Advocacy in the Children’s Court – Law School: Events Advocacy in the Children’s Court – Law School: Events

Advocacy in the Children’s Court

2023 Criminal Law CPD Series: Advocacy in the Children’s Court: Considerations for Criminal Matters Involving Children and Young Persons


Ethics & Professional Responsibility

Professional Skills

CPD Points: 1.5


The Children’s Court deals with a wide range of cases across NSW involving children and young people. In its criminal jurisdiction, matters involve defendants under the age of 18 years. There are a number of complexities in the legislation as to how certain charges involving children and young persons proceed including considerations of doli incapax and whether the charges can remain at the summary level or whether they should be dealt with “at law” in a higher court. This presentation will discuss the issues around the age of criminal responsibility and the committal process in the Children’s Court. This presentation will assist lawyers practising criminal law who appear in the Children’s Court and provide perspectives from the bench, prosecution, and defence.


Judge Ellen Skinner was admitted to the legal profession in 1999, having graduated from the Australian National University in Arts and Law. Judge Skinner has served as Managing Solicitor at the Aboriginal Legal Service and worked at the ODPP and Legal Aid. Judge Skinner was appointed to the Bench in 2009 as a magistrate and was the youngest magistrate ever appointed in New South Wales. On 22 November 2021, Judge Skinner was appointed as the President of the Children’s Court of NSW and a judge of the District Court.

Shannon Richards is a Solicitor Advocate at the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He has been practising law since 2003 and has worked in both commercial, government and military legal environments. Shannon was previously a prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Military Prosecutions and joined the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2015. He regularly appears in jury trials in the District Court and complex hearings in the Local Court and Children’s Court. Shannon appears in courts-martial and Defence Force Magistrate hearings on behalf of the prosecution and defence.

James Clifford is the Managing Solicitor of the Children’s Criminal Practice at the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), practicing primarily on Gadigal and Dharug land. He completed his studies at the University of Sydney before commencing private practice in criminal and employment law. Since commencing with the ALS in 2017, he has represented Aboriginal young people extensively in the Youth Koori Court and mainstream courts.

A recording of this webinar will be released on Thursday, 28 September 2023.

Find out more about the series.


Sep 28 2023

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Professional Learning & Community Engagement
02 9351 0248

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