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Jurisdiction is the authority of certain courts to hear certain cases. In youth proceedings, jurisdiction is the decision about whether a child’s case will be heard in the youth court or an adult court. The presumption is that it will be heard in the youth court, unless the child is charged with a grave crime,1 then it may be sent to the Crown Court.2.

If a child is charged with an adult co-defendant the case may stay in the adult case if it is in the interests of justice to do so.

  1. Children charged with murder, attempted murder and manslaughter; 16 and 17 year olds charged with certain firearms offences with a mandatory 3 year minimum term; children  in serious fraud or child cases where the prosecution has served notice must be sent to the Crown Court – see which court?  (back)
  2. Section 24A Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, Section 51A(3)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 2003  (back)