Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Criminal Justice Changes: Youth Court



Proposals to change some aspects of procedure for young offenders to align them with changes to criminal procedure in the adult jurisdiction.


The Youth Court is established under the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 for dealing with young offenders (14-16 years’ old).

Some parts of Youth Court procedure are linked to criminal procedure for adults (aged 17 years and over) in the District Court and High Court. In particular, the current categories of offences (based around the summary1 versus indictable2 distinction) are used to:

Identify which cases must or may go to the Youth Court when a young offender is involved.

Define some of the protections for young offenders when their case is in the District Court or High Court (eg, sentencing restrictions).

Currently, the Youth Court may offer to hear purely indictable (generally more serious) offences – this is called offering jurisdiction to the young person. This process is complex and results in adjournments, creating delay.

When the District Court or High Court sentences young offenders, it cannot sentence them to imprisonment or home detention unless it is a purely indictable offence.


Ensuring that the Youth Court will be able to deal with all offences committed by a young person, other than (as currently) murder, manslaughter, or non-imprisonable traffic offences.

However, a young offender would be transferred to the adult jurisdiction (District Court or High Court) if they:

Elect jury trial.

Are charged with another young person or an adult whose case is to be decided by a jury.

Preserve the current sentencing restriction for when the District Court or High Court sentences young offenders, so they cannot be sentenced to imprisonment or home detention unless it is:

Any Category 4 (High Court only) offence.

A Category 3 (jury trial electable) offence punishable by 14 years’ imprisonment

or more.

1 Cases tried by a judge alone in a District Court.

2 Cases tried by jury in either the High Court or a District Court

Benefits of proposal

The proposal preserves current youth justice policy and the integrity of the Youth Court’s unique process while ensuring the Youth Court continues to operate in a way that complements the adult jurisdiction. Less Youth Court time would be spent on preliminary jurisdictional matters (eg, offer of jurisdiction) and more on the actual case, resulting in faster resolution of cases which benefits victims, young people, and their families. Changes the Youth Court’s focus, from whether to hear a case, to the appropriate sanction for the offending (that is, whether to use Youth Court orders under the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 or to convict and transfer to the adult jurisdiction for sentence).


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Lessons The Greens Should Take From The Demise Of Winston Peters

Wondering about “if only" is one of those political games we all indulge in from time to time. For example: episode one of the latest season of The Good Fight TV series dropped us into a world where Hillary Clinton is the US President and Elizabeth Warren and Merrick Garland are Supreme Court justices, where rain forests are being saved and polar bears are coming back from extinction. Yet alarmingly, people keep on having these bad dreams about Donald Trump being the President... More>>


Referendum Preliminary Results: 'Yes' On End-Of-Life, 'No' On Recreational Cannabis

End of Life Choice Referendum The referendum asked the question: 'Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?' 65.2% Yes 33.8% No 1.0% Informal VOTES NUMBER OF VOTES RECEIVED PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL VOTES Yes 1,574,645 65.2% ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

Election: ParityBOT_NZ Processed Nearly 200,000 Tweets To Find And Fight Online Abuse Over The NZ Election

Auckland, New Zealand: Of the almost 200,000 tweets directed at women candidates that Areto Labs’ proprietary election Twitter bot, ParityBOT_NZ, processed over the New Zealand election period, nearly 4,000 were classified as toxic and triggered ... More>>

Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels