Going To Court
If a young person charged with an offence, they will usually appear before a youth court. However, if he/she is charged jointly with an adult, the trial may be held in the magistrates' court or, for more serious offences such as murder, in the Crown Court.
The Youth Court is a less formal and more open section of the magistrates' court. The young person and their family will be encouraged to participate by appearing in court.
Members of the public are not allowed in a youth court to listen to the case, nor can the identity or photograph of any young person concerned in the trial be published in the press. However the victim of the crime may, on request to the court, attend the hearing if they want to do so.
All young people appearing in court are entitled to be represented by a solicitor. The defence solicitor acts independently in the best interests of the young person, takes instructions from them, and provides them with legal advice on the charge, procedure, and plea (guilty or not guilty). They also speak on behalf of the young person in court.