This page contains information to assist journalists covering the work of the Children's Court of Victoria.
Restrictions on Reporting Children's Court Matters
Section 523 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 provides that all Children's Court proceedings are to be conducted in open court unless the court decides otherwise.
The media can cover Children's Court cases provided the participants are not identified or identifiable. Section 534 of the Children, Youth and Families Act (PDF 18 KB) makes it an offence, except in very limited circumstances, to publish any picture or account of proceedings that would lead to the identification of a child or any other person involved in the case, including a witness, or the particular venue of the Children's Court in which the proceeding was heard. This section also prohibits the publication, except in special circumstances, of any material which is likely to identify a child as being the subject of a Children's Court order. These restrictions also apply to proceedings in any other court arising out of proceedings in the Children's Court.
Occasionally, the Children's Court may make an order under Section 534 of the Children, Youth and Familes Act allowing specific identifying material to be published by the media. These orders may be made, for example, when the Department of Health & Human Services is seeking the public's assistance in identifying the parents of an abandoned baby.
Warning to the Media
On 28 May 2009, the President of the Children's Court of Victoria issued a warning to the media in relation to the publication of certain images.
Media Protocol - Access to Documents in the Criminal Division of the Children's Court
A protocol regarding media access to certain documents in criminal cases has been developed by the court. Journalists may be required to file either an Application for Access form or an Application to Record form with the court. These forms are available via the "Related Forms" menu on the right-hand side of this page.
Media & Communications
Children's Court of Victoria
Tel: (03) 9993 4978 or (03) 8638 3373
Mob: 0407 330 395