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Youth Justice Committee

The Youth Justice Committee (YJC) was established in 1998 to provide advice on issues and practice relating to youth justice.

The YJC has worked closely with the Principal Youth Court Judge on operational issues relating to the Youth Court. It also represents the interests of Youth Advocates, highlighting to key decision-makers the value contributed by these practitioners, who play a specialised role in the youth justice system.

Our People

Rebecca Plunket is convenor of the Youth Justice Committee. Rebecca has been in practice for 16 years initially in all areas of general practice and since 2008 as a barrister sole specialising in youth, criminal and traffic law. She is an appointed Youth Advocate providing specialist knowledge of the youth justice framework and law to young people and their families. Rebecca regularly appears in the Youth Court and Te Kooti Rangatahi Court as well as the District and High Courts.

The current members of the committee are:

  • Helen Bowen
  • Brett Crowley
  • Dale Lloyd
  • Don Kennedy
  • Siobhan McNulty
  • Max Simpkins
  • Vicki Thorpe

Recent Work

In the past 18 months, the YJC contributed to NZLS submissions in relation to Police Vetting (regarding issues with the disclosure of youth justice proceedings/outcomes), and liaison with various bodies about a number of youth justice practice concerns (the potential use of AVL in youth justice proceedings, and youth court bail in the Christchurch Justice Precinct). Committee members also worked closely with NZLS CLE on planning for the Youth Justice Conference held in August 2018.

In addition, the YJC provided advice in relation to NZLS granting approval to the Oranga Tamariki chief executive, enabling the direct instruction of youth advocates to represent young people in ITC FGCs (intention to charge family group conferences), under the Oranga Tamariki Act (from 1 July 2019). YJC members have also liaised with Oranga Tamariki in relation to implementation of the legislative changes.

Get Involved

Appointments are made to this committee biennially. If you have a passion for law reform, interest, skills and expertise in youth justice, and the time and energy to commit, then get involved.

Membership of this committee allows you to play an important role in the monitoring of proposals affecting youth justice and is an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.

Applications are currently open for the 2019 appointment round. Appointments are for a two-year term starting September 2019.

Last updated on the 30th May 2019