Procedure for Young Accused
Jurisdiction of YCJA
The Youth justice court has exclusive jurisdiction over offences allegedly committed by a young person. (s.14(1))
Interpretation of YCJA
Interpretation of the YCJA must be subject to the principles set out in s. 3 of the YCJA. The provisions must be interpreted liberally.
- s. 3(2)
The Juvenile Deliquents Act was the first legislation dealing with offenders under the age of 18. This Act was in effect between 1908 to 1984.
Between 1984 and 2003, the Young Offenders Act was the governing legislation.
- see also List of Legislative Amendments for history of the YCJA and previous Acts.
67. (1) The youth justice court shall, before a young person enters a plea, put the young person to his or her election in the words set out in subsection (2) if
- (a) [Repealed, 2012, c. 1, s. 178]
- (b) the Attorney General has given notice under subsection 64(2) of the intention to seek an adult sentence for an offence committed after the young person has attained the age of fourteen years;
- (c) the young person is charged with having committed first or second degree murder within the meaning of section 231 of the Criminal Code before the young person has attained the age of fourteen years; or
- (d) the person to whom section 16 (status of accused uncertain) applies is charged with having, after attaining the age of fourteen years, committed an offence for which an adult would be entitled to an election under section 536 of the Criminal Code, or over which a superior court of criminal jurisdiction would have exclusive jurisdiction under section 469 of that Act.
Wording of Election
Wording of election
(2) The youth justice court shall put the young person to his or her election in the following words:
- You have the option to elect to be tried by a youth justice court judge without a jury and without having had a preliminary inquiry; or you may elect to be tried by a judge without a jury; or you may elect to be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury. If you do not elect now, you are deemed to have elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury. If you elect to be tried by a judge without a jury or by a court composed of a judge and jury or if you are deemed to have elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury, you will have a preliminary inquiry only if you or the prosecutor requests one. How do you elect to be tried?
s. 64(1), (2) and 67 (6), (9), s. 13(2),(3)
When young person pleads guilty
36 (1) If a young person pleads guilty to an offence charged against the young person and the youth justice court is satisfied that the facts support the charge, the court shall find the young person guilty of the offence.
When young person pleads not guilty
(2) If a young person charged with an offence pleads not guilty to the offence or pleads guilty but the youth justice court is not satisfied that the facts support the charge, the court shall proceed with the trial and shall, after considering the matter, find the young person guilty or not guilty or make an order dismissing the charge, as the case may be.