The Role Of The Victim With Regard To The Youth Criminal Justice Act

There was no specific provision for victims under the Young Offenders Act and the Act was criticized for not adequately recognizing the interests and needs of victims.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes the roles of victims at different stages in the process and includes a statement of principle that specifically recognizes the concerns of victims as being relevant to part of the process. The Youth Criminal Justice Act gives victims the right of access to youth court records which otherwise would be not accessible to the public. Victims can participate in community-based approaches such as being a part of a extrajudicial conference and they can be included in the restorative process. They also are provided the right of being informed of how the offence was dealt with.

Victims have the opportunity to express their feelings and it can be important to them if they see the person genuinely remorseful and understanding that what he did could really hurt people. When a young person is sitting across the table with the victim, who tells them, this is how you affected my life, it can have a tremendous impact.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Newmarket, Ontario Region, contact Hobson & Reeve Barrsiters for a consultation.

This article is taken from a April 10, 2008 interview with Dennis Reeve, Criminal Lawyer with Hobson & Reeve Barristers, an Newmarket, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.