How is a Youth Court different to a Magistrates Court?
A. The first immediate difference is that all the defendants are under 18 at the time they are charged with an offence. For this reason the court has less formal proceedings and has a different layout to the adult courts (if you would like to see the courtroom before giving evidence the Witness Service can arrange this for you). As the defendants are under 18 access to the Youth Courts is restricted. This means there is no public gallery and very limited press reporting of Youth Court proceedings. Magistrates who sit in the Youth Court are specially elected to a Youth Court panel and undergo more specialist training than other Magistrates. Sentencing of young offenders is also different to adult courts and typically rehabilitation periods are set at lower levels than that for adults. There is also different terminology used in the youth court compared with the adult court. The term conviction is replaced by finding of guilt and sentence by order.