An explanation of some of the words that are used when a young person is referred to the Children’s Convenor.
If the young person or their parent/guardian does not agree with the decision of the Tribunal they can go to court to appeal the decision. This means a court will look at the decision made by the Tribunal again to see if they agree with it. An appeal must be made within 21 days of the date of the decision. If you are unsure about appealing, you should speak to the Children’s Convenor.
Adjourning/continuing a Hearing
Sometimes the Tribunal members are unable to make a decision on the day of the Hearing. This may be because they need more information about the young person, so they may adjourn (stop) the Hearing and continue (re-arrange) the Hearing at a later date.
A Care Requirement is a legal order that can be made at a Hearing of the Tribunal. It can contain conditions stating where you are to live and other conditions which you must comply with. A Care Requirement will be reviewed by the Tribunal at least once a year when it can be continued, varied or stopped.
Children’s Convenor (also called the Convenor)
This is the person who decides whether or not the young person who has been referred, should attend a Hearing of the Child, Youth and Community Tribunal.
Emergency Child Protection Order (also called an ECPO)
This is an emergency measure which aims to protect children and young people who are suffering or at imminent risk of suffering serious harm. An Emergency Child Protection Order is made by the Juvenile Courts in Guernsey and Alderney.
Child, Youth and Community Tribunal
The Child, Youth and Community Tribunal (often called the CYCT) deals with children and young people under the age of 18 in the Bailiwick of Guernsey who are in need of help.
A Convenor’s Meeting is a legal meeting that takes place before a Hearing of the Child, Youth and Community Tribunal. The purpose of the meeting is to decide whether the Grounds for Referral (reasons for the Hearing) are agreed by the parties (the young person and their parents or carers).
Deputy Children’s Convenor
This is the person who works alongside and assists the Convenor.
Grounds for Referral (the legal reasons for referring a child or young person to a Hearing of the CYCT)
If the Grounds for Referral are not agreed at the Convenor’s Meeting, the Convenor may ask the Court to decide if they are correct.
Young people and their parents or carers can instruct an Advocate to advise them and attend the Convenor’s Meeting with them.
Legal Aid is available to pay for an Advocate to attend a Convenor’s Meeting.
Parties is the legal term for those persons (usually the young person’s parents/carers) who have a legal right to attend and take part in a young person’s Hearing.
A referral is when information about concerns for a young person is sent to the Convenor, usually by the police, the young person’s school or the Health and Social Services Department. Young people can be referred to the Convenor for lots of different reasons. For example:
If they have not been attending school
If they have been in trouble with the police
If their behaviour is violent or destructive
If they have been misusing drugs or alcohol
If they have been abused or neglected
In some circumstances, some young people will still be dealt with by the Guernsey Juvenile Court if they commit an offence. However, the court has the power to remit the young person to the Child, Youth and Community Tribunal if they have pleaded guilty. A remit does not count as a conviction.
A Safeguarder is someone who is appointed to make sure that a young person’s interests are looked after. A Safeguarder can be appointed by the Court or by the CYCT Members. Not all young people need to have a Safeguarder.
Sometimes if the people at a hearing have very differing views to each other, or the CYCT members feel they need more information to allow them time to make a decision, they will appoint a Safeguarder. A Safeguarder is separate from the social worker, convenor and the CYCT members and would speak to everyone involved especially the child or young person, to help them build up a better picture. Sometimes they will write a report for the CYCT members and attend the next hearing.
Social workers are employed by the Health and Social Services Department. The Children’s Convenor may ask a social worker to provide a report for the Tribunal Members and to attend the Hearing.
This is a legal meeting (sometimes just called a Hearing), that children and young people are asked to attend with their families and carers, to help them with their problems.
Tribunal Members (also called CYCT Members)
Tribunal Members are ordinary people from the local community who have been given special training so that they can make decisions to help the young people who come to a Hearing. Three Tribunal Members sit at every Hearing, with at least one male and one female member.