The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997 and the Magistrates Court (Children's Division) Act 1998 commenced on 1 July 2000.
These Acts regulate child protection proccedings in the Magistrates Court (Children's Division) and a copy of the legilsation can be obtainied from the Tasmanian Legislation Website.
Orders that may be made by the Court under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act include
assessment orders (section 22)
care and protection orders (section 42)
extension of care and protection orders(section 44)
variation of care and protection orders (section 48).
The focus of the Act is to address the problems of children at risk, by means of education, co-operation, and broader community and family involvement. Reference to the Court is a last resort.
Warrants for the protection and assessment of young people are a major use of the Duty Magistrate Scheme. Under this Scheme magistrates with the administrative support of senior court officers are available after hours to consider applications for warrants to ensure that children at risk are provided appropriate and expeditious protection where this is regarded as necessary.
The Magistrates Court (Children's Division) Rules 2012 commenced on 1 January 2013. This is new subordinate legislation proposing to deliver more effectiveness and certainty for parties involved in child protection proceedings. It is anticipated that the Rules will:
clarify and simplify child protection procedures in order to improve the decision-making of parties and stakeholders
enhance the efficiencies of the Court
provide improved access to justice for parties and stakeholders engaged in the child protection jurisdiction.
The Rules also provide for certain forms to be used in child protection proceedings. The relevant forms are listed below.
The following link to the Information Brochure may assist adults when appearing in the Magistrates Court (Children's Division).
Entering Care Resources for Children and Young People has recently been launched. These information booklets provide age appropriate information to children and young people about the roles of people involved in the child protection process. These resources can be found at the Commissioner for Children's website under Resources.