Queensland Law Society

Child and Youth Court Liaison Service

In March the Child and Youth Court Liaison Service was enhanced as a result of the Mental Health Act 2016 coming into effect.

The primary purpose of the Court Liaison Service (CLS) is early identification, assessment, liaison, referral and, when clinically appropriate, diversion of young people with mental health issues in custody, or before the Childrens Court at the Magistrates Court level.

The service has several specific functions, including:

  • liaison with courts and watch-houses in order to identify, assess and, when clinically appropriate, divert young offenders with mental health issues from the criminal justice system into appropriate mental health services
  • to provide advice and reports to the Magistrates Court which supports its decision-making powers available under the Mental Health Act 2016, particularly with respect to sections 172-176
  • liaison with local Child and Youth Mental Health, Youth Justice and other support services to ensure young offenders with mental health problems receive appropriate referrals, treatment and care
  • advice and/or clarification to the court about issues relating to the Mental Health Act 2016. It is intended that the CLS is accessible to all stakeholders including police, court, hospital and health services; various support and legal services, young persons and their carers.
  • provision of ongoing training and formal education to all stakeholders regarding the role of the CLS; symptoms and behaviours associated with mental illness and the impact that mental illness might have on young people who are appearing before the Childrens Court.

If you have any Court Liaison Service inquiries, please contact program manager Tasneem Hasan, at Tasneem.Hasan@health.qld.gov.au or phone 07 3310 9444.