Youth Court Judges' Views of the Youth Justice system: The results of a survey

Transfers to adult court

Judges were asked to indicate the number of transfer hearings that they have heard in the last five years. [51]

Number of transfer hearings judge reported hearing in the past five years
Number of hearings reported in the previous five years Number of judges reporting this number Percent Cumulative percent
None 119 50.6 % 50.6 %
1 40 17 % 67.7 %
2 27 11.5 % 79.1 %
3 18 7.7 % 86.8 %
4 9 3.8 % 90.6 %
5 9 3.8 % 94.5 %
6 3 1.3 % 95.7 %
7 1 0.4 % 96.2 %
9 2 0.9 % 97 %
10 or more 7 3 % 100 %
Total respondents 235 100 % --

About half of the judges had presided over no transfer hearings in the previous five years. Another 45% had presided over an average of approximately one or fewer per year in the last five years. [52] Therefore, very few of the 235 respondents indicated that they often heard transfer applications.

Not surprisingly, the "success" of the transfer hearings is varied (given the low numbers of hearings that were reported to have taken place). Of those 116 judges who heard at least one case, the average percent of cases reported by them as actually having been transferred was about 60% (median=60%, mean =58%).

Footnotes

  • [51] Question I3. Judges were asked not to consider cases where the transfer was "by consent." During the pretesting of the questionnaire, it had been pointed out that a certain number of cases were transferred to adult court without opposition. Examples included cases in which an 18 year old was facing charges allegedly committed when the youth was both an adult and a youth. We attempted to exclude these cases from consideration.
  • [52] This refers to those who indicated 1 through 5 transfer hearings in the previous 5 years.
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