Jurisdiction, Bail, and the YCJA: R v TJM, 2021 SCC 6

  • February 24, 2021
  • Brock Jones

A young person charged with a criminal offence has the right to a bail hearing before a youth justice court. Youth justice courts have exclusive jurisdiction over any offence alleged to have been committed by a young person (YCJA s. 14). They are typically provincial courts (by operation of YCJA s. 13 and provincial statutes), and as a result, the vast, vast majority of youth cases remain before their respective provincial courts until their ultimate conclusion.

In a small number of cases, however, the Superior Court of Justice may also be constituted as a youth justice court. In those cases, it is sometimes confusing which level of court has jurisdiction over procedural matters that often arise in criminal cases. One such example is which court has jurisdiction over a young person’s bail hearing. In R v TJM, 2021 SCC 6, the Supreme Court of Canada considered this question in the context of an application for bail in a murder case.