Applying for a suppression order for a child protection client

Follow this procedure when considering or seeking a suppression order in relaiton to a child subject to a Children’s Court order.

Document ID number 1228, version 2, 30 June 2018.

Introduction

Suppression orders can be made by the Supreme, County, Magistrates’ and Coroner’s Courts and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). They prohibit the publication of information relating to a matter before the court or tribunal.

Under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, restrictions apply to the publication of proceedings in the Children’s Court (section 534), and suppression orders are therefore not needed.

Child protection may however apply for a suppression order in relation to a child subject to a Children’s Court order to protect the child or to promote their rights or development. A suppression order may be appropriate where a child protection client is involved in, or related to a person involved in, a criminal or civil matter in another court.

The decision to apply for a suppression order requires legal advice and the approval of the chief practitioner, office of professional practice and financial endorsement from the operational divisional deputy secretary.

For additional information on suppression orders, see advice Suppression orders for child protection clients.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

  • Discuss the merit of a suppression order and consult with your team manager.
  • Before applying for a suppression order, consider whether provisions under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 or the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 that automatically apply in some circumstances negate the need for a suppression order.
  • Upon confirmation of approval and endorsement to seek a suppression order, assist the divisional principal practitioner and CPLO or divisional legal officer with preparations for the application and hearing, including preparing affidavit material as required.
  • Record all associated activity, and decisions and rationales on CRIS.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and support to the case practitioner.

Team manager tasks

  • Consider whether a suppression order may be appropriate where a client is involved in, or related to a person involved in, a criminal or civil matter in another court.
  • Consult with your deputy area operations manager.

Deputy area operations manager, child protection tasks

  • Consult your divisional principal practitioner and CPLO lawyer or divisional legal officer, when considering whether to apply for a suppression order.
  • If recommending applying for a suppression order, consult with your area operations manager or assistant director, child protection and area director, or director, child protection.

Divisional principal practitioner tasks

  • Provide consultation to the deputy area operations manager and CPLO. Consult the chief practitioner, office of professional practice when applying for a suppression order may be appropriate.
  • Prepare affidavit material as required.
  • Provide expert evidence to the court if required.

Area operations manager or assistant director, child protection tasks

  • If circumstances permit, arrange a conference to consider whether to recommend applying for a suppression order. Include:
    • assistant director, families and children, legal services
    • CPLO manager and, where relevant, divisional lawyer’s manager
    • CPLO lawyer or divisional legal officer
    • divisional principal practitioner
    • area operations manager or assistant director, child protection
    • deputy area operations manager, child protection
    • team manager
    • case practitioner.
  • Request endorsement from the director, child protection to seek approval of the chief practitioner

Area director, or director, child protection tasks

  • Provide consultation before seeking approval from the chief practitioner.
  • If recommending an application, brief the divisional deputy secretary.
  • Seek written approval of the chief practitioner, office of professional practice for the division to apply for a suppression order.
  • Brief the Secretary, Minister and media unit about the application as appropriate.

Divisional deputy secretary tasks

  • Subject to the chief practitioner’s approval, endorse applying for a suppression order (financial endorsement).

Chief practitioner, office of professional practice

  • Provide consultation to divisions and CPLO about whether a suppression order may be appropriate.
  • Record or confirm the recording of the consultation and approval decision including rationale on CRIS.
  • Consult the deputy secretary, children, families, disability and operations.
  • Inform the director, children and families policy where appropriate.
  • Brief the Secretary and Minister as required.

 

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