- The Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (‘EAGP’) reforms make significant changes to the NSW criminal justice system by reforming the way committals are conducted.
- Only serious children’s indictable offences are subject to the new EAGP committal process.
- It is hoped EAGP reforms will facilitate negotiations and the expeditious resolution of children’s committals.
The Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (‘EAGP’) reforms make significant changes to the NSW criminal justice system by reforming the way that committals are conducted. The new Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 (the ‘EAGP Act’) has amended the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (‘CPA’), the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (‘CCPA’) and the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (‘CSPA’), and introduced particular changes to the committal proceedings for children’s criminal matters.
Section 31(1) of the CCPA provides that matters charged before a Children’s Court are presumptively dealt with summarily except for two types of matters which may be committed from the Children’s Court to a higher court, namely:
- a serious children’s indictable offence (‘SCIO’); and
- a non-serious children’s indictable offence which is committed pursuant to s 31(2), (3) or (5), CCPA.
Only SCIOs are subject to the new EAGP committal process (CCPA, s 27(2B)). However, this article will also highlight changes made by the EAGP Act to s 31 and the introduction of the committal provisions in Pt 3, Div 3A of the CCPA.