Submission to Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee - Justice Legislation Amendment _Cancellation of Parole and Other Matters Bill 2013 - Representation of Child - Feb 2013

A Bill introduced into Victorian Parliament on 5 February 2013 amending the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 will limit the entitlement of children aged under 10 to legal representation in child protection proceedings and prevent all children aged under 10 from giving direct instructions to lawyers in these proceedings.

 

The current law has a test of maturity (not age) and in practice children aged 7 and over have been able to give direct instructions to lawyers if they are mature enough to do so.

The Commission has submitted to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee that, consistent with Victoria's Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, young people in child protection matters with sufficient maturity should be entitled to legal representation on a direct instructions basis.

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