Dismissal and Undertaking


Where a charge is proved, the Children’s Court may make an order dismissing the charge against a child without recording a conviction.

A charge against a young offender heard in an adult court can also be dismissed under the Sentencing Act 1991.


Under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, when the Children’s Court orders an undertaking, the child is released unsupervised on the condition that he or she undertakes to do, or refrain from doing, particular acts for a period not exceeding 6 months (or 12 months in exceptional circumstances). The child must agree to the undertaking and no conviction is recorded.

There are two types of undertakings for children:

  • non-accountable undertakings
  • accountable undertakings.

Where a non-accountable undertaking is imposed, the charge or charges are dismissed. If a child breaches a non-accountable undertaking, the court cannot take any further action.

When an accountable undertaking is imposed, the child is accountable for any breach of the undertaking. If a child breaches an accountable undertaking, the court can order the offender to reappear before the court, and the court may:

  • cancel the undertaking
  • continue or vary the undertaking or
  • revoke the order dismissing the charge and impose a fine of not more than one penalty unit.

An adjourned undertaking can also be ordered against a young offender under the Sentencing Act 1991.

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