About Childrens Court of Queensland (District Court)
The Childrens Court of Queensland (CCQ) deals with all juveniles who commit criminal offences, unless the court orders that the matter be dealt with in an adult court.
Judges presiding over the CCQ have been appointed from the District Court.
Matters involving children can also be heard in the Magistrates Court or Supreme Court. All matters relating to juveniles are heard in line with the Childrens Court Act 1992 and Youth Justice Act 1992.
CCQ (District Court) matters
CCQ matters are usually heard in an open court, though the judge may order the court be closed (i.e. only people directly involved in the case may be present).
Unless the court orders otherwise, no information identifying the accused may be published.
As well as dealing with criminal offences committed by juveniles, the CCQ also hears the following matters:
Appeals against child protection orders
The CCQ hears appeals against child protection orders made by a magistrate. In these cases, the court makes a directive to protect a child from harm. These proceedings are held in a closed court.
Parentage orders and discharge of parentage orders
The Surrogacy Act 2010 regulates non-commercial surrogacy arrangements and provides for transferring parentage of a child born out of a surrogacy arrangement. This transfer is sanctioned by the court under specific circumstances.
Various parties, including the applicant, must get legal advice before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
- The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 applies for proceedings under the Surrogacy Act as if they were proceedings in the District Court.
- The Uniform Civil Procedure (Fee) Regulation 2009 applies for proceedings in the Childrens Court under the Surrogacy Act as if they were proceedings in the District Court.
Applications under the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa Act 2020
The Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Act 2020 provides for the legal recognition of Ailan Kastom (Torres Strait Islander) child rearing practice. A Cultural Recognition Order permanently transfers the parentage from the biological (birth) parents to the cultural parents and allows the child’s legal identity to align with their cultural identity. Applications for a Cultural Recognition Order are received and decided by the Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa).
Under the Act there are certain decisions which can only be made by the Childrens Court of Queensland and cannot be made by the Commissioner. A guide has been prepared detailing the applications which may be heard by the Court and where parties can obtain legal advice on these matters.
Matters dealt with in an adult court
Matters involving children can be heard in the adult District Court of Queensland if the:
- the child is charged as an adult
- the proceedings have been committed up to the District Court following an application under the Youth Justice Act 1992, such as if a child is co-accused with an adult.