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Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

Part I

4.Part I of the Act provides further reform to the youth justice system in England and Wales.

5.The White Paper No More Excuses (CM 3809 November 1997) included a range of proposals to improve the effectiveness of the youth court in preventing offending by children and young people. This is now the principal aim of the youth justice system.

6.The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 gave effect to a number of the White Paper proposals, including new sentences for young offenders and a final warning scheme to replace juvenile cautions.

7.The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act gives effect to further reforms to the youth court proposed in the White Paper. It creates a new sentence of referral to a youth offender panel. Referral will be available for young people convicted for the first time and its primary aim is to prevent re-offending.

8.The youth offender panel will work with the young offender to establish a programme of behaviour for the young offender to follow. The programme will be guided by the following three principles (‘restorative justice’):

  • Making restoration to the victim

  • Achieving reintegration into the law-abiding community

  • Taking responsibility for the consequences of offending behaviour

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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