International Coalition of Youth Courts: Introduction

As Youth Courts are conducted around the world and report their results, ideas and suggestions back here to the International Coalition of Youth Courts, organizers of future Youth Courts will be able to learn from the experience of those who have gone before. In this way the ICYC can serve several purposes. It can:

  • collect suggestions for how to approach and work with a defendant government;
  • offer suggestions for engaging with local media to maximize publicity;
  • collect ideas and materials for building strong prosecutorial arguments;
  • help identify which kinds of arguments have proven most effective in past trials, and how best to present them;
  • help identify which kinds of evidence are most effective in arguments, and where to find that evidence;
  • help identify which kinds of witnesses are most effective, and how to find them, prepare them, and question them during the trial;
  • help understand human rights, what they mean, how they work, and how best to use them in a trial;
  • help identify best practices for setting up and conducting a court session;
  • help identify available Restorative Justice resources for teams whose mandate requires the restorative justice process;
  • it can eventually serve as a training center to help with organizing future Youth Courts, perhaps even being available as a resource during the process of conducting a trial.

On the research side, it will:

  • serve as an archive for recordings, documents and notes from Youth Climate Courts that have already taken place;
  • serve as an archive for the verdicts, mandates, and compliance records of governments that have been put on trial;
  • keep records of how defendant governments have responded to their summons, how they have behaved during the court hearings, and how well they have carried out the mandates that resulted from their court sessions;
  • serve as a records repository for future researchers interested in human rights, climate change and the effectiveness of Youth Courts

Thus, the International Coalition can serve as a clearinghouse for information about Youth Climate Courts that have already been conducted and as a research center with records of the procedures, verdicts, mandates, effectiveness and long term impacts of Youth Courts around the world.