Legal practitioners can expect disruption to the handling of youth justice matters from the measures being taken to address the COVID-19 cluster arising from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (BYDC).
Practitioners are asked to note the following arrangements which are now in place with respect to the BYDC, following advice from Queensland Health and Queensland Corrective Services:
1. There will be no personal court appearances of juvenile defendants from BYDC until further advised.
2. Any young person who leaves the BYDC (whether having served their sentence or being admitted bail) will be quarantined outside the BYDC for 14 days from the date that they leave the BYDC. In respect of bail, practitioners may need to be in a position to advise the court of the quarantine arrangements in place for individual cases.
3. Any young person who is remanded in custody will not be immediately admitted to the BYDC until further notice. They will be subject to a 14-day quarantine requirement, which may be served in a watch house, or at Townsville Youth Detention Centre, or elsewhere. Practitioners will need to be in a position to advise the court about the expected management of individual cases.
4. The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is creating a telephone line for legal practitioners and prosecutors to obtain specific advice about the proposed management arrangements for individual cases.
Access QLS general resources on COVID-19.