A young person’s parents or guardians must be told of all proceedings (section 26). Parents or guardians are encouraged to attend court. When a parent or guardian has not come to court, the judge can order that parent or guardian to attend (section 27).
There are a number of people who will be present in youth justice court:
|The Accused||The accused is the young person who has been charged with a crime. The accused is innocent until proven guilty.|
|Clerk of the Court||The clerk of the court reads the charge to the accused and administers an oath or affirmation to witnesses. The clerk also keeps records of charges, decisions and sentences for the court.|
|Crown Prosecutor||The crown prosecutor is the lawyer who works for and represents the government. During the trial, it is the crown’s job to prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.|
|Defense Counsel||The defense counsel (lawyer) represents and defends the accused. An important role of the defense lawyer is to protect the rights of the accused youth.|
|Duty Counsel||The duty counsel (lawyer) provides temporary legal help in docket court to any youth who does not have a lawyer. This legal help might include: giving immediate legal advice, helping the youth apply for judicial interim release, asking that the charges be withdrawn, entering a guilty plea and talking to the judge about what the best sentence would be.|
|General Public||This includes anyone who is watching the live court proceedings.|
|Sheriff||The guard protects and defends the safety of the court and the people in it.|
|Judge||The judge considers all the facts and evidence in the case he or she must then decide whether the crown has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused is guilty. If the accused pleads or is found guilty, the judge must give the youth a fair sentence.|
|Witness||Witnesses tell the judge what they know. This includes anything related to the case that the witnesses have heard, seen or did.|
|Transcript||The officially written record of all proceedings in a trial.|
NOTE: The following diagram shows how youth justice court is usually arranged. Some courtrooms may be different than this diagram.