Terms and definitions related to citizenship
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
- Accused (offender)
- Person charged with a crime or an offence.
- Legal judgment that the accused is not guilty.
- Act of Parliament
- An act adopted by the parliament of the Government of Canada.
- Postponement of a court proceeding to a later date.
- Adopted person
- Person who is raised by parents to whom they are not biologically related. The term includes adopted minors, persons who were adopted as minors and who are now adults as well as persons adopted as adults.
- Adoptive parent
- The term, used uniformly, covers cases in which the adoption has been completed and cases in which the adoption has not been completed (prospective adoptive parents). Unless otherwise stated, adoptive parent refers to the Canadian citizen adoptive parent.
- Applicant who is 18 years of age or older.
- Voluntary statement or declaration of fact, in written or printed form, for example, someone confirming a fact by oath or affidavit.
- Group or class of persons being officially forgiven for an offence by a sovereign power or government. This term generally applies to a pardon for political offences committed by a group of persons against a government but can also apply to criminal offences.
- Any enactment in force in Canada
- Any law, statute or regulation adopted by the federal parliament, a provincial or territorial legislature or a municipality.
- A review of a case that has been previously tried in lower courts.
Any individual whose application is being processed. For the purposes of adoption,
- if the adopted person is under 18 years of age at the time of application, the applicant is the parent or guardian who is making the application on behalf of the minor child.
- if the adopted person is 18 years of age or older at the time of application, the adopted person is the applicant.
- Court proceeding where the charge is read to the accused and the accused enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.
- The act of detaining a person accused of committing an offence and taking them into custody.
- Assisted reproduction
The Uniform Child Status Act 2010 defines assisted reproduction as a method of conceiving other than by sexual intercourse. The Uniform Child Status Act further defines a surrogate as a person who gives birth to a child as a result of assisted reproduction if, at the time of the child’s conception, she intended to relinquish that child to
- the person whose human reproductive material was used in the assisted reproduction or whose human reproductive material was used to create the embryo used in the assisted reproduction; or
- the above-mentioned person and the person married to or in a common-law partnership with that person.
- Authorized person
In Canada, authorized person can be the Registrar, a citizenship judge, a citizenship officer, a commissioner for taking oaths, a notary public or a justice of the peace.
Outside Canada, an authorized person is a foreign service officer, a judge, a magistrate, an officer of a court of justice or a commissioner for taking oaths.
- Described in the Criminal Code as “judicial interim release,” a court order permitting the release from custody of an accused person pending trial or of a convicted person pending appeal (decided at a bail hearing).
- Birth parent
- The parent of the child at birth.
- Breach of probation
- A violation of one’s probation condition.
- Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
- The Canada Border Services Agency is a federal law enforcement agency that is responsible for border enforcement, immigration enforcement and customs services.
- Canadian travel document
- Document issued to a foreign person when a passport from their native country of birth cannot be obtained. This document is mostly used by refugees to allow travel.
- Charge screening form
- Form providing information about how the Crown will proceed with the charge, either summarily or by indictment. If the charge screening form shows that the Crown will proceed by summary, the application can continue to be processed.
- Citizenship judge
- A citizen appointed by the Governor in Council to be a citizenship judge under section 26 of the Citizenship Act.
- Citizenship officer
- A person who is authorized or delegated by the Minister, in writing, to perform the duties of a citizenship officer.
- Criminality, security and immigration background checks performed during the processing of a citizenship application.
- Common-law partner
- Person cohabiting (living together in the same home) with an individual in a conjugal relationship, and having done so for the past year. Temporary absences may occur for reasons such as work, business travel, or family obligations.
- Community sentence
- Probation, conditional sentence and parole are all forms of sentences served in and/or supervised by the community. Every community sentence includes a Supervision Plan established by a parole/probation officer. The plan is based on the conditions imposed by the court order as well as the offender’s assessed needs and risk to reoffend.
- Community service
- An order that the offender perform a certain number of hours of volunteer work in the community.
- Concurrent application
- Application for a grant of citizenship submitted for a minor along with those of family members such as mother or father or both.
- Concurrent sentences
- Concurrent sentences, served simultaneously, are called an aggregate or combined sentence. For example, the aggregate sentence is 16 months for an offender who is sentenced to a term of 12 months and a term of 16 months concurrently. Two terms of 12 months concurrent result in an aggregate sentence of 12 months (not 24 months).
- Conditional discharge
- Where a court directs that an accused who had pleaded or was found guilty of an offence under any Act of Parliament be discharged upon the conditions prescribed in a probation order, they shall be deemed not to have been convicted of the offence in question where such probation was successfully completed.
- Consecutive sentences
- Sentences that run separately and begin one after the other. For example, an offender who is sentenced to two consecutive terms of 12 months each serves a 24-month sentence.
- A judgment by the court that the accused is guilty of the offence or crime
- Corporate Partner (citizenship ceremony)
- A business who has entered into a Sponsorship Agreement with IRCC to be involved in citizenship ceremonies. IRCC Communications issues a national call-out every two years to solicit Expressions of Interest for partnerships with the private sector. These partnerships are national in scope and intended to help promote citizenship activities and civic engagement across Canada in addition to other IRCC business lines. See Working with hosts and sponsors.
- Court document (related words: Local record)
- A document from the provincial (or other) court confirming, in part, the name, date and place of birth of the person who committed the offence; the nature of the offence; the date of judgment by the court and the sentence.
- Crime against humanity
- Defined under subsection 4(3) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act as follows: “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution or any other inhumane act or omission that is committed against any civilian population or any identifiable group and that, at the time and in the place of its commission, constitutes a crime against humanity according to customary international law or conventional international law or by virtue of its being criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations, whether or not it constitutes a contravention of the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.”
- Criminal Code
- A federal statute that defines crimes, maximum punishments, and legal procedures for dealing with those crimes.
- Criminal convictions and related information sheet
- The Criminal Convictions, Conditional and Absolute Discharges and Related Information – Summary of Police Information sheet contains a summary of what appears in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) databases relating to criminal offences, commonly referred to as the RCMP conviction report or the criminal convictions report.
- DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material found in virtually every cell of the human body. A basic genetic principle states that half of a child’s DNA comes from the mother and the other half comes from the father. The DNA identity test begins with the extraction of DNA from a specimen (blood, skin, saliva, hair, etc.). The analysis consists of comparing genetic profiles. A DNA test can be used to verify familial relationships beyond reasonable doubt (with greater than 99.8% accuracy).
- Delegation of authority
- Anything that is required to be done or that may be done by the Minister under the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Regulations may be done by any person authorized by the Minister in writing to act on the Minister’s behalf.
- A judge can discharge the accused of an offence, even after a finding of guilt, and no conviction will be registered. A discharge is available only if the offence carries no minimum penalty, has a maximum penalty of less than 14 years’ imprisonment, is in the best interests of the offender, and is not contrary to public interest.
- Discover Canada
- Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship is the official study guide used by applicants to prepare for the citizenship knowledge test. The guide contains information about Canada (government, history, etc.) and outlines the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.
- Effective date
- For citizenship purposes, the effective date is the date the Oath was taken (at a ceremony) or, if the Oath has been waived, the date the applicant was granted citizenship by a citizenship officer.
- Establishing parentage
- Proof of parentage established between a child and one or both parents.
- Error in the administration of the Act
- In the context of citizenship, when a decision maker makes an erroneous decision with regards to an investigation, interview, verification, requirement, or any other organizational function in relation to an application that is based either fully or partly on misrepresented information.
- FOSS/CAIPS system code for a family class permanent residence application under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for an adoption to be completed in Canada. Children sponsored under FC6 are not eligible for a grant of Canadian citizenship under section 5.1 until they have arrived in Canada as permanent residents and the adoption has been finalized in Canada.
- FOSS/CAIPS system code for a family class permanent residence application under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for an adoption completed outside Canada. Adopted persons enter Canada as permanent residents after the adoption has been finalized abroad. Once they are a permanent resident in Canada, they are immediately eligible for a grant of Canadian citizenship under section 5.1, after the adoption is finalized or, if they are under 18 years of age, under paragraph 5(2), after the adoption is finalized.
- Full adoption
An adoption that creates a legal parent-child relationship between the adoptive parents and the adopted person and completely severs the pre-existing parent–child relationship between the biological parents and the adopted person, with the exception of an adoption by a stepparent.
In the case of an adoption by a stepparent, it is not expected that the relationship with the remaining biological or legal parent be severed; only the ties with the parent whose parenting role will be assumed by the stepparent upon adoption must be fully severed.
A legal guardian is a person or institution holding the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal interests of a person. Nevertheless, the relationship between the parents and the person may remain.
It should be noted that guardianship does not constitute an adoption and does not meet the requirements of section 5.1 of the Act.
The Canadian Law Dictionary defines “guardian” as a person who has the legal right and duty to care for another person. Guardianship can arise in a number of ways, for example:
- election by the incompetent (power of attorney);
- appointment by the court (judicial court order);
- assumption of the role of guardian without legal authority (guardianship role simply assumed by another party).
- Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption
- The Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, commonly known as the Hague Convention, sets minimum standards and procedures for intercountry adoption. The Hague Convention is intended to stop unethical intercountry adoption practices. It also promotes cooperation between states party to the Hague Convention and puts in place procedures aimed at minimizing the chance of exploitation of children, biological parents or adoptive parents during the intercountry adoption process.
- Meeting with a citizenship judge/supervisor/officer for the purposes of assessing citizenship requirements.
- Hearing adjourned
- Temporary postponement of a hearing to be rescheduled at a later date.
- Host (citizenship ceremony)
A host takes an active part in the preparation and presentation of the citizenship ceremony and/or reception. Examples of host organizations can be non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, education institutions, service organizations, veterans’ organizations, libraries, volunteer groups, all three levels of government (excluding elected officials) or other community groups. See Working with hosts and sponsors.
Note: The word partner, in the context of planning a citizenship ceremony, can also mean host.
- Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
- Primary federal legislation regulating immigration to Canada. Portions of the IRPA are administered by the Canada Border Services Agency.
- Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)
- Independent, non-profit organization and self-regulating body that operates at arm’s length from the Government of Canada. The ICCRC is responsible for regulating the activities of immigration and citizenship consultants who are its members and who provide immigration and citizenship advice and representation.
Confinement in a jail/detention centre or prison/penitentiary.
An offender who is sentenced to less than two years serves the sentence in a provincial correctional centre. An offender sentenced to two years or more serves the sentence in a federal penitentiary.
A term of imprisonment can also be served in the community under a conditional sentence order.
- Information document
- Document that provides the details of the offence(s) charged. It contains a description of the offence, the name of the person being charged, the date of the offence and the name of the city where it took place. The court document indicates the method of prosecution (i.e., summarily or by indictment) elected by the Crown. Once a trial has taken place, the bottom part of the court document indicates the results of the trial (e.g., found guilty, amount of fine, length of probation, etc.).
- A person who, having been sentenced or committed to an institution, has been received and accepted at an institution pursuant to the sentence or committal and has not been lawfully discharged wherefrom.
- A provincial correctional or detention centre for persons convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for two years less a day.
- Jus sanguinis
- Citizenship by descent, citizenship through a parent, or derivative citizenship. In the Canadian context, this requires a genetic link between the person in question and a parent who is a Canadian citizen.
- Jus soli
- Citizenship by birth on soil.
- Keeping the peace
- A mandatory condition of a probation order.
- Knowledge test
- Written or oral test, based on the Discover Canada guide, that an applicant for citizenship must pass to meet the knowledge requirement of paragraph 5(1)( e) of the Act.
- Legal guardian
- A person who has the legal authority to act on behalf of a minor for citizenship purposes
- Material circumstances
Required element to demonstrate misrepresentation. With respect to relevancy and materiality, the following principles apply:
- What is relevant is a broader concept than what is material.
- All material factors will be relevant. However, what is relevant may not always prove to be material:
- information requested from applicants will be considered relevant; otherwise this information would not be requested;
- this relevant information will not always affect the process undertaken by an officer or the final decision. Only when it affects the process undertaken or the final decision does it become material.
- Applicant under the age of 18 years old.
- Generally occurs in the citizenship context when a person intentionally misstates a fact or fails to disclose material information they know to be relevant in order to induce the granting of citizenship. A misrepresentation of a material fact includes an untruth, the withholding of truthful information or a misleading answer that has the effect of foreclosing or averting further inquiries.
- Grant application that has been refused by a citizenship officer or judge.
- Application for a grant of citizenship submitted for a minor who already has a Canadian parent (normally submitted by a Canadian parent or legal guardian).
- Oath of Citizenship
- The Oath of Citizenship is the act of swearing or affirming allegiance to the Sovereign, and it is the final requirement for a grant of citizenship.
- A crime or a culpable breach of a law, act, regulation, or by-law created by the federal parliament or a provincial or territorial legislation or municipality. The main categories of criminal offences in Canada are summary conviction offences and indictable offences.
- A person convicted of a criminal offence (also called the accused, the perpetrator or the defendant).
- Official document issued by the individual’s country of citizenship or nationality.
- Paroled inmate (related words: Paroled offender)
- A person to whom parole has been granted.
- Peace bond
- An amount of money pledged to ensure that a person keeps the peace, is of good behaviour, and complies with other conditions set by a court with summary conviction jurisdiction for any period not exceeding twelve months.
- An institution operated by Correctional Service of Canada (federal institution) for the custody of persons sentenced or committed to penitentiary (anyone sentenced to a term of imprisonment of two years or more)
- Period of probation
A term during which an offender is directed by the court to comply with the conditions that they “keep the peace and be of good behaviour” and any number of other conditions prescribed in the probation order.
A probation order ceases at the end of its term.
- Permanent residence
- Permanent resident status in Canada.
- Permanent residence document
- Record of Landing form [IMM 1000], Confirmation of Permanent Residence form [IMM 5292 or IMM 5509], or permanent resident card (PRC).
- Platform party
Generally, a platform party includes anyone playing an active part in the ceremony, such as:
- the presiding official,
- the clerk of the ceremony,
- the RCMP officer,
- a guest enhancing the ceremony somehow (piper, veterans, elder, choir, town crier, etc.),
- a guest speaker providing remarks,
- a prominent guest entering the room in the procession,
- a prominent guest in the receiving line, congratulating new citizens as they come forward and receive their citizenship certificates, or
- a prominent guest being recognized by the Clerk or Presiding Official during remarks, which could be sitting in a reserved seating section.
- The answer given by an accused when arraigned on a criminal offence (“guilty” or “not guilty”).
- Police certificate
- Copy of a criminal record or a statement that a person does or does not have a criminal record. Police certificates are different in each country and territory. They may be called police clearance certificates, good conduct certificates, judicial record extracts, etc.
- A custodial institution that may be municipal, provincial or federal.
- Probation (related words: Probation order)
Probation is a sentence that an offender serves in the community for a specified length of time and with certain conditions. It may be imposed on its own, as a suspension of sentence, or in addition to other sentencing options and cannot be longer than three years. All probation orders contain mandatory and other conditions imposed by the court. The mandatory conditions are as follows:
- keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
- appear before the court when required to do so by the court; and
- notify the court or the probation officer in advance of any change of name or address, and promptly notify the court or the probation officer of any change of employment or occupation.
Offenders who break the conditions of their probation order may be charged with an additional offence of breach of probation, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
- Probationary adoption
- Probationary adoption orders provide for a guardianship relationship or “probationary adoption” for the purpose of a trial placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents. Probationary adoptions are generally supervised by a social worker and require a number of satisfactory reports to be filed with the central adoption authority of the child’s country of origin prior to issuance of an adoption order by that country.
- As per the Citizenship Act, situation or status that makes an applicant ineligible to be granted citizenship or to take the Oath of Citizenship.
- Prominent guest (citizenship ceremony)
In the context of a citizenship ceremony, a prominent guest is anyone who participates and/or speaks at a citizenship ceremony. Examples would be the host’s representative, elected officials, Canadian Forces members, veterans, important figures in a community or people of interest to media. Refer to Order of Precedence for other examples of prominent guests.
- To annul, set aside, or make void.
- Recall a certificate
- To require, in writing, that a person surrender a certificate of naturalization, a certificate of citizenship, a miniature certificate of citizenship (citizenship card), or a certificate of renunciation for the reasons outlined in subsection 26(1) of the Regulations.
- A reception is any gathering that takes place after a citizenship ceremony where food and non-alcoholic beverages are served. See Citizenship ceremony closure and reception as well as Working with hosts and sponsors – Guidelines for hosts and sponsors.
- An obligation undertaken before a magistrate by which an accused person is released, with or without a bond and/or sureties, to keep the peace and obey any other court instruction, such as to appear in court at a certain time.
- Transference of an application for citizenship from one decision maker to another, due to differing decision-making authorities (e.g., an officer who refers an application to a judge for an assessment of residence because the officer does not have the authority to make a negative decision on residence).
- Referred (application)
- Application for a grant of citizenship referred to a judge for decision.
- Relevant matter
Required element to demonstrate misrepresentation. With respect to relevancy and materiality, the following principles apply:
- What is relevant is a broader concept than what is material.
- All material factors will be relevant. However, what is relevant may not always prove to be material:
- A formal surrender or “giving up” of one’s citizenship, including any rights or benefits that accompany citizenship.
- Compensated representatives
- Individuals who receive some form of consideration (typically in the form of a fee or payment) for the provision of advice or representation to someone on immigration or citizenship matters.
- Authorized representatives
- Individuals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society (including paralegals), the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), whether they are compensated or not.
- Uncompensated representatives
- Any person who does not receive consideration for providing advice or representation on immigration or citizenship matters.
- Unauthorized representatives
- Individuals who receive some form of consideration for advising or representing a client on immigration or citizenship matters and who are not members of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or the ICCRC.
- Residence Questionnaire (RQ)
- A form that an applicant fills out that provides information about how long an applicant has lived in Canada. The information gathered is used by citizenship officials to determine if an applicant has met the residence requirements for Canadian citizenship.
- An order requiring that an offender compensate for injuries or to pay compensation for loss of or damage to property as a result of the offence.
A requirement for citizenship pursuant to paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act.
The residence requirement prior to the coming into force of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (SCCA) could be met through physical presence in Canada or by meeting parameters of a qualitative test of residence as set out by Federal Court jurisprudence (e.g., the Koo or Thurlow decisions), or a combination of the two.
After the coming into force of the SCCA, the residence requirement may be met using only physical presence in Canada.
A formal cancellation or reversal of one’s grant of citizenship, which effectively terminates that person’s status as a citizen. Section 10 of the Citizenship Act stipulates that citizenship may be revoked if it was obtained by:
- false representation;
- fraud; or
- knowingly concealing material circumstances.
The Citizenship Act also states that if a person became a permanent resident through false representation and, subsequently, acquired Canadian citizenship, they obtained citizenship unlawfully.
- RX-1 Visa
- Counterfoil coding of a travel document issued to a permanent resident without a permanent resident card under paragraph 31(3)( c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the overseas decision that the permanent resident has not complied with the residency obligation under the IRPA. However, if the permanent resident was physically present in Canada at least once within the 365 days before the examination, the applicant may appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) under subsection 63(4) of the IRPA.
- A sentence is the punishment imposed on an accused person who either pleads guilty to a charge or is found guilty of an offence/crime by the court. Sentencing options available to the courts include absolute discharge, conditional discharge, probation, restitution, fines, community service, conditional sentence, intermittent imprisonment, imprisonment, long-term offender designation and dangerous offender designation.
- Simple adoption
An adoption that does not fully sever the legal relationship between the adopted person and the individuals who were, immediately before the adoption, the person’s legal parents.
According to the International Social Service, a simple adoption “allow[s] for the coexistence of two parallel lines of filiation. It establishes a tie of legal filiation between adopters and adoptees while maintaining the existence of legal ties to the family of origin.”
- Special needs
- Applicants who have a disorder, disability or condition that is cognitive, psychiatric or psychological in nature (e.g., applicants who need sign language interpreters).
- Sponsor (citizenship ceremony)
- A business, company or corporation that helps with the costs of a citizenship ceremony and/or reception. See Working with hosts and sponsors.
- Statutory Declaration
- A Statutory Declaration is a written statement made under the Canada Evidence Act. The person making the declaration swears it is true.
- Summary conviction offence
- A less serious offence that (unless otherwise stated) involves a maximum punishment of a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both. Summary offences are tried in provincial courts before a judge.
- Suspension of processing
The act of delaying or stopping a procedure. Section 13.1 of the Citizenship Act allows the Minister to suspend an application in certain circumstances and without time limitation in order to obtain certain information needed to make a decision. This includes information, evidence, or the results of any investigation or inquiry required to ascertain the following:
- whether the applicant meets the requirements under the Citizenship Act relating to the application;
- whether the applicant should be the subject of an admissibility hearing or a removal order under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA);
- whether section 20 or 22 applies with respect to the applicant; and
- (in the case of an applicant who is a permanent resident and who is the subject of an admissibility hearing under the IRPA) whether a removal order is to be made against the applicant.
Suspension is an administrative action taken on an application; it is not an adjudicative decision. The authority to suspend an application is delegated to citizenship officers.
- Suspended sentence
- The judge may choose to suspend a sentence and release the offender on probation for a specified period of time. A person on probation with a suspended sentence remains out of custody but is under the supervision of a probation officer and must follow any conditions included in the probation order. Suspended sentences are available for many criminal offences if no minimum punishment is required by law.
- Taking an affirmation
- Use of an affirmation by someone who wants to make an affidavit without an oath for religious or conscientious reasons. The person’s statement that they do not want to take an oath is enough reason to take an affirmation.
- Third-party information
Unsolicited information received from a person or entity other than a governmental organization, concerning an applicant or possible applicant for citizenship.
Third-party information is also commonly referred to as “tips”, “poison-pen letters”, or “snitch letters”.
- Unique client identifier (UCI)
- Client identification number (client ID) issued to an individual within the IRCC program that is kept/used throughout the person’s dealing with the Department.
- Volunteer (citizenship ceremony)
- A person who provides non-monetary support before, after and/or during a citizenship ceremony. They can perform different duties depending on the needs of the citizenship office. See Working with volunteers.
- Permission obtained from the Minister to abstain an applicant from meeting certain requirements of the Citizenship Act.
- War crime
Defined under subsection 4(3) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act as follows: “an act or omission committed during an armed conflict that, at the time and in the place of its commission, constitutes a war crime according to customary international law or conventional international law applicable to armed conflicts, whether or not it constitutes a contravention of the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.”
Paragraph 22(1)(d) of the Citizenship Act prohibits a person forever from being granted citizenship or taking the Oath if the person has been convicted of an offence under sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
- Warrant for arrest
- An order from a justice of the peace or judge, giving the police permission to arrest someone.
- When a person refuses or declines to answer a question or does not provide information that could affect the processing of an application, preferring instead to allow outdated or false information to be accepted as current or true information.
- Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
- Governs the application of criminal and correctional law to those between the ages of 12 and 17 at the time of committing the offence (section 2 of the YCJA). Youth 14 to 17 years of age may be tried and/or sentenced as adults under certain conditions, as described in the YCJA.
- Young person
- Subsection 2(1) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act defines “young person” as “a person who is or, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, appears to be twelve years old or older, but less than 18 years old and, if the context requires, includes any person who is charged under this Act with having committed an offence while he or she was a young person or who is found guilty of an offence under this Act.”
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