Series VPRS 2473
Children's Court Register
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1907 - 1983
  Series in Custody 1907 - 1977
  Contents 1907 - 1977
Public Access: Part Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1907 - 1983 Oakleigh Courts VA 442
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1992 - 2003 Department of Justice VA 3085
2003 - cont Children's Court of Victoria VA 4190
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    How to use this Series:

    Please note records for the period 1978 to 1983 are located at the Oakleigh Magistrate's Court. (As at 28 October 1993)

    There are no indexes to this series. In order to find a specific court case the name of the accused/defendant must be known and the approximate date of hearing. Having located the volume covering the required period the chronological entries will need to be systematically examined until the case is found. The case will have been given a number and subsequent hearings, adjournments etc. for this case will have the same number. The first entry will also provide the date of any subsequent hearing and hearings can be followed in this way.

    Researchers should note the access restrictions which apply to these records.

    Background: Children's Courts

    Children's Courts were established in Victoria by the Children's Courts Act 1906. This Act came into operation on 1 December 1906.

    Children's Courts could sit at any place where a Court of Petty Sessions/Magistrates' Court sat and each was presided over by a Police Magistrate appointed by the Governor in Council as a "special magistrate" for Children's Courts. The Courts had exclusive jurisdiction with regard to persons under the age of seventeen to:

    inquire into charges of indictable offences (ie more serious offences) and determine whether the child should stand trial in a court of higher jurisdiction. (With the permission of the child's parents or guardian, and where the child was under the age of twelve, the children's court could itself determine charges involving indictable offences, except charges of murder and manslaughter.)

    inquire into and determine charges of summary offences (ie less serious offences) in the same manner and with largely the same rules of procedure as Courts of Petty Sessions.

    hear and determine applications for children to be committed to the care of the state.

    Further information about the jurisdiction of Children's Courts is available in the Inventory of Agencies for VRG 4, Courts, in the Summary Guide to the Public Records of Victoria.

    Children's Court Registers

    The 1906 Children's Court Act and subsequent legislation of the same name required clerks of Children's Courts to keep a Register of all cases and decisions of the court. This Act also set out the form that the register should take. The Registers record details of the case number (see below), the name of the informant or applicant, the name of the accused or defendant, his or her age or apparent age, how the defendant was brought to court (arrest warrant or summons), the court fees due, the nature of the information, charge or application, the courts decision and order and any remarks. The payment of fines or fees is often recorded in the remarks column.

    Arrangement

    Entries in the volumes were made in chronological order of the date they came before the court and each case receives a consecutive number. An annual single numbering system was usually used, thus the numbering sequence reverted to 1 at the beginning of each year. This number, allocated at the time of entry in the register, was also annotated onto all documents lodged with the court during the case.

    Other Children's Court Records

    Several types of warrants, summonses, and other documents were also lodged with or created by the court in the process of administering each case. The documents were known as "process" and were placed together to create a case file. In most instances these files were destroyed about fifteen years after the completion of the case to which they related.

    Most courts did not create any name index to children's court cases.

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1907 - 1968 Part Open 18
P0001 1968 - 1977 Closed 12
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