Sometimes, the court thinks a child should be represented in the court case.
Other parties to the case can also ask the court to appoint a Child Representative for the child.
When this happens, the court makes an order to appoint a Child Representative. They are a separate lawyer who only acts for the child.
If the child understands what is going on, the Child Representative will act on what the child wants. The child can give the lawyer instructions.
Otherwise, the Child Representative will act in the child's best interests.
The Child Representative will usually meet with the child. They will look at the situation of the case and how old the child is when deciding if they should meet them.
Guidelines for Child Representatives
Guidelines have been developed about the role of Child Representatives. These provide information about the court's general expectations of Child representatives.
The Guidelines for Child Representatives is a public document. It has been endorsed by the President of the Children's Court of Western Australia. It is also endorsed by the Family Court of Western Australia.
It was written with the help of Youth Support Council. And the Department for Child Protection and Family Support.
The Guidelines will inform the training and practice of Child Representatives.
Legal Aid Western Australia fund the work of Child Representatives in Western Australia.
Last updated: 28 August 2023