The Judicial College has published an updated and revised Youth Court Bench Book with a forward by The Honorable Mr Justice William Davis (the Judicial Lead for Youth Justice).
The Youth Court Bench Book is a document provided to magistrates sitting in the youth court and dealing with defendants under the age of 18. It is used both as an ongoing reference tool in court and to support the training of youth magistrates, supplemented by sentencing guidelines, checklists and pronouncement cards, helping magistrates undertake the task of decision making in a fair and structured manner.
The new Youth Court Bench Book has been updated and revised to include:
- The revised Overarching Principles – Sentencing Children and Young People issued by the Sentencing Council and effective from 1 June 2017 (superseding the 2009 guideline issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council).
- The Sentencing Council Allocation Guideline which has been in effect since 1 March 2016 and which provides guidance on how to apply the interests of justice test in relation to venue when a child or young person is charged jointly with an adult.
- The consequences of the extended power of the Youth Court to commit for sentence as explained in the judgment of the Divisional Court in the South Tyneside Youth Court case.
The Youth Court Bench Book also includes the updated Youth Court Protocol 2017 issued by the Magistrates’ Association (on pages 104 – 110) containing advice and guidance on Youth Court procedure. Key changes are:
- The expectation that young people will appear in person (rather than via video link) unless there are exceptional circumstances;
- Reflects the new sentencing guidelines;
- Guidance on limiting the use of the secure dock.
Click here to read the Youth Court Bench Book, Judicial College, August 2017.
Read our guest blog by Hannah Windmill on the updated Youth Court Protocol 2017.