The Admissibility of Young People's Statements under the Proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act


  • Sanjeev Anand
  • James Robb



This article examines the impact of Bill C-7, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, on the admissibility of young people s statements. Although the proposed reforms appear to leave admissibility within the discretion of youth court judges, the authors argue that the YCJA significantly curtails the types of factors that judges can consider when assessing the admissibility of youth statements. The three sources of law applicable to young offender statements are examined: the legislative provisions, the common law rules of voluntariness, and ss. 7, 9, and 10 of the Charter. The authors analyze s. 146 of the YCJA, the applicable section to youth statements, and compare it to the previous version of the Bill and to the current provisions of the Young Offenders Act The case law concerning voluntariness and Charter rights are also discussed, as well as the potential interrelationship between the three sources of law. In addition, the article explores when youth statements made to a person not in authority will be inadmissible.