Youth Criminal Justice Act

A federal statute that establishes how young people will be treated, tried, and sentenced for criminal offences. The Act applies to suspects who are over twelve but less than eighteen years of age. In certain limited circumstances involving very serious offences, those who are aged fourteen or older may be transferred to adult court. Among other things, the Youth Criminal Justice Act dramatically limits the maximum punishment that might otherwise apply for an offence, and it creates special record-keeping provisions to protect young offenders from the adverse publicity and consequences of having a criminal record.

The federal statute that replaced the YOA. It deals with youths aged twelve through seventeen who are alleged to have committed criminal offences or who have been convicted of an offence. It was enacted by Parliament in 2002 and came into force on 1 April 2003.

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