Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification

Establishes the framework to provide legal assistance and indemnification to Crown servants and matters greatly for the protection of the Crown’s interest, the fair treatment of its employees, and the effective management of an organization.
Date modified: 2021-06-09

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approval authority (autorité approbatrice)
those designated to decide whether to approve or deny provision of legal assistance or indemnification to a Crown servant, i.e., the prime minister or his or her designated alternate, the minister, the Treasury Board, the Clerk of the Privy Council or the deputy head.
Crown servant (fonctionnaire de l'État)
  • an individual employed (or formerly employed) in a department as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act and to other portions of the federal public administration named in Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act, in the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
  • an individual appointed (or formerly appointed) by the Governor in Council, or by the Treasury Board or by a minister; except for former and serving directors or officers of Crown Corporations;
  • a former and serving prime minister, lieutenant-governor, governor general, minister, deputy head and ministers' exempt staff;
  • a representative authorized in writing to act on behalf of a serving prime minister, minister or deputy head;
  • an incoming participant or former incoming participant in a program under the Policy on Interchange Canada; or
  • an estate of an individual mentioned above.
deputy head (administrateur général)
the deputy minister, the chief executive officer, or the person who occupies a position bearing some other title denoting the same level of responsibility.
indemnification (indemnisation)
payment or reimbursement of amounts paid as a result of a judgment or a cost award against a Crown servant or as a result of a monetary settlement of a claim or an action made or brought against a Crown servant that is pre-approved by the approval authority based on the Department of Justice Canada's recommendation.
legal assistance (services juridiques)
includes the cost of the services of the Department of Justice Canada, a Crown agent or private counsel, as well as paralegal services and includes necessary travel costs, incidental costs and the use of essential expert witnesses.
ministers' exempt staff (personnel exonéré)
any individual appointed by a minister pursuant to section 128 of the Public Service Employment Act, or under a contract for services to a minister with terms and conditions equivalent to those individuals appointed pursuant to section 128.
volunteer (bénévole)
an individual who provides services directly to or on behalf of departments, without compensation or any other thing of value in lieu of compensation, other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred. Such persons may serve as individuals or as members of groups such as non-profit organizations (as defined for purposes of the Income Tax Act).
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