About the Childrens Court

If your child has been charged with an offence before their 17th birthday, they first go to the Childrens Court. This court has a magistrate.

This is a closed court, which means only the people involved in the case and family members can be there. Sometimes the magistrate may allow other people in. If that happens, someone tells you who those people are.

No one is allowed to publish any information about the court case that might identify your child.

While children who appear before the court are made accountable for their actions, the court also aims to rehabilitate young offenders.

You are expected to attend court with your child.

Types of proceedings in the Childrens Court

Trial (summary hearing)

A trial in the Childrens Court is called a summary hearing. If your child pleads not guilty to a charge (that the Childrens Court has the power to deal with), the magistrate hears all the evidence from both sides and makes a decision about whether or not your child is guilty.


If your child pleads guilty, or is found guilty, the court decides what sentence they will get. The court considers your child’s history and the seriousness of the crime.

Committal proceedings

If your child is accused of a very serious crime (that cannot be dealt with by a lower court), such as drug trafficking or murder, the magistrate hears all the evidence during a committal hearing and then decides whether to send the case to the Childrens Court of Queensland.

District Court

Some cases involving children can be heard in the District Court by judges who are specially commissioned to deal with children.

Other proceedings in the court

The Childrens Court also hears matters involving child protection and certain adoption cases.

Childrens Court

For questions about your child in court, contact Youth Justice Services  (07) 3239 3520.

To contact the Childrens Court in Brisbane:

Outside of Brisbane, you can contact the court in your area.

Further information