Youth Extra Judicial Sanctions in Victoria
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) has special provisions that allow police and Crown to address certain matters without using the formal youth Criminal Court system. These are called extrajudicial measures and extrajudicial sanctions.
The Government of British Columbia explains these measures as follows:
- Address situations in an informal manner to make the youth accountable to the community
- Encourage repair of the harm done by the youth
- Based on the crime committed, ensure the punishment makes sense for the youth
- Spare the youth and parents the experience of going to court
- Consider the unique needs of Aboriginal youth
- Work toward re-establishing the youth in the community so they do not continue to be involved in crime.
This approach to cases under the YCJA can be very beneficial to you if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges as a youth. It’s not only an option for how your charges may proceed, but if the specific requirements listed above are met, the state must consider diverting charges through this process. In certain circumstances a police officer may not even formally lay charges but could proceed directly into the EJM program.
Possible extrajudicial measures include:
- If the offence is minor and the youth has had no dealings with police, the police may decide to take no further action
- A warning or caution that will be kept in police records in case the youth comes into contact with police again
- If the youth agrees, they may be referred to a community program
If this option is not exercised at the initial stage, you may still have a diversion opportunity through the slightly more formal Extrajudicial Sanctions program. Extrajudicial sanctions according to the Government of British Columbia are a more formal type of extrajudicial measure. They are used when a more serious offence has been committed or when the youth has been convicted of previous offences. Crown counsel decides if extrajudicial sanctions should be used following an investigation conducted by a youth probation officer. Some things Crown counsel might consider approving as extrajudicial sanctions include:
- Paying money or returning property to the victim (restitution)
- Participating in counselling
- Apologizing to the victim
- Doing community service
The youth must agree to the extrajudicial measure. A youth who does not want to participate in an extrajudicial measure or sanction suggested by the police or Crown, has the option of being formally charged and going to court.
While the discretion for these remedies does ultimately lie with the Crown Prosecutor, at Oykhman Criminal Defence we make a habit of effective negotiation on your behalf to sway the prosecutor and obtain the desired result. If you have any questions or would like assistance of any kind do not hesitate to contact one of our experience Criminal Defence Lawyers.