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Youth Justice Committee

The Youth Justice Committee monitors proposals that affect the operation of the youth justice system, including proposed legislative reforms

About Us

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 a barrister specialising in youth, criminal and traffic law. Rebecca is a Youth Advocate and regularly appears in the Youth Court and Te Kooti Rangatahi Court as well as the District and High Courts. Rebecca has established successful working relationships with various agencies and works closely with her local community to address youth offending.

The current members of the committee are experienced youth advocates:

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

NZLS contact: Amanda Frank, Law Reform Adviser (Dunstan Blay, parental leave cover 2019)
DX SP20202 or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145

Recent Work

In the past 18 months, the YJC has contributed to NZLS submissions on a number of youth justice legislative reforms and practice matters. These included comprehensive and complex submissions on a range of care and protection and youth justice reforms affecting children and young persons, in the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill and the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill. The Law Society had written to the relevant Ministers supporting the extension of the Youth Court jurisdiction to include 17-year-olds and the committee was particularly pleased to see this long-awaited reform included in the Oranga Tamariki Bill.

The YJC also commented on proposed revisions of the Youth Advocate Appointment & Review Procedures, including in relation to conditions of appointment (Criminal Procedure Act categories) and the procedure for review of the Youth Advocates List.

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.

Additionally, substantive contribution to NZLS law reform may count towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Applications for the 2017 appointment round have closed. The next appointment round will be in mid-2019.

Last updated on the 25th January 2019