Children prosecuted for criminal offences will be dealt with either in the Youth Court, a specialist division of the magistrates’ court or at a Crown Court. The venue will very much depend on the seriousness of the alleged offence, with only the more serious incidents warranting Crown Court trial. The idea is that a Youth Court is specially geared to young people and deals with cases in a speedier and more sensitive fashion. One potential disadvantage is that they are denied the right to elect jury trial in a large number of cases.
Thanks to Andrew Keogh, criminal defence lawyer and editor of CrimeLine for his help with this section and an earlier version which appeared in A Parent’s Guide to the Law by Jon Robins (LawPack , 2009). We’re grateful also to Kim Evans for her help.