Youth Justice

The Commissioner’s youth justice related work includes: 
  • Advocating for non-criminalising responses to children’s harmful behaviours, including for an increase to the age of criminal responsibility. 
  • Advocating for the rights and wellbeing of individual children and young people aged detained under the Youth Justice Act 1997
  • Providing opportunities for children and young people with lived experience of the justice system to express their opinions and share their views with decision-makers.  

In June 2023, the Commissioner delivered formal Advice to the Tasmanian Government about the age of criminal responsibility. In this Advice, the Commissioner recommends the Tasmanian Government commits, without delay, to raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years, with no exceptions. The Commissioner proposes an alternative non-criminalising, needs-based response to children’s harmful behaviour. This approach will ensure that responses to children’s harmful behaviour align with human rights standards and contemporary best practice without compromising, and in fact improving, community safety. 

Memorandum of Advice – the age of criminal responsibility in Tasmania

‘Diamonds’ is an original hip-hop track and music video created by young people at Tasmania’s Ashley Youth Detention Centre, with support from the Commissioner for Children and Young People in collaboration with Big hART.

‘Diamonds’ music video

The Voices of Young People in the Youth Justice System Project (Voices Project) gives young people, with lived experience of the youth justice system, an opportunity to share their views on the system and to have their views heard and taken seriously by the community and decision-makers.  

Listen: This is my voice (July 2023) is the first output of the Voices Project. It is about how young people with a youth justice experience view the factors affecting young people’s first and ongoing contact with the law, and how we can better support all young people, including those who may engage in harmful behaviour, to grow and thrive. 

Listen: This is my voice – Young people’s experiences of the youth justice system

To find out more about the Commissioner’s work to promote the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in contact with Tasmania’s justice system, see our publications and media releases