Youth Division

Section 83 of the Courts of Justice Act (CQLR, c. T-16) establishes the jurisdiction of the Court of Québec in youth matters.

Youth protection

The Court of Québec hears cases relating to the Youth Protection Act(CQLR, c. P-34.1). These cases concern children under the age of 18 whose safety or development is compromised according to the director of youth protection. If this proves to be the case, the judge will order that one or more measures provided for by law be taken and will determine their duration.

Any protection order may, under certain conditions, be extended or revised before it expires. In such cases, the application must be made to the judge who made the original order, unless this judge is prevented from doing so. This particularity of judges in the Youth Division is to ensure that they develop good knowledge of the child’s situation. They are sometimes involved with a particular child for many years.


The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all adoption applications, including international adoption.

Custody, emancipation, parental authority, and tutorship

The Court of Québec has jurisdiction over certain family-related applications involving children who are already the subject of applications for protection or adoption. This is particularly the case for applications with regard to the custody or emancipation of a child or to settle a dispute concerning the exercise of parental authority over a child.

Criminal prosecution of adolescent youth

The Court exercisesjurisdiction over any youth over age 12 and under age 18 who is charged with committing a criminal offence (See the Youth Criminal Justice Act, S.C. 2002, c. 1). However, in certain exceptional circumstances it is possible that the trial may take place before a court composed of a Superior Court judge and a jury.

Penal prosecution of an adolescent youth

The Court of Québec presides over the trials of youth charged with an offence under provincial law when they were between the ages of 14 and 18 (An example would be an offence under the Highway Safety Code, CQLR, c. C-24.2.).