Children's Court New South Wales

Youth Koori Court

The Youth Koori Court (YKC) was established in response to the significant over-representation of Aboriginal young people in the criminal justice system. A pilot commenced in 2015 at Parramatta Children’s Court.

Following the success of the Youth Koori Court pilot in Parramatta, government funding was provided to expand the Youth Koori Court to Surry Hills in 2019.  A third Youth Koori Court commenced at Dubbo on 24 March 2023.  

Dubbo is the first regional location for the Youth Koori Court and follows its successful operation in Sydney CBD and Parramatta since 2015.

Evaluations of the Youth Koori Courts were published in May 2018 and June 2022. Those evaluations are linked below.  

About the Youth Koori Court

The Youth Koori Court (YKC) is a modified process within the usual Children’s Court process.  It has the same powers as the Children’s Court but uses a different process to better involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, their families and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isander community in the court process.

With the assistance of elders and other respected people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities, the Youth Koori Court seeks to identify risk factors, such as homelessness, disengagement from education, drug and alcohol issues or other health issues, that may be impacting on the young person’s involvement with the criminal justice system. 

An Action and support plan is then developed with the young person to help them to address these risk factors and improve connections with their culture and their community. 

The implementation of the Action and support plan is monitored by the YKC over a period of months and the young person is required to come back to court several times. 

At the end of the process the judicial officer will sentence the young person taking into consideration the steps the young person has taken to address their issues.  

For more information about the Youth Koori Court read:

Children’s Court Practice Note 11

Youth Koori Court factsheet (PDF, 221.9 KB)

Youth Koori Court Casework Coordinator (PDF, 182.5 KB)

Western Sydney University - Youth Koori Court: Review of the Parramatta Pilot Project (May 2018) (PDF, 4.5 MB)

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research - The impact of the NSW Youth Koori Court on sentencing and re-offending outcomes (April 2022) (PDF, 604.6 KB)

Inside Policy - An evaluation of the Youth Koori Court Process (June 2022) (PDF, 3.6 MB)

Last updated:

26 Jul 2023

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