youth court

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A magistrates' court exercising jurisdiction over crimes committed by juvenile offenders and other matters relating to children under 18. It was formerly called a juvenile court. The court consists of either three lay magistrates (at least one of whom should normally be a man and one a woman) or a single district judge (magistrates' court) (normally accompanied by a lay magistrate of the opposite sex). All these magistrates are selected from the youth court panel, whose members are thought to be specially qualified to deal with juveniles and who have received additional training for this purpose. The proceedings of the court are not open to the general public, access being very restricted and determined by the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, section 42 (as amended) and by the Home Office and Lord Chancellor's Department Joint Circular on access to youth courts (1998). The press may not publish the identity of any juvenile concerned in the court's proceedings unless the court or the Home Secretary so orders, although reporting restrictions are lifted on conviction. Court proceedings are generally more informal than in the magistrates' court for adult offenders, and hearings can be heard in locations other than other court buildings, although generally they will be in existing magistrates' courts.

Subjects: Law.

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