by a probation and parole officer and depending on the type of report, can take from a couple of days and up to several weeks.
The probation and parole officer should go through the report with the young person and their carer.
If you don't agree with the report, talk to the probation and parole officer first, then to the young person's lawyer.
Last updated: 06 February 2019
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