The Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act 2016 commenced on 12 February 2018, meaning young offenders aged 17 are dealt with in the youth justice system. The commencement of the legislation brought Queensland into line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the law in all other Australian jurisdictions.
The legislation supports the wide-sweeping reforms being implemented across Youth Justice, to ensure the rehabilitation of young offenders. Under the Act, children aged 17 years old can access the same support and services that children aged 16 and under can. This includes:
- access to a support person when interviewed by police
- legal advice and separate conditions for watch houses
- age and developmentally-appropriate interventions.
The Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation 2018 also commenced on 12 February 2018.
The regulation supported the Act to ensure 17-year-olds involved in the adult justice system were able to be carefully transitioned to Youth Justice care.
The regulation was in effect for 2 years and is now complete.