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Youth Criminal Justice Act

Version of section 25 from 2019-12-18 to 2021-03-23:


Marginal note:Right to counsel

  •  (1) A young person has the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay, and to exercise that right personally, at any stage of proceedings against the young person and before and during any consideration of whether, instead of starting or continuing judicial proceedings against the young person under this Act, to use an extrajudicial sanction to deal with the young person.

  • Marginal note:Arresting officer to advise young person of right to counsel

    (2) Every young person who is arrested or detained shall, on being arrested or detained, be advised without delay by the arresting officer of the right to retain and instruct counsel, and be given an opportunity to obtain counsel.

  • Marginal note:Justice, youth justice court or review board to advise young person of right to counsel

    (3) When a young person is not represented by counsel

    • (a) at a hearing at which it will be determined whether to release the young person or detain the young person in custody,

    • (a.1) at a hearing held in relation to an order referred to in subsection 14(2) or 20(2),

    • (b) at a hearing held under section 71 (hearing — adult sentences),

    • (c) at trial,

    • (d) at any proceedings held under subsection 98(3) (continuation of custody), 103(1) (review by youth justice court), 104(1) (continuation of custody), 105(1) (conditional supervision) or 109(1) (review of decision),

    • (e) at a review of a youth sentence held before a youth justice court under this Act, or

    • (f) at a review of the level of custody under section 87,

    the justice or youth justice court before which the hearing, trial or review is held, or the review board before which the review is held, shall advise the young person of the right to retain and instruct counsel and shall give the young person a reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel.

  • Marginal note:Trial, hearing or review before youth justice court or review board

    (4) When a young person at trial or at a hearing or review referred to in subsection (3) wishes to obtain counsel but is unable to do so, the youth justice court before which the hearing, trial or review is held or the review board before which the review is held

    • (a) shall, if there is a legal aid program or an assistance program available in the province where the hearing, trial or review is held, refer the young person to that program for the appointment of counsel; or

    • (b) if no legal aid program or assistance program is available or the young person is unable to obtain counsel through the program, may, and on the request of the young person shall, direct that the young person be represented by counsel.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of counsel

    (5) When a direction is made under paragraph (4)(b) in respect of a young person, the Attorney General shall appoint counsel, or cause counsel to be appointed, to represent the young person.

  • Marginal note:Release hearing before justice

    (6) When a young person, at a hearing referred to in paragraph (3)(a) or (a.1) that is held before a justice who is not a youth justice court judge, wishes to obtain counsel but is unable to do so, the justice shall

    • (a) if there is a legal aid program or an assistance program available in the province where the hearing is held,

      • (i) refer the young person to that program for the appointment of counsel, or

      • (ii) refer the matter to a youth justice court to be dealt with in accordance with paragraph (4)(a) or (b); or

    • (b) if no legal aid program or assistance program is available or the young person is unable to obtain counsel through the program, refer the matter without delay to a youth justice court to be dealt with in accordance with paragraph (4)(b).

  • Marginal note:Young person may be assisted by adult

    (7) When a young person is not represented by counsel at trial or at a hearing or review referred to in subsection (3), the justice before whom or the youth justice court or review board before which the proceedings are held may, on the request of the young person, allow the young person to be assisted by an adult whom the justice, court or review board considers to be suitable.

  • Marginal note:Counsel independent of parents

    (8) If it appears to a youth justice court judge or a justice that the interests of a young person and the interests of a parent are in conflict or that it would be in the best interests of the young person to be represented by his or her own counsel, the judge or justice shall ensure that the young person is represented by counsel independent of the parent.

  • Marginal note:Statement of right to counsel

    (9) A statement that a young person has the right to be represented by counsel shall be included in

    • (a) any appearance notice or summons issued to the young person;

    • (b) any warrant to arrest the young person;

    • (c) any undertaking entered into before a peace officer by the young person;

    • (d) [Repealed, 2019, c. 25, s. 364]

    • (e) any notice given to the young person in relation to any proceedings held under subsection 98(3) (continuation of custody), 103(1) (review by youth justice court), 104(1) (continuation of custody), 105(1) (conditional supervision) or 109(1) (review of decision); or

    • (f) any notice of a review of a youth sentence given to the young person.

  • Marginal note:Recovery of costs of counsel

    (10) Nothing in this Act prevents the lieutenant governor in council of a province or his or her delegate from establishing a program to authorize the recovery of the costs of a young person’s counsel from the young person or the parents of the young person. The costs may be recovered only after the proceedings are completed and the time allowed for the taking of an appeal has expired or, if an appeal is taken, all proceedings in respect of the appeal have been completed.

  • Marginal note:Exception for persons over the age of twenty

    (11) Subsections (4) to (9) do not apply to a person who is alleged to have committed an offence while a young person, if the person has attained the age of twenty years at the time of his or her first appearance before a youth justice court in respect of the offence; however, this does not restrict any rights that a person has under the law applicable to adults.

  • 2002, c. 1, s. 25
  • 2019, c. 13, s. 161
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 364
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