The Youth Criminal Justice Court is a special court that hears all Criminal Code charges brought against young persons between the ages of 12 and 18 years. In the Yukon Territory, the Territorial Court is designated as the Youth Criminal Justice Court. Youth Court Judges hear charges against young people separately from charges against adults.
The youth criminal justice system is intended to promote the long-term protection of the public by preventing crime through addressing the circumstances underlying a young person’s behaviour, rehabilitating young persons who commit offences and reintegrating them into society, and ensuring meaningful consequences for offences. Young persons have the right to be heard and participate in this process. Parents also play an important role: they are informed of the proceedings and are encouraged to support their children as they address their offending behaviour.
The Youth Criminal Justice Court is created by the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) and the Young Persons Offences Act (Yukon).