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The Criminal Code
When a youth is charged with a criminal offence, it becomes a very complex situation with respect to interpreting the criminal code in relation to a specific individual’s case and circumstances. This is why it is very important that you have an experienced criminal lawyer in Brampton working with you. Vincent Houvardas has been representing youth clients for over twenty years. He fights to defend the rights of youth clients to help protect their future. The Youth Criinal Justice Act sets out a principle that aims to treat youth distinctly due to their young age. Listed below is the actual Youth Criminal Act:
Declaration of Principle
Marginal note: Policy for Canada with respect to young persons
3 (1) The following principles apply in this Act:
(a) the youth criminal justice system is intended to protect the public by
(i) holding young persons accountable through measures that are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the young person,
(ii) promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of young persons who have committed offences, and
(iii) supporting the prevention of crime by referring young persons to programs or agencies in the community to address the circumstances underlying their offending behaviour;
(b) the criminal justice system for young persons must be separate from that of adults, must be based on the principle of diminished moral blameworthiness or culpability and must emphasize the following:
(i) rehabilitation and reintegration,
(ii) fair and proportionate accountability that is consistent with the greater dependency of young persons and their reduced level of maturity,
(iii) enhanced procedural protection to ensure that young persons are treated fairly and that their rights, including their right to privacy, are protected,
(iv) timely intervention that reinforces the link between the offending behaviour and its consequences, and
(v) the promptness and speed with which persons responsible for enforcing this Act must act, given young persons’ perception of time;
(c) within the limits of fair and proportionate accountability, the measures taken against young persons who commit offences should
(i) reinforce respect for societal values,
(ii) encourage the repair of harm done to victims and the community,
(iii) be meaningful for the individual young person given his or her needs and level of development and, where appropriate, involve the parents, the extended family, the community and social or other agencies in the young person’s rehabilitation and reintegration, and
(iv) respect gender, ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences and respond to the needs of aboriginal young persons and of young persons with special requirements; and
(d) special considerations apply in respect of proceedings against young persons and, in particular,
(i) young persons have rights and freedoms in their own right, such as a right to be heard in the course of and to participate in the processes, other than the decision to prosecute, that lead to decisions that affect them, and young persons have special guarantees of their rights and freedoms,
(ii) victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their dignity and privacy and should suffer the minimum degree of inconvenience as a result of their involvement with the youth criminal justice system,
(iii) victims should be provided with information about the proceedings and given an opportunity to participate and be heard, and
(iv) parents should be informed of measures or proceedings involving their children and encouraged to support them in addressing their offending behaviour.
Marginal note:Act to be liberally construed
(2) This Act shall be liberally construed so as to ensure that young persons are dealt with in accordance with the principles set out in subsection (1).
2002, c. 1, s. 3
2012, c. 1, s. 168
PART 1Extrajudicial Measures
Principles and Objectives
Marginal note:Declaration of principles
4 The following principles apply in this Part in addition to the principles set out in section 3:
(a) extrajudicial measures are often the most appropriate and effective way to address youth crime;
(b) extrajudicial measures allow for effective and timely interventions focused on correcting offending behaviour;
(c) extrajudicial measures are presumed to be adequate to hold a young person accountable for his or her offending behaviour if the young person has committed a non-violent offence and has not previously been found guilty of an offence; and
(d) extrajudicial measures should be used if they are adequate to hold a young person accountable for his or her offending behaviour and, if the use of extrajudicial measures is consistent with the principles set out in this section, nothing in this Act precludes their use in respect of a young person who
(i) has previously been dealt with by the use of extrajudicial measures, or
(ii) has previously been found guilty of an offence.
Marginal note:Certain offences — extrajudicial measures deemed adequate
4.1 (1) Extrajudicial measures are presumed to be adequate to hold a young person accountable for a failure or refusal referred to in section 137 and for a failure referred to in section 496 of the Criminal Code unless
(a) the young person has a history of repetitive failures or refusals; or
(b) the young person’s failure or refusal caused harm, or a risk of harm, to the safety of the public.
Marginal note:Certain offences — various measures
(2) In the cases referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b),
(a) extrajudicial measures should be used if they are adequate to hold the young person accountable for the failure or refusal; and
(b) if the use of extrajudicial measures would not be adequate under paragraph (a), but issuing an appearance notice under section 496 (judicial referral hearing) of the Criminal Code or making an application for review of the youth sentence referred to in section 59(1) as an alternative to proceeding by charge would be adequate, then the applicable alternative should be used.
5 Extrajudicial measures should be designed to
(a) provide an effective and timely response to offending behaviour outside the bounds of judicial measures;
(b) encourage young persons to acknowledge and repair the harm caused to the victim and the community;
(c) encourage families of young persons — including extended families where appropriate — and the community to become involved in the design and implementation of those measures;
(d) provide an opportunity for victims to participate in decisions related to the measures selected and to receive reparation; and
(e) respect the rights and freedoms of young persons and be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence.