juvenile delinquent
Inmates are seen during a media visit organized by the Panamanian and the US government at the Pacora Juvenile Center, on the outskirts of Panama City, January 30, 2013. Reuters/Carlos Jasso

The Victorian Court of Appeal has ruled that the 12 teenage offenders must be removed from Barwon Prison on Friday. The court agreed with Supreme Court Justice Greg Garde's ruling that keeping juvenile offenders in an adult prison is unlawful.

In November, the teenagers were transferred to the most notorious prison in Victoria after trashing the Parkville and Malmsbury youth detention centres during riot.

Victoria police deputy commissioner Shane Patton said that the teenagers were needed to be housed to protect their human rights and to keep them safe. Patton added that the community should be protected as well.

However, Garde ruled that the decision made by the government was not able to give proper consideration to the teenagers' human rights. He ordered to immediately release the offenders. However, he later relented when government lawyers claimed that an alternative secure detention was not available.

The government appealed that Garde's decision had erred in his finding that a sufficient consideration to the youths' human rights was not given. However, Chief Justice Marilyn Warren said that there was no error in the finding.

Warren said that the role of the court is to ensure that the government acts conform with the law.

Georgie Crozier, opposition youth crime spokeswoman, said that Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews was incompetent along with Children's Minister Jenny Mikakos. She said that the chaos in the youth justice system lays squarely with the Premier and Minister.

The Court of Appeal upheld Garde's decision ordering the government to move the teenagers to an appropriate detention centre until Friday. However, Richard Niall QC has asked the court to extend it until Dec.31.

The Court of Appeal will publish on Thursday its full reasons for its decision. It would include the state's challenge against Garde’s order that the state had breached the human rights charter.