JUSTICE–Justice Bills Focus on Youth Offences, Cross-BorderPolicing Sixteen and 17-year olds in Nova Scotia would be treated asadults in court if they are charged under the Motor Vehicle Act,under legislation expected to be introduced in an evening sessionof the House today, April 18, by Justice Minister Michael Baker. “Amendments to the Youth Justice Act and Motor Vehicle Act willprovide another level of public safety, and complement ourefforts to change federal legislation governing youth justice,”said Mr. Baker. “Sixteen- and 17-year olds charged withprovincial motor vehicle offences would be dealt with as adults.They will have to show up for their court appearance in the sameway as adults do.” There would be tougher penalties for stealing motor vehicles. Drivers of all ages could have their licences revoked for twoyears for stealing a vehicle or taking one without an owner’sconsent or knowledge. Second-time offenders would face a five-year suspension, up from the current two years. Amendments would also require police to impound a motor vehicleused to race. On a first offence the vehicle would be impoundedfor 24 hours, 30 days for a second offence. Mr. Baker is also expected to introduce three other bills. TheCross-Border Policing Act is based on uniform legislation beingintroduced across Canada. It will make it easier for police toinvestigate crimes that cross provincial boundaries. Currently,provincially appointed police officers lose their status if theyleave their home jurisdictions. “This legislation has the support of the Canadian Association ofChiefs of Police and other law enforcement organizations,” saidMr. Baker. “It’s another public safety measure to help policeinvestigate criminal activity that involves suspects in otherjurisdictions.” The legislation sets out appointment procedures, responsibilitiesof police officers and civilian oversight procedures. Mr. Baker says the Justice Administration Amendment (2005) Actwill make minor “housekeeping” changes to several pieces oflegislation. Proposed Elections Act amendments would help ensure a moreeffective enumeration/confirmation process, and enable thedevelopment of current and more accurate voters’ lists byallowing access to more sources of information. These amendmentsalso remove the prohibition against inmates, who are serving twoyears or more in custody, from exercising their right to vote, asdetermined by the courts.
Four teenage boys aged between 15 and 17 have been charged with an aggravated hate crime over a homophobic attack against two women on a London night bus in May.The incident caused widespread outrage on social media after Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris posted about being beaten by a group of youths.They were attacked after they refused to kiss for the strangers’ entertainment, they said.Four boys, two aged 16, one aged 15 and another aged 17, have been chargedOne of the 16-year-olds, from Wandsworth, south London, is also charged with theft and handling stolen goods, while the other, from the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is accused of possessing cannabis.The 15-year-old boy, also from Kensington and Chelsea, faces an additional charge of handling stolen goods.All four are due to appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on August 21.Former prime minister Theresa May condemned the assault, saying: “This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected.”Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community.”In a post on Facebook, Ms Geymonat – who worked recently as a Ryanair air hostess and is originally from Uruguay – said: “I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because. “We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s— like this happens.”Both women were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries after the incident on the N31 bus in the early hours of May 30. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.