Law and Justice

The age of criminal responsibility in NSW is 10 years, based on a conclusive presumption that no child younger than 10 years can be guilty an offence.

Submission on the Migration Amendment (Health Care for Asylum Seekers) Bill 2012 (the Bill) (PDF 375KB)
October 2012
The Commission and other ACCG representatives supported the Bill's intention to establish an Expert Panel to monitor, assess and report on the health of people taken to Regional Processing Centres, particularly children and young people.

NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice Review of Young Offenders Act 1997 and Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (PDF 90.8KB)
December 2011
In light of new insights into the social and emotional development of children and the particular vulnerability of many of the children who come into contact with the criminal justice system, consideration should be given to raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in NSW. The Commission recommends the juvenile criminal justice system be reserved for serious indictable children’s offences only, and that investment be refocused on prevention and early intervention for at-risk youth.

NSW Parliamentary Committee on Law and Safety Inquiry into the Inclusion of Donor Details on the Register of Births (PDF 641.7KB)
December 2011
Recommends the current system for recording donor details be retained, with improved access to information about the donor for a donor-conceived child.  Suggests the inclusion of the details of donors of children conceived through informal arrangements in the register of births, where the donor is known to the mother, and all relevant parties wish to have the donor included in the register on the understanding that the donor will perform the role of parent.

NSW Law Reform Commission review of Bail Laws (PDF 35.1KB)
13 July 2011
States  that in its current form the Bail Act (NSW) 1978 should not apply to children and young people under the age of 18 years, as it fails to properly take account of their particular needs, which differ from those of adults, and is detrimental to their wellbeing. The Act should be amended to contain appropriate principles governing the application of bail laws to children and young people.

NSW Law Reform Commission Consultation on Penalty Notices (PDF 25.6KB)
January 2011
Responds to the NSW Law Reform Commission’s consultation paper about the laws relating to the use of penalty notices. While acknowledging the importance of supporting children to take responsibility for their actions, it does not support the issuing of penalty notices to persons under 18 years of age.

Submission to Spent Convictions for Juvenile Offenders Inquiry (PDF 41.9KB)
March 2010
The function of a spent convictions scheme should be to both protect the community from offenders and give people who offend the opportunity for a second chance. In regard to young offenders a spent convictions scheme based on these principles is particularly important given the current evidence on adolescent brain development and low rates of recidivism amongst young people who commit sex offences.

NSW Law Reform Commission's Privacy Legislation Review (PDF 49.4KB)
October 2008
Submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission’s Privacy Legislation in NSW Review.

Prohibition on the Publication of Names of Children involved in Criminal Proceedings (PDF 309.8KB)
December 2007
Does not support lifting the prohibition of the naming of children in criminal proceedings as there is no evidence that it benefits children, victims or the community.

Review of Laws Relating to Graffiti (PDF 14.5KB)
November 2007
Submission to the Attorney General's Department review of laws relating to graffiti.

Australian Law Reform Commission Review of Privacy (PDF 42.6KB)
January 2007
Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of Privacy Issues Paper.

Unauthorised photographs on the Internet (PDF 38.5KB)
October 2005
Submission to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) to the Discussion Paper, Unauthorised Photographs on the Internet and Ancillary Privacy Issues.

Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005 (PDF 72.5KB)
August 2005
Submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to the Exposure Draft of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005.

A New Approach to the Family Law System (PDF 72.5KB)
April 2005
Submission to the Australian Government in response to a discussion paper exploring the implementation of wide-ranging reforms to the family law system, expressing concern that a number of the changes outlined in the paper could jeopardise the best interests of children.

Review of the Bail Act 1978 (NSW) (PDF 91.9KB)
April 2005
Submission to the Criminal Law Review Division (CLRD) of the Attorney-General’s Department to its Review of the Bail Act 1978 which sets out when a person can be given bail when they have been charged with a criminal offence.

Discrimination in Employment on the Basis of Criminal Record (PDF 118.9KB)
April 2005
Submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) on discrimination in employment on the basis of a criminal record. Our response states the law in this area is unclear and discusses complaints that it has received about alleged discrimination.

Review of NSW Privacy and Personal Information Legislation (PDF 106.9KB)
August 2004
Submission to the NSW Attorney General’s Review of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW). The Act provides for the protection of the privacy of individuals generally and for the protection of personal information held by the public sector.

National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (PDF <~~DocAnnotation.size.97~~>)
July 2004
Submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. Our submission recommends Australia stop putting children into immigration detention centres and that, until this can be achieved, conditions for children in the centres be improved as a matter of urgency.

Australian Age Discrimination Legislation Commences (PDF 85.6KB)
July 2004
Submission to the proposed Age Discrimination Act 2004. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in key areas of public life, including employment, education and access to goods, services and facilities. We argued the Australian Government’s proposed legislation needs to include employment, access to health and social services, insurance and the use of public spaces.

Review of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Adult Detainees) Act 2001 (PDF 123.2KB)
June 2004
Submission to the Review of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Adult Detainees) Act 2001. The Commission’s submission raised the need for safeguards to prevent young people being inappropriately transferred to prison under provisions other than section 19 of the Act. The submission also identified the need for safeguards to safely and appropriately manage young people in adult prisons.

Inquiry into an Equal Age of Consent (PDF 113.3KB)
May 2003
Submission to the Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into an Equal Age of Consent.

Proposed Changes to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (PDF 430.1KB)
April 2003
Submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on proposed changes to that Commission. Our main concern with the draft law is that the federal Attorney General would need to approve HREOC's intervention in court cases raising human rights or discrimination issues affecting children.

Crimes Amendment (Child Protection - Excessive Punishment) Bill 2000 (PDF 83.6KB)
March 2001
Submission to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.