Challenges, Possibilities and Future Directions: A National Assessment of Australia's Children's Courts


Prof Peter Camilleri (School of Social Work), Prof Morag McArthur, Lorraine Thomson

Funding Source:

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant


This project was funded by an ARC Discovery Grant, with the ACT study one of nine parallel studies, one covering each state and territory and the ninth, based on the eight others, focusing on Australia as a whole.

The aim of the study was to address the following research questions:

  • What is the contemporary status of, and current challenges faced by, Australia's Children's Courts in relation to both their child welfare and criminal jurisdictions from the perspective of its judicial officers and other key stakeholders?
  • What issues and challenges do judicial officers and other key stakeholders believe the Children's Court will face over the next decade?
  • What are the judicial officers' and other key stakeholders' assessments of, and degree of support for, child welfare and juvenile justice jurisdiction reforms that have recently been canvassed in Australia and overseas?


Research monograph:

Camilleri, P., McArthur, M., & Thomson, L. (2011). ARC Discovery Grant Project: Challenges, possibilities and future directions: A national assessment of Australia's Children's Courts. ACT Report. Canberra: Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU.

Associated publications:

Thomson, L., McArthur, M., & Camilleri, P. (2017). Is it 'fair'? Representation of children, young people and parents in an adversarial court system. Child and Family Social Work, 22(S2), 23-32.

Camilleri, P., Thomson, L., & McArthur, M. (2013). Needs or deeds? Child protection and youth justice in the Australian Capital Territory. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 35(2), 193-206.

Camilleri, P., Thomson, L., & McArthur, M. (2013). The Childrens Court in the Australian Capital Territory. In R. Sheehan & A. Borowski (Eds.), Australia's Children's Courts Today and Tomorrow, 7, 9-26: Springer Netherlands.