The Children's Court Act 1907, with the full title "An Act to Provide for the Creation of Courts for the Trial of Children" (Act no. 7 Edw.VII No.3) formed a special court of petty sessions specifically called a Children's Court, where charges were to be heard in camera for children under 17 years. This act was repealed on the 1st of August 1966 by the Children's Services Act 1965 (Act no. 42/1965).
The Children's Court Act 1907 established procedures to separate court proceedings involving anyone under the age of 17 years. The Children's Court could be constituted by a police magistrate sitting alone, or by any two or more justices of the peace. In Brisbane, and wherever practicable in other parts of Queensland, the Children's Court was to sit in a room other than the usual setting for the court of petty sessions. During hearings, the Children's Court had to be cleared of everyone not involved in the case (including newspapers), or representatives of organisations 'interested in the care or reform of children'.
The Act provided for the custody of children in remand and provided that 'in no case shall any child remain in a prison or lock-up pending the hearing unless his safe custody cannot otherwise be provided for'. The Children's Court was granted discretionary powers in regard to sentencing, being able to 'admonish' a child in lieu of conviction.
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.102..
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 4 May 2011, Last modified: 12 September 2018