The Childrens Court in the Australian Capital Territory
This chapter describes the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Childrens Court (In ACT, the court is termed the 'Childrens Court' (section 288 of the Magistrates Court Act 1930) not the 'Children's Court' which is the term used in many other states). It summarises and discusses the views of key stakeholders about the court and its work gained through interviews and focus group discussions held in 2010. One of the key findings in the ACT was that there is a common and strong desire amongst people involved in the Childrens Court for the community to do the best that is possible for the children and young people who come before the court as part of care and protection or criminal proceedings. However, there are differing opinions about how this can best be accomplished. The ACT is a small jurisdiction - despite housing Canberra which is the capital of Australia. It has its own unique history which has affected the development of the Childrens Court and the service system to which it relates.