Extrajudicial Measures

Summary

There is a presumption that extrajudicial measures (non-court responses) should be considered before formal court proceedings are initiated.

Principles of Extrajudicial Measures

  • Extrajudicial measures are often the most appropriate and effective way to address youth crime.
  • Allow for effective and timely interventions focused on correcting offending behaviour.
  • They are presumed to be adequate to hold a young person accountable if the young person has committed a non-violent offence and has not previously been found guilty of an offence.
  • Extrajudicial measures should be used in every case where they are adequate to hold a young person accountable, even if the young person has previously been dealt with by extrajudicial measures or has previously been found guilty of an offence.

Objectives of Extrajudicial Measures

  • Extrajudicial measures provide an effective and timely response to the offending behaviour.
  • Encourage the repair of harm caused to the victim and the community.
  • Encourage the involvement of families, victims and the community.
  • Respect the rights of young persons.
  • Extrajudicial measures must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence.

Types of Extrajudicial Measures

  • If there are reasonable grounds to charge a youth with an offence, then the police or Crown may consider using extrajudicial measures.
  • Police may take no further action, warn, caution (not done in BC) or refer youth to community programs.
  • Crown may caution or use extrajudicial sanctions.
  • The police or Crown may convene or cause to convene conferences to obtain advice on appropriate measures.

Records of Extrajudicial Measures

Police forces must keep records of all extrajudicial measures used to deal with a youth (Section 115 (1.1) of YCJA)  These may be used by Crown as a pattern of behaviour when arguing for detention of a youth.

Extrajudicial Sanctions

  • Extrajudicial sanctions can only be used if:
    • The youth accepts responsibility for the act or omission that forms the basis of the offence
    • There is enough evidence to proceed with a prosecution
    • The youth has given informed consent, there is a program in place
    • No other measures will hold the youth accountable
    • The young person has been informed of his or her right to obtain counsel, and has been given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
  • If the youth complies with an extrajudicial sanction, the charge(s) will be stayed.
  • If the youth does not comply, the Crown will decide whether to proceed with the prosecution.
  • Parents need to be notified if an extrajudicial sanction is being used.
  • Victims are entitled to know the name of the youth and receive information about the extrajudicial sanction.
  • A history of extrajudicial sanctions will be included on pre-sentence reports if a youth is later convicted of a criminal offence and will form a record that can be accessed for a period of time. For more information, see Youth and Adult Records