The Great Youth Criminal Justice Act Debate

The Act went into force April 1, 2003

YCJA - Youth Criminal Justice Act


YOA - Young Offenders Act (repealed)


JDA - Juvenile Delinquents Act (repealed)

October 2004

Resolved that: 

Many searches of young persons on the sidewalk contravene their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 8:

 8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.


Please submit your opinion,  use these questions as guidelines: 

1. Have you or your friends been asked by a police officer to empty your pockets for no reason?

2. Do young persons perceive police as heroes?

3. Do media portray police as heroes?

4. Does perception of police as heroes condition a response by young persons to obey a demand to "empty your pockets" regardless of whether or not the search is authorized by law? 

5. Should police be required to have a good reason before they search someone's pockets?

6. Even though a search may be illegal, should you comply nonetheless for your own safety and to avoid irritating the police officer?

7. Is knowledge/information/debate about search and seizure law dangerous?

Please read the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Mann.


26 August 2004


Some members of the Peel Criminal Lawyers Association have observed that when serving as duty counsel in Brampton Youth Court and Brampton drug court, a large number of young persons and young adults report questionable searches by police. Marijuana, knives, and other contraband are often found as a result of searches that should be litigated under Charter s. 8. In particular it seems that police often search young persons on the sidewalk asking them to "empty their pockets" without any grounds. Such searches are rarely litigated and challenged if the Crown offers alternative measures or diversion.

01 September 2004


The police are completly inaccurate if they think they can just walk up to a person without a reason and ask them to search their pockets! A person should have their right to privacy regardless of their age. Unfortunetly the police still think they have the right to even have access to private things1 Its so unfair! I think that police should nowadays not only be punished for racial profiling but also for agerial profiling!

11 December 2004


I think if you got nothing hide empty your pockets if an identified officers askes u


Revised: 03 Dec 2018 15:44:19 -0500 .



List of Young Offenders Debates



Copyright 2018 Stephen Biss



Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle, Suite 303
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 3V4

905-273-3322  or 1-877-273-3322


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