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Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill [H.L.]
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

TO

Provide for the referral of offenders under 18 to youth offender panels; to make provision in connection with the giving of evidence or information for the purposes of criminal proceedings; to make pre-consolidation amendments relating to youth justice; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  REFERRALS TO YOUTH OFFENDER PANELS
 
Referral orders
Referral of young offenders to youth offender panels.     1. - (1) This section applies where a youth court or other magistrates' court is dealing with a person under the age of 18 for an offence and-
 
 
    (a) neither the offence nor any associated offence is one for which the sentence is fixed by law;
 
    (b) the court is not, in respect of the offence or any associated offence, proposing to impose a custodial sentence on the offender or make a hospital order in his case; and
 
    (c) the court is not proposing to discharge him absolutely in respect of the offence.
      (2) If-
 
 
    (a) the compulsory referral conditions are satisfied in accordance with section 2, and
 
    (b) referral is available to the court,
  the court shall sentence the offender for the offence by ordering him to be referred to a youth offender panel.
 
      (3) If-
 
 
    (a) the discretionary referral conditions are satisfied in accordance with section 2, and
 
    (b) referral is available to the court,
  the court may sentence the offender for the offence by ordering him to be referred to a youth offender panel.
 
      (4) For the purposes of this section referral is available to a court if-
 
 
    (a) the court has been notified by the Secretary of State that arrangements for the implementation of referral orders are available in the area in which it appears to the court that the offender resides or will reside; and
 
    (b) the notice has not been withdrawn.
      (5) In this Part "referral order" means an order under subsection (2) or (3).
 
The referral conditions.     2. - (1) For the purposes of section 1(2) the compulsory referral conditions are satisfied in relation to an offence if the offender-
 
 
    (a) pleaded guilty to the offence and to any associated offence;
 
    (b) has never been convicted by or before a court in the United Kingdom of any offence other than the offence and any associated offence; and
 
    (c) has never been bound over in criminal proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour.
      (2) For the purposes of section 1(3) the discretionary referral conditions are satisfied in relation to an offence if-
 
 
    (a) the offender is being dealt with by the court for the offence and one or more associated offences;
 
    (b) although he pleaded guilty to at least one of the offences mentioned in paragraph (a), he also pleaded not guilty to at least one of them;
 
    (c) he has never been convicted by or before a court in the United Kingdom of any offence other than the offences mentioned in paragraph (a); and
 
    (d) he has never been bound over in criminal proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour.
      (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make such amendments of this section as he considers appropriate for altering in any way the descriptions of offenders in the case of which the compulsory referral conditions or the discretionary referral conditions fall to be satisfied for the purposes of section 1(2) or (3) (as the case may be).
 
      (4) Any description of offender having effect for those purposes by virtue of such regulations may be framed by reference to such matters as the Secretary of State considers appropriate, including (in particular) one or more of the following-
 
 
    (a) the offender's age;
 
    (b) how the offender has pleaded;
 
    (c) the offence (or offences) of which the offender has been convicted;
 
    (d) the offender's previous convictions (if any);
 
    (e) how (if at all) the offender has been previously punished or otherwise dealt with by any court; and
 
    (f) any characteristics or behaviour of, or circumstances relating to, any person who has at any time been charged in the same proceedings as the offender (whether or not in respect of the same offence).
      (5) For the purposes of this section an offender who has been convicted of an offence in respect of which he was conditionally discharged (whether by a court in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland) shall be treated, despite-
 
 
    (a) section 1C(1) of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 (conviction of offence for which offender so discharged deemed not a conviction), or
 
    (b) Article 6(1) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (corresponding provision for Northern Ireland),
  as having been convicted of that offence.
 
Making of referral orders: general.     3. - (1) A referral order shall-
 
 
    (a) specify the youth offending team responsible for implementing the order;
 
    (b) require the offender to attend each of the meetings of a youth offender panel to be established by the team for the offender; and
 
    (c) specify the period for which any youth offender contract taking effect between the offender and the panel under section 8 is to have effect (which must not be less than 3 nor more than 12 months).
      (2) The youth offending team specified under subsection (1)(a) shall be the team having the function of implementing referral orders in the area in which it appears to the court that the offender resides or will reside.
 
      (3) On making a referral order the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language-
 
 
    (a) the effect of the order; and
 
    (b) the consequences which may follow-
 
      (i) if no youth offender contract takes effect between the offender and the panel under section 8, or
 
      (ii) if the offender breaches any of the terms of any such contract.
      (4) Subsections (5) to (7) apply where, in dealing with an offender for two or more associated offences, a court makes a referral order in respect of each, or each of two or more, of the offences.
 
      (5) The orders shall have the effect of referring the offender to a single youth offender panel; and the provision made by them under subsection (1) shall accordingly be the same in each case, except that the periods specified under subsection (1)(c) may be different.
 
      (6) The court may direct that the period so specified in either or any of the orders is to run concurrently with or be additional to that specified in the other or any of the others; but in exercising its power under this subsection the court must ensure that the total period for which such a contract as is mentioned in subsection (1)(c) is to have effect does not exceed 12 months.
 
      (7) Each of the orders mentioned in subsection (4) shall, for the purposes of this Part, be treated as associated with the other or each of the others.
 
Making of referral orders: effect on court's other sentencing powers.     4. - (1) Subsections (2) to (5) apply where a court makes a referral order in respect of an offence.
 
      (2) The court may not deal with the offender for the offence in any of the prohibited ways.
 
      (3) The court-
 
 
    (a) shall, in respect of any associated offence, either sentence the offender by making a referral order or make an order discharging him absolutely; and
 
    (b) may not deal with the offender for any such offence in any of the prohibited ways.
      (4) For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3) the prohibited ways are-
 
 
    (a) imposing a community sentence (within the meaning of Part I of the Criminal Justice Act 1991) on the offender;
 
    (b) ordering him to pay a fine;
 
    (c) making a reparation order under section 67 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in respect of him; and
 
    (d) making an order discharging him conditionally.
      (5) The court may not make, in connection with the conviction of the offender for the offence or any associated offence-
 
 
    (a) an order binding him over to keep the peace or to be of good behaviour;
 
    (b) an order under section 58 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (binding over of parent or guardian); or
 
    (c) a parenting order under section 8 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
      (6) Subsections (2), (3) and (5) do not affect the exercise of any power to deal with the offender conferred by paragraph 5 (offender referred back to court by panel) or paragraph 14 (powers of a court where offender convicted while subject to referral) of Schedule 1.
 
      (7) Where section 1(2) above requires a court to make a referral order, the court may not under section 1 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 defer passing sentence on him, but section 1(2) and subsection (3)(a) above do not affect any power or duty of a magistrates' court under-
 
 
    (a) section 56 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (remission to youth court, or another such court, for sentence),
 
    (b) section 7(8) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 (remission to youth court for sentence),
 
    (c) section 10(3) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (adjournment for inquiries),
 
    (d) section 37 of that Act (committal to Crown Court for sentence), or
 
    (e) section 35, 38, 43 or 44 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (remand for reports, interim hospital orders and committal to Crown Court for restriction order).
Making of referral orders: attendance of parents etc.     5. - (1) A court making a referral order may make an order requiring-
 
 
    (a) the appropriate person, or
 
    (b) in a case where there are two or more appropriate persons, any one or more of them,
  to attend the meetings of the youth offender panel.
 
      (2) Where an offender is under the age of 16 years when a court makes a referral order in his case-
 
 
    (a) the court shall exercise its power under subsection (1) so as to require at least one appropriate person to attend meetings of the youth offender panel; and
 
    (b) if the offender falls within subsection (6), the person or persons so required to attend those meetings shall be or include a representative of the local authority mentioned in that subsection.
      (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if and to the extent that the court is satisfied that in the circumstances of the case it would be unreasonable to require such attendance.
 
      (4) Except where the offender falls within subsection (6), each person who is a parent or guardian of the offender is an "appropriate person" for the purposes of this section.
 
      (5) Where the offender falls within subsection (6), each of the following is an "appropriate person" for the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) a representative of the local authority mentioned in that subsection, and
 
    (b) each person who is a parent or guardian of the offender with whom the offender is allowed to live.
      (6) An offender falls within this subsection if he is a person for whom a local authority have parental responsibility and-
 
 
    (a) he is in the authority's care; or
 
    (b) he is provided with accommodation by the authority in the exercise of any functions (in particular those under the Children Act 1989) which stand referred to their social services committee under the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.
      (7) If, at the time when a court makes an order under this section-
 
 
    (a) a person who is required by the order to attend meetings of a youth offender panel is not present in court, or
 
    (b) a local authority whose representative is so required to attend such meetings is not represented in court,
  the court must send him or (as the case may be) the authority a copy of the order forthwith.
 
      (8) In this section-
 
 
    "local authority" and "parental responsibility" have the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989; and
 
    "guardian" has the same meaning as in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
 
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