Extrajudicial Measures

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Measures outside the formal court process can provide effective and timely responses to youth crime. The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) aims to increase the use of effective and timely non-court responses for less serious youth offences.

This fact sheet contains general information regarding the use of extrajudicial measures under the YCJA. This information is of a general nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. For more information, see the Youth Criminal Justice Act Summary and Background or the full text of the YCJA.

What Are Extrajudicial Measures?

"Extrajudicial" means "outside the court." Thus, extrajudicial measures aim to hold a young person accountable without proceeding through the formal court process. The YCJA encourages the use of extrajudicial measures in all cases where they are adequate to hold a young person accountable. Extrajudicial measures are presumed to be adequate to hold a first-time non-violent offender accountable and can be used even if a young person has previously been dealt with by extrajudicial measures or has previously been found guilty of an offence. The YCJA requires police officers to consider the use of extrajudicial measures before deciding to charge a young person and stipulates that police services are to keep a record of any extrajudicial measure used to hold a young person accountable.

Types of Extrajudicial Measures

There are several types of extrajudicial measures, including:

Benefits of Extrajudicial Measures

Extrajudicial measures:

Extrajudicial Sanctions

Extrajudicial sanctions are to be used only if the other forms of extrajudicial measures would not be sufficient to hold a young person accountable. Examples of extrajudicial sanctions include volunteer work, compensating the victim, and attending specialized programs.

Unlike the other forms of extrajudicial measures, which are used as an alternative to laying charges, extrajudicial sanctions can be imposed either before or after a young person is charged with an offence. Extrajudicial sanctions must be applied through a program approved by the Attorney General and in a more formal way due to the potential legal consequences of a sanction:

Because of these potentially serious legal consequences, the following protections have been established in the YCJA: