Child representatives in the Children's Court

In some cases at the Children’s Court of WA your child may be given a lawyer (child representative) to help the court work out what your child wants or what is in their best interests.

Find out about the role of a child representative in the Children’s Court of WA:

  • What is a child representative?
  • Can I ask for a lawyer for my child?
  • Does the court always appoint a lawyer for a child?
  • Does the lawyer have to tell the court about the wishes of my child?
  • How does the lawyer work out what is in the child's best interests?
  • What does the lawyer have to tell the court?
  • What is a child representative?

A child representative is a lawyer who acts for your child in a Children's Court of WA protection and care case. They are sometimes also called 'separate representatives'.  Sometimes the child or young person will tell the child representative what they want. If the child is not able to give instructions the lawyer will tell the court what they think is in the best interests of the child

If your child is old enough to understand, the lawyer will explain to them how the court procedure works and the decisions the court might make about their future.

  • Can I ask for a lawyer for my child?

The court decides whether or not a child should have a separate lawyer. However, as a parent, you can ask for the court to appoint a lawyer and the court will consider your request.

  • Does the lawyer have to tell the court about the wishes of my child?

Yes, if the lawyer is acting on the child's 'instructions'.  Even if acting on best interests they can let the court know your child’s wishes.

In the Children's Court if your child can’t or won’t express what they want, the lawyer will let the court know. The lawyer will then tell the court their own views on what is in the child's best interests.

Sometimes the child is too young to express their wishes and the lawyer will act on their best interests.

  • What does the lawyer have to tell the court?

If the lawyer is acting in the child's best interests, the lawyer must tell the court all the important information about the child's background and current situation and what they think is in the child’s best interests to help the court make a decision that will be best for the child.

If acting on instructions the lawyer has to tell the court the child’s instructions.

 

Reviewed: 5 April 2018

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.