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Youth Criminal Justice Act (S.C. 2002, c. 1)

Act current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2019-12-18. Previous Versions

PART 1Extrajudicial Measures (continued)

Warnings, Cautions and Referrals

Marginal note:Warnings, cautions and referrals

  •  (1) A police officer shall, before starting judicial proceedings or taking any other measures under this Act against a young person alleged to have committed an offence, consider whether it would be sufficient, having regard to the principles set out in sections 4 and 4.1, to take no further action, warn the young person, administer a caution, if a program has been established under section 7, or, with the consent of the young person, refer the young person to a program or agency in the community that may assist the young person not to commit offences.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) The failure of a police officer to consider the options set out in subsection (1) does not invalidate any subsequent charges against the young person for the offence.

Marginal note:Police cautions

 The Attorney General, or any other minister designated by the lieutenant governor of a province, may establish a program authorizing the police to administer cautions to young persons instead of starting judicial proceedings under this Act.

Marginal note:Crown cautions

 The Attorney General may establish a program authorizing prosecutors to administer cautions to young persons instead of starting or continuing judicial proceedings under this Act.

Marginal note:Evidence of measures is inadmissible

 Evidence that a young person has received a warning, caution or referral mentioned in section 6, 7 or 8 or that a police officer has taken no further action in respect of an offence, and evidence of the offence, is inadmissible for the purpose of proving prior offending behaviour in any proceedings before a youth justice court in respect of the young person.

Extrajudicial Sanctions

Marginal note:Extrajudicial sanctions

  •  (1) An extrajudicial sanction may be used to deal with a young person alleged to have committed an offence only if the young person cannot be adequately dealt with by a warning, caution or referral mentioned in section 6, 7 or 8 because of the seriousness of the offence, the nature and number of previous offences committed by the young person or any other aggravating circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Conditions

    (2) An extrajudicial sanction may be used only if

    • (a) it is part of a program of sanctions that may be authorized by the Attorney General or authorized by a person, or a member of a class of persons, designated by the lieutenant governor in council of the province;

    • (b) the person who is considering whether to use the extrajudicial sanction is satisfied that it would be appropriate, having regard to the needs of the young person and the interests of society;

    • (c) the young person, having been informed of the extrajudicial sanction, fully and freely consents to be subject to it;

    • (d) the young person has, before consenting to be subject to the extrajudicial sanction, been advised of his or her right to be represented by counsel and been given a reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel;

    • (e) the young person accepts responsibility for the act or omission that forms the basis of the offence that he or she is alleged to have committed;

    • (f) there is, in the opinion of the Attorney General, sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of the offence; and

    • (g) the prosecution of the offence is not in any way barred at law.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on use

    (3) An extrajudicial sanction may not be used in respect of a young person who

    • (a) denies participation or involvement in the commission of the offence; or

    • (b) expresses the wish to have the charge dealt with by a youth justice court.

  • Marginal note:Admissions not admissible in evidence

    (4) Any admission, confession or statement accepting responsibility for a given act or omission that is made by a young person as a condition of being dealt with by extrajudicial measures is inadmissible in evidence against any young person in civil or criminal proceedings.

  • Marginal note:No bar to judicial proceedings

    (5) The use of an extrajudicial sanction in respect of a young person alleged to have committed an offence is not a bar to judicial proceedings under this Act, but if a charge is laid against the young person in respect of the offence,

    • (a) the youth justice court shall dismiss the charge if it is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the young person has totally complied with the terms and conditions of the extrajudicial sanction; and

    • (b) the youth justice court may dismiss the charge if it is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the young person has partially complied with the terms and conditions of the extrajudicial sanction and if, in the opinion of the court, prosecution of the charge would be unfair having regard to the circumstances and the young person’s performance with respect to the extrajudicial sanction.

  • Marginal note:Laying of information, etc.

    (6) Subject to subsection (5) and section 24 (private prosecutions only with consent of Attorney General), nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing any person from laying an information or indictment, obtaining the issue or confirmation of any process or proceeding with the prosecution of any offence in accordance with law.

Marginal note:Notice to parent

 If a young person is dealt with by an extrajudicial sanction, the person who administers the program under which the sanction is used shall inform a parent of the young person of the sanction.

Marginal note:Victim’s right to information

 If a young person is dealt with by an extrajudicial sanction, a police officer, the Attorney General, the provincial director or any organization established by a province to provide assistance to victims shall, on request, inform the victim of the identity of the young person and how the offence has been dealt with.

PART 2Organization of Youth Criminal Justice System

Youth Justice Court

Marginal note:Designation of youth justice court

  •  (1) A youth justice court is any court that may be established or designated by or under an Act of the legislature of a province, or designated by the Governor in Council or the lieutenant governor in council of a province, as a youth justice court for the purposes of this Act, and a youth justice court judge is a person who may be appointed or designated as a judge of the youth justice court or a judge sitting in a court established or designated as a youth justice court.

  • Marginal note:Deemed youth justice court

    (2) When a young person elects to be tried by a judge without a jury, the judge shall be a judge as defined in section 552 of the Criminal Code, or if it is an offence set out in section 469 of that Act, the judge shall be a judge of the superior court of criminal jurisdiction in the province in which the election is made. In either case, the judge is deemed to be a youth justice court judge and the court is deemed to be a youth justice court for the purpose of the proceeding.

  • Marginal note:Deemed youth justice court

    (3) When a young person elects or is deemed to have elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury, the superior court of criminal jurisdiction in the province in which the election is made or deemed to have been made is deemed to be a youth justice court for the purpose of the proceeding, and the superior court judge is deemed to be a youth justice court judge.

  • Marginal note:Court of record

    (4) A youth justice court is a court of record.

Marginal note:Exclusive jurisdiction of youth justice court

  •  (1) Despite any other Act of Parliament but subject to the Contraventions Act and the National Defence Act, a youth justice court has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed by a person while he or she was a young person, and that person shall be dealt with as provided in this Act.

  • Marginal note:Orders

    (2) A youth justice court has exclusive jurisdiction to make orders against a young person under sections 83.3 (recognizance — terrorist activity), 810 (recognizance  — fear of injury or damage), 810.01 (recognizance  —  fear of certain offences), 810.011 (recognizance —  fear of terrorism offence), 810.02 (recognizance  —  fear of forced marriage or marriage under age of 16 years) and 810.2 (recognizance — fear of serious personal injury offence) of the Criminal Code and the provisions of this Act apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require. If the young person fails or refuses to enter into a recognizance referred to in any of those sections, the court may impose any one of the sanctions set out in subsection 42(2) (youth sentences) except that, in the case of an order under paragraph 42(2)(n) (custody and supervision order), it shall not exceed 30 days.

  • Marginal note:Prosecution prohibited

    (3) Unless the Attorney General and the young person agree, no extrajudicial measures shall be taken or judicial proceedings commenced under this Act in respect of an offence after the end of the time limit set out in any other Act of Parliament or any regulation made under it for the institution of proceedings in respect of that offence.

  • Marginal note:Continuation of proceedings

    (4) Extrajudicial measures taken or judicial proceedings commenced under this Act against a young person may be continued under this Act after the person attains the age of eighteen years.

  • Marginal note:Young persons over the age of eighteen years

    (5) This Act applies to persons eighteen years old or older who are alleged to have committed an offence while a young person.

  • Marginal note:Powers of youth justice court judge

    (6) For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, a youth justice court judge is a justice and a provincial court judge and has the jurisdiction and powers of a summary conviction court under the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Powers of a judge of a superior court

    (7) A judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction, when deemed to be a youth justice court judge for the purpose of a proceeding, retains the jurisdiction and powers of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction.

Marginal note:Contempt against youth justice court

  •  (1) Every youth justice court has the same power, jurisdiction and authority to deal with and impose punishment for contempt against the court as may be exercised by the superior court of criminal jurisdiction of the province in which the court is situated.

  • Marginal note:Jurisdiction of youth justice court

    (2) A youth justice court has jurisdiction in respect of every contempt of court committed by a young person against the youth justice court whether or not committed in the face of the court, and every contempt of court committed by a young person against any other court otherwise than in the face of that court.

  • Marginal note:Concurrent jurisdiction of youth justice court

    (3) A youth justice court has jurisdiction in respect of every contempt of court committed by a young person against any other court in the face of that court and every contempt of court committed by an adult against the youth justice court in the face of the youth justice court, but nothing in this subsection affects the power, jurisdiction or authority of any other court to deal with or impose punishment for contempt of court.

  • Marginal note:Youth sentence — contempt

    (4) When a youth justice court or any other court finds a young person guilty of contempt of court, it may impose as a youth sentence any one of the sanctions set out in subsection 42(2) (youth sentences), or any number of them that are not inconsistent with each other, but no other sentence.

  • Marginal note:Section 708 of Criminal Code applies in respect of adults

    (5) Section 708 (contempt) of the Criminal Code applies in respect of proceedings under this section in youth justice court against adults, with any modifications that the circumstances require.

Marginal note:Status of offender uncertain

 When a person is alleged to have committed an offence during a period that includes the date on which the person attains the age of eighteen years, the youth justice court has jurisdiction in respect of the offence and shall, after putting the person to their election under section 67 (adult sentence) if applicable, and on finding the person guilty of the offence,

  • (a) if it has been proven that the offence was committed before the person attained the age of eighteen years, impose a sentence under this Act;

  • (b) if it has been proven that the offence was committed after the person attained the age of eighteen years, impose any sentence that could be imposed under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament on an adult who has been convicted of the same offence; and

  • (c) if it has not been proven that the offence was committed after the person attained the age of eighteen years, impose a sentence under this Act.

Marginal note:Youth justice court may make rules

  •  (1) The youth justice court for a province may, subject to the approval of the lieutenant governor in council of the province, establish rules of court not inconsistent with this Act or any other Act of Parliament or with any regulations made under section 155 regulating proceedings within the jurisdiction of the youth justice court.

  • Marginal note:Rules of court

    (2) Rules under subsection (1) may be made

    • (a) generally to regulate the duties of the officers of the youth justice court and any other matter considered expedient to attain the ends of justice and carry into effect the provisions of this Act;

    • (b) subject to any regulations made under paragraph 155(b), to regulate the practice and procedure in the youth justice court; and

    • (c) to prescribe forms to be used in the youth justice court if they are not otherwise provided for by or under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Publication of rules

    (3) Rules of court that are made under the authority of this section shall be published in the appropriate provincial gazette.

Youth Justice Committees

Marginal note:Youth justice committees

  •  (1) The Attorney General of Canada or a province or any other minister that the lieutenant governor in council of the province may designate may establish one or more committees of citizens, to be known as youth justice committees, to assist in any aspect of the administration of this Act or in any programs or services for young persons.

  • Marginal note:Role of committee

    (2) The functions of a youth justice committee may include the following:

    • (a) in the case of a young person alleged to have committed an offence,

      • (i) giving advice on the appropriate extrajudicial measure to be used in respect of the young person,

      • (ii) supporting any victim of the alleged offence by soliciting his or her concerns and facilitating the reconciliation of the victim and the young person,

      • (iii) ensuring that community support is available to the young person by arranging for the use of services from within the community, and enlisting members of the community to provide short-term mentoring and supervision, and

      • (iv) when the young person is also being dealt with by a child protection agency or a community group, helping to coordinate the interaction of the agency or group with the youth criminal justice system;

    • (b) advising the federal and provincial governments on whether the provisions of this Act that grant rights to young persons, or provide for the protection of young persons, are being complied with;

    • (c) advising the federal and provincial governments on policies and procedures related to the youth criminal justice system;

    • (d) providing information to the public in respect of this Act and the youth criminal justice system;

    • (e) acting as a conference; and

    • (f) any other functions assigned by the person who establishes the committee.

 
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