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

Assented to 2002-02-19

Appearance

Marginal note:Appearance before judge or justice
  •  (1) A young person against whom an information or indictment is laid must first appear before a youth justice court judge or a justice, and the judge or justice shall

    • (a) cause the information or indictment to be read to the young person;

    • (b) if the young person is not represented by counsel, inform the young person of the right to retain and instruct counsel;

    • (c) if notified under subsection 64(2) (intention to seek adult sentence) or if section 16 (status of accused uncertain) applies, inform the young person that the youth justice court might, if the young person is found guilty, order that an adult sentence be imposed; and

    • (d) if the young person is charged with having committed an offence set out in paragraph (a) of the definition presumptive offence in subsection 2(1), inform the young person in the following words of the consequences of being charged with such an offence:

      An adult sentence will be imposed if you are found guilty unless the court orders that you are not liable to an adult sentence and that a youth sentence must be imposed.

  • Marginal note:Waiver

    (2) A young person may waive the requirements of subsection (1) if the young person is represented by counsel and counsel advises the court that the young person has been informed of that provision.

  • Marginal note:Young person not represented by counsel

    (3) When a young person is not represented by counsel, the youth justice court, before accepting a plea, shall

    • (a) satisfy itself that the young person understands the charge;

    • (b) if the young person is liable to an adult sentence, explain to the young person the consequences of being liable to an adult sentence and the procedure by which the young person may apply for an order that a youth sentence be imposed; and

    • (c) explain that the young person may plead guilty or not guilty to the charge or, if subsection 67(1) (election of court for trial — adult sentence) or (3) (election of court for trial in Nunavut — adult sentence) applies, explain that the young person may elect to be tried by a youth justice court judge without a jury and without having a preliminary inquiry, or to have a preliminary inquiry and be tried by a judge without a jury, or to have a preliminary inquiry and be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury.

  • Marginal note:If youth justice court not satisfied

    (4) If the youth justice court is not satisfied that a young person understands the charge, the court shall, unless the young person must be put to his or her election under subsection 67(1) (election of court for trial — adult sentence) or, with respect to Nunavut, subsection 67(3) (election of court for trial in Nunavut — adult sentence), enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the young person and proceed with the trial in accordance with subsection 36(2) (young person pleads not guilty).

  • Marginal note:If youth justice court not satisfied

    (5) If the youth justice court is not satisfied that a young person understands the matters set out in subsection (3), the court shall direct that the young person be represented by counsel.

Release from or Detention in Custody

Marginal note:Application for release from or detention in custody
  •  (1) If an order is made under section 515 (judicial interim release) of the Criminal Code in respect of a young person by a justice who is not a youth justice court judge, an application may, at any time after the order is made, be made to a youth justice court for the release from or detention in custody of the young person, as the case may be, and the youth justice court shall hear the matter as an original application.

  • Marginal note:Notice to prosecutor

    (2) An application under subsection (1) for release from custody shall not be heard unless the young person has given the prosecutor at least two clear days notice in writing of the application.

  • Marginal note:Notice to young person

    (3) An application under subsection (1) for detention in custody shall not be heard unless the prosecutor has given the young person at least two clear days notice in writing of the application.

  • Marginal note:Waiver of notice

    (4) The requirement for notice under subsection (2) or (3) may be waived by the prosecutor or by the young person or his or her counsel, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Application for review under section 520 or 521 of Criminal Code

    (5) An application under section 520 or 521 of the Criminal Code for a review of an order made in respect of a young person by a youth justice court judge who is a judge of a superior court shall be made to a judge of the court of appeal.

  • Marginal note:Nunavut

    (6) Despite subsection (5), an application under section 520 or 521 of the Criminal Code for a review of an order made in respect of a young person by a youth justice court judge who is a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice shall be made to a judge of that court.

  • Marginal note:No review

    (7) No application may be made under section 520 or 521 of the Criminal Code for a review of an order made in respect of a young person by a justice who is not a youth justice court judge.

  • Marginal note:Interim release by youth justice court judge only

    (8) If a young person against whom proceedings have been taken under this Act is charged with an offence referred to in section 522 of the Criminal Code, a youth justice court judge, but no other court, judge or justice, may release the young person from custody under that section.

  • Marginal note:Review by court of appeal

    (9) A decision made by a youth justice court judge under subsection (8) may be reviewed in accordance with section 680 of the Criminal Code and that section applies, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to any decision so made.

Medical and Psychological Reports

Marginal note:Medical or psychological assessment
  •  (1) A youth justice court may, at any stage of proceedings against a young person, by order require that the young person be assessed by a qualified person who is required to report the results in writing to the court,

    • (a) with the consent of the young person and the prosecutor; or

    • (b) on its own motion or on application of the young person or the prosecutor, if the court believes a medical, psychological or psychiatric report in respect of the young person is necessary for a purpose mentioned in paragraphs (2)(a) to (g) and

      • (i) the court has reasonable grounds to believe that the young person may be suffering from a physical or mental illness or disorder, a psychological disorder, an emotional disturbance, a learning disability or a mental disability,

      • (ii) the young person’s history indicates a pattern of repeated findings of guilt under this Act or the Young Offenders Act, chapter Y-1 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, or

      • (iii) the young person is alleged to have committed a serious violent offence.

  • Marginal note:Purpose of assessment

    (2) A youth justice court may make an order under subsection (1) in respect of a young person for the purpose of

    • (a) considering an application under section 33 (release from or detention in custody);

    • (b) making its decision on an application heard under section 71 (hearing — adult sentences);

    • (c) making or reviewing a youth sentence;

    • (d) considering an application under subsection 104(1) (continuation of custody);

    • (e) setting conditions under subsection 105(1) (conditional supervision);

    • (f) making an order under subsection 109(2) (conditional supervision); or

    • (g) authorizing disclosure under subsection 127(1) (information about a young person).

  • Marginal note:Custody for assessment

    (3) Subject to subsections (4) and (6), for the purpose of an assessment under this section, a youth justice court may remand a young person to any custody that it directs for a period not exceeding thirty days.

  • Marginal note:Presumption against custodial remand

    (4) A young person shall not be remanded in custody in accordance with an order made under subsection (1) unless

    • (a) the youth justice court is satisfied that

      • (i) on the evidence custody is necessary to conduct an assessment of the young person, or

      • (ii) on the evidence of a qualified person detention of the young person in custody is desirable to conduct the assessment of the young person, and the young person consents to custody; or

    • (b) the young person is required to be detained in custody in respect of any other matter or by virtue of any provision of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Report of qualified person in writing

    (5) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a), if the prosecutor and the young person agree, evidence of a qualified person may be received in the form of a report in writing.

  • Marginal note:Application to vary assessment order if circumstances change

    (6) A youth justice court may, at any time while an order made under subsection (1) is in force, on cause being shown, vary the terms and conditions specified in the order in any manner that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of report

    (7) When a youth justice court receives a report made in respect of a young person under subsection (1),

    • (a) the court shall, subject to subsection (9), cause a copy of the report to be given to

      • (i) the young person,

      • (ii) any parent of the young person who is in attendance at the proceedings against the young person,

      • (iii) any counsel representing the young person, and

      • (iv) the prosecutor; and

    • (b) the court may cause a copy of the report to be given to

      • (i) a parent of the young person who is not in attendance at the proceedings if the parent is, in the opinion of the court, taking an active interest in the proceedings, or

      • (ii) despite subsection 119(6) (restrictions respecting access to certain records), the provincial director, or the director of the provincial correctional facility for adults or the penitentiary at which the young person is serving a youth sentence, if, in the opinion of the court, withholding the report would jeopardize the safety of any person.

  • Marginal note:Cross-examination

    (8) When a report is made in respect of a young person under subsection (1), the young person, his or her counsel or the adult assisting the young person under subsection 25(7) and the prosecutor shall, subject to subsection (9), on application to the youth justice court, be given an opportunity to cross-examine the person who made the report.

  • Marginal note:Non-disclosure in certain cases

    (9) A youth justice court shall withhold all or part of a report made in respect of a young person under subsection (1) from a private prosecutor, if disclosure of the report or part, in the opinion of the court, is not necessary for the prosecution of the case and might be prejudicial to the young person.

  • Marginal note:Non-disclosure in certain cases

    (10) A youth justice court shall withhold all or part of a report made in respect of a young person under subsection (1) from the young person, the young person’s parents or a private prosecutor if the court is satisfied, on the basis of the report or evidence given in the absence of the young person, parents or private prosecutor by the person who made the report, that disclosure of the report or part would seriously impair the treatment or recovery of the young person, or would be likely to endanger the life or safety of, or result in serious psychological harm to, another person.

  • Marginal note:Exception — interests of justice

    (11) Despite subsection (10), the youth justice court may release all or part of the report to the young person, the young person’s parents or the private prosecutor if the court is of the opinion that the interests of justice make disclosure essential.

  • Marginal note:Report to be part of record

    (12) A report made under subsection (1) forms part of the record of the case in respect of which it was requested.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure by qualified person

    (13) Despite any other provision of this Act, a qualified person who is of the opinion that a young person held in detention or committed to custody is likely to endanger his or her own life or safety or to endanger the life of, or cause bodily harm to, another person may immediately so advise any person who has the care and custody of the young person whether or not the same information is contained in a report made under subsection (1).

  • Definition of qualified person

    (14) In this section, qualified person means a person duly qualified by provincial law to practice medicine or psychiatry or to carry out psychological examinations or assessments, as the circumstances require, or, if no such law exists, a person who is, in the opinion of the youth justice court, so qualified, and includes a person or a member of a class of persons designated by the lieutenant governor in council of a province or his or her delegate.

 
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