The Youth Court
Youth Court Panel
Useful guidance for youth court appearances can be found here
Meanwhile, the information below provides a short explanation of what the Youth Court is.
The Youth Court Panel started in 1985. It is a body of lay people who help the Magistrate in the Youth Court. They are chosen because of their experience in dealing with young people. Two members of the panel sit with the Magistrate at each hearing on a rota system.
There are ten panel members, who are each appointed to be a member of the panel for three years. Every three years there is a re-appointment of members in September.
Panel members can be re-appointed to carry on being a member of the Panel for another three years but they cannot be members for more than 10 years.
The Bailiff makes all appointments to the Youth Court Panel.
Youth Court Duty Rota
The Youth Court Duty Rota is organised by the Legal Aid Office. If a youth has to attend Court and speak for himself instead of having their own lawyer there is a Duty Lawyer at the Court who is able to help give advice to the youth about how their case should be presented (explained) to the Court.
In some cases, the Duty Lawyer will go into the Court with the youth to try and get the case dealt with immediately instead of it being adjourned to another day.
If the Duty Lawyer goes into Court with the youth and it becomes clear that their case is going to be more complicated than expected, or if there are any special reasons for the youth needing a lawyer of their own, the Duty Lawyer will ask the Court for an adjournment and ask that the Legal Aid Office be allowed to give a Legal Aid certificate so that the youth has their own lawyer appointed for the next hearing of the case.