The Youth Court can hear all cases to do with children and young people, except murder and manslaughter (or when a child or young person chooses to have a jury trial, or in some circumstances when they are jointly charged with an adult). But even these cases begin in the Youth Court.
The Youth Court is part of the District Court. You’ll find a Youth Court in almost every place in Aotearoa New Zealand that has a District Court. Some places also have specialist courts to help young people such as Rangatahi or Pasifika courts.
The Youth Court is closed to the public. Media can attend, but they must check with the judge before they publish anything. Media can never publish the name of the child or young person, their family, their school or the name of the victim.
Before Youth Court
Most young people who get in trouble with the law don’t come to the Youth Court. The Youth Court only deals with criminal offending by children and young people that is too serious to be dealt with by the police in the community.
Who's in the court room
A Youth Court hearing has a lot of different people than a District Court hearing.
What to expect at Youth Court
What happens if a young person is appearing at a hearing in the Youth Court and what to expect the outcomes to be.
Rangatahi Courts & Pasifika Courts
Rangatahi Courts operate in the same way as the Youth Court, but are held on marae and follow Māori cultural processes. Pasifika Courts also operate in the same way as the Youth Court, but are held in Pasifika churches or community centres and follow Pasifika cultural processes.