QLS applauds new High Risk Youth Court in Townsville

Queensland Law Society congratulates the Queensland Government on the launch of a new specialist High Risk Youth Court that will hold its first sitting next week.

The court was announced as part of a five-point plan in December last year to combat youth crime in Townsville.

President Christine Smyth today (Fri Jan 27) said that any court-led initiative was welcome, as was any chance for prevention rather than punishment.

“The courts cannot solve societal problems on their own, and this plan realises that a united approach between the police, courts, community sector and the broader community will deal much better with the factors driving youth crime,” she said.

“QLS acknowledges that youth crime has spiked in Townsville and the Police have thus far been doing a difficult job rather well.

“However, it is now time for a whole-of-community approach, ideally focused on practical approaches to difficult circumstances.”

The launch of the new court takes place at the same time as a legal stakeholders’ summit in Townsville led by the Queensland Chief Magistrate Ray Rinaudo.

“I congratulate His Honour Chief Magistrate Ray Rinaudo on this initiative, and I acknowledge the expertise of Children’s Court Magistrate Leanne O’Shea as she oversees the initial roll out of this impressive initiative.”

“Our member practitioners in Townsville stand ready to assist the courts in implementing strategies for the benefit of the children that go before this court and by extension the community.

“It takes a village to raise a child and a whole village to solve a problem like this.”