New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

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:

  • Dale Lloyd
  • Siobhan McNulty
  • Gene Tomlinson
  • Karen Bailey
  • Chris Merrick

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. Membership of this committee allows you to play an important role in law reform and is an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.

Applications will be called for in mid-2021, for the next 2-year term starting September 2021.

Last updated on the 8th October 2019