The Youth Court – Your questions answered

Are you or someone you know required to appear before the Youth Court? If so, our experienced Solicitors at Emery Johnson Astills can assist you.

What you need to know

  • The aim of the Youth Justice System is to prevent offending by children and young persons (section 37(1) Crime Disorder Act 1998)).


  • The Youth Court is part of the Magistrates’ Court system and is specifically designed to deal with cases where defendants are aged between 10 – 17 years of age.


  • The types of offences that the Youth Court deals with include Theft, Burglary, Anti-social behaviour and drug offences. Due to this, Youth Court’s are less formal than Magistrates’ Court and have either 3 Magistrates or a District Judge. The Magistrates receive special training and are required to use straightforward language to explain issues. A legal representative from Emery Johnson Astills can help to clarify issues and ease the pressure of appearing at court.


  • A Youth defendant appearing before the court who is under 16 years of age must be accompanied by his/her parents or guardian during each stage of the proceedings unless the court orders otherwise. For defendants aged 16 or 17, this decision rests with them.


  • Members of the public are not allowed into the court room as the Youth is seen as a protected party.


  • The types of sentences that the Magistrates/Judge can issue range from Community sentences to Detention and Training orders.

If you need advice regarding any of the issues discussed within this article, please contact the Criminal Law Team at Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 255 4855.



Community sentences – type of sentence that requires a Youth defendant to give back to the community. This can be achieved by working with community groups to remove graffiti, collect litter, repair the victims damaged property.

District Judge – these are full time Judges.

Magistrates – these are lay (ordinary) people who represent their local community. In the Youth Court there must be at least one female and one male Magistrate sitting.