Youth court

Specially trained magistrates or a district judge will usually deal with defendants under the age of 18 in the youth court.

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Youth courts - Gov.uk

Young defendants between 10 to 18 years of age are usually dealt with in the youth court. Young offenders between the age of 10 to 13 are classed as children, those between the ages of 14 and 17 are referred to as juveniles or young persons. Offenders between 18 and 21 years of age are still classed as 'young offenders' but will be tried in the adults magistrates' court. Children under 10 years of age are considered to be below the age of criminal responsibility and will not be taken to court but may become the subject of a supervision order.

Children under the age of 10 are viewed as being below the age of criminal responsibility and will not be taken to court to account for their actions. - See more at: http://www.offendersfamilieshelpline.org/index.php/which-court/#sthash.NB8SRuuA.dpuf
8 – 21 year olds are still treated as ‘young offenders’ they are tried in the adult courts. - See more at: http://www.offendersfamilieshelpline.org/index.php/which-court/#sthash.NB8SRuuA.dpuf

There is no jury in cases tried in a youth court and the magistrates dealing with the case will have received special training in this area. There will be three magistrates made up of a mix of male and female magistrates. Proceedings will be less formal than in an adult magistrates' court, and the young defendant will be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Restrictions will be applied regarding access to the youth court so, unlike magistrates' courts and the Crown Court when dealing with adult defendants, the court will not be open to the public.

The law restricts access to the youth court to the following people:

Court officers and members of the court;

both parties involved in the case and their legal representatives;

any witnesses;

other people with a direct involvement in the case.

The court may authorise other people to attend the case and may authorise the media to attend and report the proceedings but they are not normally allowed to name the young people involved.

Young people charged with murder or manslaughter will not be tried in a youth court, these cases will always go to the Crown Court for trial. Other serious offences which the youth court feels should attract a more severe sentence will also be tried by the Crown Court. If the young defendant has committed a crime with a person over the age of 18 the case will not be heard in the youth court, it will be heard in the Crown Court or the adult magistrates' court.

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