Youth control order resources

Youth control order resources

This content is intended as information for lawyers appearing in the Children’s Court with clients who may be placed on a youth control order (YCO). If you are not a lawyer but have been referred to a youth control order planning meeting, you should contact your lawyer, youth justice worker or Children’s Court planning meeting convenor with any questions you may have.

Practice and precedents

It is important to stress at the outset that continuity of representation is particularly important in this problem-solving part of the process. The court is expecting that whoever attends the YCO planning meeting (preferably the client’s usual lawyer, not any barrister who appeared on the plea unless they are willing to commit to all future appearances) will then appear at all monitoring hearings. 

Youth law practice resources

Resources available include new precedents available to members of the private practitioner panel youth crime subset upon request to Suzanne.Bettink@vla.vic.gov.au:

  • KCCRLCL0310 - Ltr Client at court adjourned for youth control order planning meeting
  • KCCRLCL0485 - Ltr_Client_youth control order made
  • KCCRLCL0487 - Ltr_Client_youth control order monitoring progress
  • KCCRLCL0488 - Ltr_Client_youth control order revoked and sentenced
  • KCCRLCL0489 - Ltr_Client_youth control order successful completion

When the court and YJ have completed preparation of their own resources, a new set of paragraphs in the standard youth crime brief to counsel will be added. Until then it is recommended that if you are delivering a brief to counsel in a matter where a YCO is in range that you include something along the following lines in the brief:

  • The court will ask that the matter be assessed for suitability for a youth control order (YCO). If so, Youth Justice should do a same day assessment but if this is not possible then the matter should be adjourned for no more than 7 days. If the matter is adjourned for this reason, you are asked to retain the brief for the return date as you will be part heard in the plea.
  • If the matter is assessed as suitable for a YCO, it will be adjourned for a planning meeting to take place before an order is formally made. You will be advised of the YCO planning meeting date, time and location. As the court will expect the same person to appear at the planning meeting and then at all subsequent hearings for monitoring, I ask that you [obtain a date suitable to yourself if you are willing to commit to appearing on each subsequent occasion which, after sentencing, will attract a fee of $159 per monitoring hearing] OR [obtain a date that I will be able to attend {insert suggested dates} and seek to be excused from the return date after the planning meeting as I will appear myself at all subsequent hearings]
  • If the matter is adjourned for a YCO planning meeting we have been asked by the court’s convenors to ask that the following orders are made:
  1. Unless there is a particular reason, the court make any orders about those attending the meeting under s. 409T(4) rather than (3)(e). The reason for this is that if the order is made under (3)(e) and the person does not attend, the planning meeting will need to be vacated. If the order is made under ss (4) then the decision about whether or not to vacate can be made depending on all the circumstances on the day.
  2. Under s. 409(4) – ‘any person the convenor assesses as significant’. This is because during the preparation for the planning meeting it may become apparent that there is an important person (especially a service provider) who could play a valuable part at the planning meeting but the convenor would have no power to invite them unless the court included this proviso.
  3. That YJ provide a pre-sentence report. The reason for this is two-fold. Youth Justice might form the view after the planning meeting that a lesser order would be more appropriate. This order would give them the chance to explain this view in detail. Alternatively, the court may decide that an immediate period of detention is necessary in which case the availability of the PSR avoids further delay.

Court resources

The court should be issuing Guidelines for planning meetings soon. When available, it is expected that they will be published on the Children’s Court website's Guidelines page.

In the meantime, the YCO planning meeting convenors are contactable on 1800 531 574 to answer any questions about the process, including questions raised by yourself, YJ or the court on the day a matter is to be adjourned for a planning meeting.

Magistrate Peter Power’s Research materials chapter 11 have also been updated to include information about YCOs in parts 11.1.5-11.1.6.

Youth justice resources

At this stage the Youth Justice Community Practice Manual still does not include any information about YCOs so we are reliant on their training resources (available o members of the private practitioner panel youth crime subset upon request to Suzanne.Bettink@vla.vic.gov.au).

When available, there should be a specific webpage for YCOs in the Orders part of the Manual website.

As YCOs are new, we anticipate that the process may need to be adjusted from time to time.  This page will be regularly updated regarding any changes.

More information 

Any questions or feedback please feel free to contact:

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