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ARCHIVED - RPP 2006-2007
Department of Justice Canada

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Strategic Outcome I: A fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values

Program activities in support of the strategic outcome:

A1 - Developing policies and laws

Financial resources ($millions)4






A2 - Developing and implementing programs

Financial resources






4 The main reason for the reduction in planned spending in 2008-09 is the sunsetting of the Child Centred Family Law Strategy.

Part A: Strategic overview

The Government has stated its plan to support families, provide for safer communities and build a stronger country.

As a first step the Government committed to introduce a new Federal Accountability Act (FAA) that would change the current oversight and management systems by strengthening the rules and institutions that ensure transparency and accountability to Canadians.

Safe communities allow families and businesses to prosper, but Canada's safe streets and healthy communities are under threat of gun, gang and drug violence. In response, the Government will undertake changes to the Criminal Code to provide tougher sentences for violent and repeat offenders, particularly those involved in weapons-related crimes, and to crack down on crime by putting more police on the street, hiring additional federal prosecutors, and improving border security.

In relation to crime, the Government also emphasized the importance of preventing criminal behaviour before it has a chance to take root. To this end, the Government will work with the provinces and territories to help communities provide hope and opportunity for our youth, in an effort to end the cycle of violence that can lead to broken communities and broken lives.

Canadians rely on the justice system to provide an independent and impartial forum for resolving disputes. To serve Canadians in all our diversity, the system must be fair, relevant and accessible. The administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction with the provinces and territories. Within this structure, the federal government is responsible for developing policies and legislation to ensure a national legal framework. The provinces in turn are responsible for the day-to-day administration of justice. The Department works with others in the justice system to make sure it reflects our shared values by treating everyone equitably and respecting their rights.

In support of Strategic Outcome I, the department will focus on the following six priorities over the reporting period:

A. Protecting Canadian communities;
B. Improving government accountability;
C. Strengthening youth criminal justice;
D. Improving the experience of victims of crime;
E. Improving efficiencies in the justice system and the efficient delivery of legal services to Government;
F. Improving access to justice.

These priorities will contribute to the achievement of the "fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values" strategic outcome and support the Government in implementing its priorities related to improving government transparency and accountability and strengthening the justice system to protect Canadian families and communities.

The following section provides a more in depth view of the key law reform initiatives, programs and other activities for Canadians that support these priorities.

Part B - Analysis of key program/service activities in support of Priorities

Priority A: Protecting Canadian communities

The government has vowed to ensure that effective and appropriate justice is administered to criminals and to pursue necessary reforms to protect children from sexual exploitation. Tougher and more effective sentences for serious and repeat crime are a cornerstone of the government's justice priorities. Given its responsibilities with regard to the Criminal Code, the Department of Justice will be working to develop and propose legislation for mandatory minimum prison sentences for serious and repeat offences and for further restricting conditional sentences ("house arrest") for serious crimes.

In a bid to stop adults from sexually exploiting vulnerable young people, the Department of Justice will be working to establish a new "Age of Protection" that raises the age at which a young person may consent to engage in sexual activity from 14 to 16 years.

During 2006-2007, Canada's anti-terrorism legislation will be the subject of two important Parliamentary reviews - one by the House of Commons and one by the Senate. Upon completion of these reports, the Department of Justice will be working on follow-up to the House and Senate findings and recommendations, and a response will be tabled.

The department will also work with other federal departments to develop a national drug strategy. This work will include the preparation of proposals for more effective sentences for drug offences. In addition, we will pursue new legislation to permit the effective implementation of improved investigative techniques, such as the use of DNA

Priority B: Improving government accountability

The need for improved transparency and accountability in government and the commitment to introduce a new FAA have been central to the Government's priorities since it took office. Accordingly, the department will be working in support of this government initiative. Specifically, the department will develop amendments to the Access to Information Act - a key feature of which will be to seek an expansion of the coverage of the Act to a number of Officers or Agents of Parliament, Crown corporations, and foundations created under federal law.

The Department will also support the government's activities related to the creation of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which will be charged with conducting prosecutions under federal jurisdiction.

An element of accountability is the requirement that departments and government agencies deliver their services and programs in accordance with their obligations at law, including the obligation to respect human rights. The Public Law Policy Section will provide legal policy advice in the development of a policy to counter racial profiling, providing important guidance in this area of accountability.

Priority C: Strengthening youth criminal justice

Departmental youth justice activities involve both policy and program work. The major focus of policy activities during the 2006-2007 reporting period will be the review of pre-trial detention law, policies and operations, and analyzing and developing options for legislative reform to strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Youth Justice Initiative (YJI) provides funding through two programs to help achieve its long-term goals of a fairer, more effective youth justice system.

Under the Youth Justice Services Program the federal government enters into financial agreements with the provinces and territories for the delivery of youth justice services. Since 1984, federal funding has been made available through specific contribution agreements with the jurisdictions. The main agreements with the provinces and territories under this program expired on March 31, 2006, and negotiations will be undertaken for new agreements. Separate agreements to provide for implementation of the new Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision sentencing option will be in effect until March 31, 2007, at which point they will have to be renegotiated. The emphasis for the coming year will be on the negotiation of new agreements with provinces and territories to sustain and/or improve the youth justice system.

Additional funding is provided through the Youth Justice Renewal Fund in the form of grants and contributions to provinces, territories, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Aboriginal organizations and youth justice stakeholders to respond to emerging issues, to achieve a fairer, more effective youth justice system and to enable greater citizen/community participation in the youth justice system. Activities for the 2006/07 reporting period are geared primarily towards programming options related to pre-trial detention, chronic offenders or youth "spinning out of control", gang-involved youth and the overrepresentation of certain groups in the youth justice system.

Priority D: Improving the experience of victims of crime

The Government's priorities for 2006-2007 also include plans to give victims of crime an advocate within government. The Department will support the government in establishing a Victims' Ombudsman and will develop new policies and programs to give victims a stronger voice in, and increased access to, the justice system. These new measures will complement existing activities within the Department, notably the Victims of Crime Initiative (VCI) (

Priority E: Improving efficiencies in the justice system and the efficient delivery of legal services to Governement

To respond to provincial concerns about the growing remand population, the cumulative impact of the proposed criminal law reforms, and more generally, to concerns about the burden on the criminal justice system, the Department will develop initiatives to streamline and improve the administration of Justice. As well, the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiency – comprised of representatives from governments, judges and the private bar – will be looking at options for operational changes to the justice system in support of improving efficiency and effectiveness without compromising its fundamental values. Finally, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Criminal Procedure will look at options for improving bail provisions.

Priority F: Improving access to justice

The Department undertakes a number of key activities in support of improving access to justice. The three key areas under this priority are legal aid, Aboriginal justice and family justice.

Legal Aid:

The provision of criminal legal aid is integral to the effective and appropriate functioning of Canada's criminal justice system. For more than 30 years, the Department of Justice has provided funding in support of criminal legal aid service delivery by the provinces and criminal and civil legal aid by the territories through contribution agreements. Funding for criminal and civil legal aid in the territories is provided through Access to Justice Services Agreements that integrate funding for legal aid, Aboriginal Courtwork, and public legal education and information services. In 2006-2007, the Department of Justice will pursue negotiations with the provinces and territories regarding future legal aid agreements in order to develop a long-term strategy.

Along with legal aid, there are a number of other programs within the Department that support this priority. Two of the key programs, Aboriginal Justice and Family Justice are described below.

Aboriginal Justice:

Aboriginal people continue to be overrepresented in the criminal justice system, both as victims and as accused. When Aboriginal people come into contact with the justice system as victims or accused, their needs – related to culture, economic positions and social circumstances – must be taken into account to make the system fairer, relevant and more effective for them.

One of the federal government's key responses to addressing these issues has been the Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS), which co-funds diversion, sentencing, and family and civil mediation projects in Aboriginal communities with provinces and territories. The AJS supports activities on- and off- reserve and in urban settings. The current mandate of the AJS will expire on March 31st, 2007. As a result, activities during the reporting period will focus on planning for a renewal of the Strategy.

The Department also has an Aboriginal Courtwork Program to facilitate and enhance access to justice by assisting Aboriginal people involved in the criminal justice system to obtain fair, just, equitable and culturally sensitive treatment. The Department contributes funding to support Aboriginal courtwork services in the provinces and territories through contribution agreements. They, in turn, contract with service delivery agencies to provide these services. The Aboriginal Courtwork Program is the only ongoing national justice contribution program available to all Aboriginal people, regardless of status and residency. In 2006-2007, the program will undergo a formative evaluation.

The Department also uses other grants and contributions to support other projects and activities that address needs and concerns specific to Aboriginal people, including their representation in the justice process. Areas of the Policy Sector that focus on these needs include Legal Aid, the Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI), the Justice Family Violence Initiative and the Youth Justice Policy Unit.

Family Justice:

The main work in this area is achieved through the five-year Child-centred Family Justice Strategy which ends on March 31st, 2008. The main purpose of the Strategy is to help parents focus on the needs of their children following separation and divorce. At present, there are two main activities under the Strategy, which is managed by the Family, Children and Youth Section. The policy development activity is exploring different policy instruments for achieving the Strategy's objectives. The program development activity is achieved through development and implementation of the Child-centred Family Justice Fund, which is administered through a Transfer Payment Program. The primary recipients of funding are provinces, territories and nongovernmental organizations. The Judicial Affairs, Courts and Tribunal Policy section is responsible for the expansion of the Unified Family Courts component of the Strategy.

Amendments to the Federal Child Support Guidelines, including updated child support tables, will come into force on May 1, 2006. In keeping with objectives of the Federal Child Support Guidelines, Justice Canada will be negotiating agreements with the provinces of Manitoba, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec under section 25.1 of the Divorce Act. Once in place, the agreements will provide a mechanism by which a provincial child support service will recalculate child support amounts regularly on the basis of updated and current financial income information from the parents. This mechanism will be faster and less costly and will alleviate the need for parents to apply to court for a variation of child support amounts.

How we will assess our performance for this Strategic Outcome I:

The Department will be monitoring the state of the justice system by means of various sources such as studies carried out by Statistics Canada. For example, we will look at data on the levels of crime as well as incarceration rates. In terms of public confidence in the justice system, we will rely on proxy measures such as self-reported rates of victimization, and perceptions of the justice system as studied by Statistics Canada in the General Social Survey and other vehicles5. These measures and indicators, while not those over which the Department has direct influence, are still relevant in helping us assess the trends of the justice system. In terms of our performance in areas where we have more direct control, the measures listed below will be used to assess our performance.

Program Activity A.1: Developing policies and laws

Expected Results: Policies and laws are developed in response to identified needs and gaps and integrated with Government priorities and commitments

Measures of Success
A. Protecting Canadian Communities
  • Drafted and tabled legislation regarding mandatory minimum prison sentences for serious and repeat offences
  • Legislation tabled restricting conditional sentences (house arrest) for serious crimes.
  • Establishment of new "Age of Protection" to raise age of consent for engagement in sexual activity
  • Responses to House and Senate findings and recommendations in relation to the review of the Anti-terrorism Act developed.
  • Drafted and tabled new legislation regarding improved investigative techniques such as the use of DNA.
B. Improving Government accountability
  • Drafted and tabled proposed reforms to the Access to Information Act
  • Implemented structural and operational changes in support of creation of the Office of the Director Of Public Prosecutions
C. Strengthening youth criminal justice
  • Options assessed for legislative reform of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
D. Improving the experience of victims of crime
  • Establishment of new Victims' Ombudsman or Commissioner
  • Establishment of new policies to improve the experience of victims of crime
E. Improving efficiencies in the justice system and the efficient delivery of legal services to Government
  • Options assessed to streamline and improve the administration of justice
F. Improving access to justice
  • Coming into force of amended Child Support Guidelin

Program Activity A.2: Developing and implementing programs

Expected Results: Programs are developed and implemented in response to identified needs and gaps and are integrated with Government priorities and commitments

Measures of Success
D. Strengthening youth criminal justice
  • Negotiated agreements with Provinces and Territories for Youth Justice Services Program
C. Improving the experience of victims of crime
  • Increased access to victim services for victims
  • Establishment of new programs to improve the experience of victims of crime
F. Improving access to justice
  • New Legal Aid agreements negotiated with Provinces and Territories
  • Negotiated agreements with Provinces on mechanism for recalculation of child support amounts.

5. For further information and details about the Statistics Canada reports please refer to their website:

Strategic Outcome II: A federal government that is supported by effective and responsive legal services

Program Activities in support of strategic outcome:


B 1. Providing legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to government

Financial resources






A2 - Developing and implementing programs

Financial resources






6 Please refer to footnote 3 in Table 1, Section III for an explanation of the differerence.

Part A: Strategic overview

Under the Department of Justice Act, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General provides legal services to the federal government and its departments and agencies, including the provision of legal advice, the conduct of litigation and prosecutions, the drafting of legislation and the preparation of legal documents.

The Department of Justice is a facilitator. Its legal services help the Government achieve its priorities and deliver results for Canadians. Serving departments and agencies creates a distinct context for planning, setting priorities and measuring performance. We work with our clients to develop and advance their priorities, providing legal services that are responsive, timely and effective. Excellence in service delivery is critical, as there has been consistent growth in both the complexity and the demand for legal services. This factor, viewed as a challenge across government, is felt acutely both by the Department of Justice and by the departments and agencies it serves. Some of the drivers for this demand include the growth of class action proceedings against the Crown, the growth in organized crime, and the ongoing rapid development of aboriginal law.

In response, the Department's activities under this strategic outcome are focused on the following priorities:

  • Priority A: Protecting Canadian communities
    Priority B: Improving government accountability
  • Priority E: Improving efficiencies in the justice system and the efficient delivery of legal services to Government

In support of these priorities, the activities listed in Part B provide concrete examples of how we carry out our on-going work while ensuring that we have the capacity and flexibility to react to a changing environment and government agenda. For example, a large part of our advisory and legislative drafting work over the coming year will centre on supporting the government's key legislative initiatives such as reform of the access to information legislation, bail and sentencing reform, and youth justice reform.

How we are organized to support the work under this strategic outcome
The Department's general policy is that legal work within our statutory mandate should be handled by departmental counsel. At times however, operational demands necessitate using private sector counsel, who are appointed as legal agents of the Attorney General of Canada, to carry out this mandate7.

A significant proportion of the Department's counsel are assigned to departmental legal services units (DLSUs), which are co-located with client departments and agencies and in six regions. The DLSUs are grouped under five portfolios, according to the type of legal practice involved: Aboriginal Affairs; Tax Law; Citizenship, Immigration and Public Safety (which serves the RCMP, CSIS, Correctional Services, National Parole Board and Canada Border Services Agency); Central Agencies (serving the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board and the Public Service Commission, among others); and Business and Regulatory Law (serving 23 government clients, ranging from Health Canada to the Competition Bureau), and the Justice Portfolio.

Six regional offices – serving the North, British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces – support the portfolio structure by serving clients and handling litigation locally. About half the Department's staff work in regional offices.

The portfolio and regional office structure enables the Department to concentrate its legal practice in strategic service delivery areas, forge effective relationships with clients, and gain a better understanding of clients' needs and priorities. At the same time, our pan-Canadian presence provides a national perspective and ensures consistency and responsiveness. By organizing this way, we gain a broad perspective on issues arising from litigation across the country and the implications of judicial decisions for the federal government.

Staff at regional offices, along with those at headquarters in Ottawa, are key components of the national network of Justice counsel who serve as the Government's law firm. This group of highly skilled professionals is responsible for effectively managing a large volume of litigation and advisory services on behalf of client departments. In addition, regional staff often work closely with their portfolio and policy colleagues to handle complex, high-profile cases.

Given the service-oriented and knowledge-intensive context of our work, the quality of our work force is crucial to achieving this strategic outcome. Our success in attracting and retaining a high-quality work force is evident in the professionalism, talent and diversity of our staff, who reflect Canada's dual legal and linguistic traditions
Regional employees are rooted in their communities; their understanding of local issues and their specialized expertise informs their work and improves the responsiveness and effectiveness of the Department's legal services. All regional offices have a steady and significant caseload of federal prosecutions, although certain centres (e.g. Pearson Airport in Toronto for cocaine importation; Vancouver for marijuana grow operations) face particular challenges. In response to local issues, regional offices often partner with local organizations to deliver unique services, such as drug treatment courts across the country.

Several specialized branches complement the provision of legal services to clients:

a) The Legislative Services Branch drafts and provides related advisory services for government legislation to establish the legislative framework for Government policies and programs. Bills introduced in Parliament – and regulations made by the Governor in Council and delegates – must address the subject matter in both English and French and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights along with other laws. As well, bills and regulations must reflect Canada's common law and civil law traditions where appropriate. The Branch is also responsible for the publication of federal laws, notably an electronic consolidation of Acts and regulations that is available on the internet.

b) The Public Law Sector is made up of a number of specialized legal advisory and policy sections. It comprises experts on human rights law, constitutional and administrative law, information law and privacy, aviation law, trade law, public international law, private international law, judicial affairs, and public law policy. The various sections combined are a core resource for the Department, offering highly specialized legal policy expertise and assisting the Department in fulfilling its central agency role as coordinator of legal advice across government.

The Public Law Sector also provides extensive support to the Government in the development of national and international policies, laws, and other instruments. This support includes policy development and legal advisory services on issues specific to the Justice portfolio as well as legal advisory services to client departments engaged in the development of legislation and policies across government.

In fulfilling these roles, the work of the Public Law Sector supports both of the Department's strategic outcomes.

c) The Assistant Deputy Attorney General (ADAG) Civil Litigation has functional responsibility over civil litigation involving the Government of Canada in the common law provinces and territories. The ADAG heads the Civil Litigation Branch at Headquarters and chairs the National Litigation Committee. The National Litigation Committee monitors significant litigation which could have an important impact on the law or the Government's interests. Regional litigation committees feed into the National Committee and function as an integrated component.

The Office of Legal Risk Management (LRM) is part of the Civil Litigation Branch. This office provides the key point of contact on legal risk management (LRM), and the Special Counsel fulfils a challenge function in its dealings with Portfolios and Regions, ensuring that LRM is being effectively carried out with respect to contingency planning, legal risk response, etc. LRM is one of the principal processes used by the Department to provide the highest-quality legal service to the Government of Canada and its institutions.

d) The Official Languages Law Group provides specialized legal advice on language rights to departments, agencies and other federal institutions.

e) Dispute Resolution Services supports departmental counsel and their government clients by providing services such as training and systems design advice.

7. To ensure clarity, consistency and control in the use of legal agents, the Department has a framework for determining what work can or should be outsourced and a protocol and supporting practices for selecting and appointing agents. Competence and integrity remain the primary considerations in the selection process, and selection is based on the premise that the Government of Canada is entitled to receive the highest quality of legal service and advice consistent with the reasonable demands of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Decisions to outsource legal work are made in consultation with clients, who are responsible for costs incurred. Justice counsel are responsible for supervising and monitoring legal agent activities, reviewing the reasonableness of costs claimed for services rendered, and where appropriate recommending that payment be made.

Part B - Analysis of key program/service activities in support of Priorities

Priority A: Protecting Canadian Communities

Work in support of this priority is carried out in part, by the Federal Prosecution Service (FPS). A description of FPS's planned activities for the reporting period is found at the end of this section.

Priority B: Improving Government Accountability

Throughout the planning period, the Legislative Services Branch will be very actively involved in supporting the Government as it proceeds with the legislative agenda to implement its key priorities. This work will include the drafting of new bills and regulations, amendments to existing Acts and regulations, the drafting of motions to amend government bills and private members' bills and the provision of ongoing advice on legislative and regulatory matters, including legal risk management.

The Public Law Sector will also be providing support to the Government's plan to reform access to information in the context of its larger Federal Accountability Act initiative and therefore will make an important contribution toward achieving Priority B.

Priority E: Improving efficiencies in the Justice system and the efficient delivery of legal services to Government

Legal advisory services help protect the integrity of the legal framework by upholding the laws that define our rights, keep us safe and regulate our economy. Providing legal advisory services to departments and agencies helps clients achieve their results for Canadians. Justice counsel in the DLSUs often participate in clients' most senior decision-making bodies, where they contribute to policy development and help anticipate and mitigate issues.

Ensuring the provision of high-quality legal services presents numerous challenges. We are, by definition, service providers and face continuous challenges in meeting the demand for our legal services. We must, however, manage this demand, in part by realigning and strengthening our internal operations to meet government's requirements, even as they evolve in response to public needs, domestic developments and world events. Effective management requires us to re-evaluate the quality and efficiency of our services constantly and to apply legal risk management principles to protect the Crown's interests to the greatest degree possible. Together with our clients, we need to manage both the law and our legal practice proactively, thereby ensuring that the Government's interests are properly advanced and the rule of law is maintained.

The Government of Canada is involved in litigation on a broad range of issues that may have a profound impact on policies, programs and finances. The Government requires the best available legal advice to argue a case, anticipate possible outcomes, assess the potential impact of an adverse outcome, and develop options to reduce the chances of an adverse outcome or to mitigate its effects.

The goal of LRM is to develop a sustainable approach to managing legal risks and thereby protect the interests of the Crown and minimize overall costs. Legal risk management is making and carrying out decisions that reduce the frequency and severity of legal problems undermining the Government's ability to meet its objectives.

LRM applies to all government activities where legal risks may arise, from policy development to program implementation and service delivery, and, of course, to litigation. LRM includes:

  • scanning for legal risks to identify, avoid, mitigate or manage them early on;
  • exploring ways to reduce legal risks through effective instrument choice (i.e. choosing from among different tools for achieving particular ends such as using a policy, an incentive program, a regulation or legislation, etc.);
  • exploring alternatives to litigation where disputes arise and managing litigation strategically and efficiently when it does occur;
  • where legal risks arise in litigation, emphasizing strategic litigation decisions for managing the direct litigation risk and any related risks across government;
  • contingency planning for high impact cases so that regardless of the outcome, the Government is prepared to take the next steps;
  • outlining appropriate roles and responsibilities for those involved in litigation to ensure informed decision-making; and
  • identifying, monitoring and being responsive to legal trends that may affect the Government.

How we will measure our performance in support of Strategic Outcome II: A federal government that is supported by effective and responsive legal services

In terms of indicators and measures of success in these activities, there are a number of means to capture a snapshot of Department's effectiveness in providing legal services to the departments and agencies it serves.

For many years, the Department of Justice has sought feedback from its client departments in order to ensure that their needs were being met with the provision of the highest quality services. However, only recently have we begun to establish a more coordinated and standardized process for soliciting this feedback. A key component of this is the development of data collection tools to gather the information needed to monitor and report on performance. As a first step in this process we have recently developed a standardized client feedback survey. Over the next fiscal year and on a cyclical basis thereafter, the Department intends to survey representatives from other federal departments and agencies as part of its overall planning and performance management agenda. By completing this survey, clients will provide the Department with valuable performance information to help ensure that we are delivering high quality legal services that meet departments' and agencies' needs and expectations and identify areas where we might need to make improvements or address gaps in services.

As well, the Department is working to ensure that it has the tools and the capacity to collect relevant and credible information in regards to how we are managing our resources, both human and financial in the support of the delivery of legal services. This means that we will be reporting with more data on elements such as: the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms and the impacts of levels of risk on the resources used to address client requirements for legal services. Over time, we will be able to plot the trends in this data, but in the more immediate environment, we will be able to begin to establish baselines that will better enable us to determine when (or what) adjustments we may need to make in order to ensure that we are providing the best results for Canadians.

There are basically two elements of measures and indicators that support this strategic outcome. These are aimed at addressing the effective management of resources; and the degree to which we are effectively enabling government to attain its key priorities.

The Figure below shows the measures and indicators that will be used to assess performance in the delivery of integrated legal services over the reporting period.

Program Activity B.1: Providing legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to government
Expected Results: High quality legal services and respect for the rule of law

Key Results
Data Collection
Effective management of resources
  • Levels of effort devoted to:
    • Litigation Services
    • Legal Advisory services
    • Legislative services
Timekeeping/Case management systems
Litigation Inventory
  • Number of open/active files at fiscal year-end (Active Inventory)
  • Number of files closed during the year (Closed Inventory)
  • Age of inventory (at closing)
  • Trends in "backlog"
Timekeeping/Case management systems
Legislative Services Inventory
  • Number of Orders in Council Prepared
  • Number of Bills drafted
  • Number of Regulations published in Part I Canada Gazette
  • Number of Regulations published in Part II Canada Gazette
Timekeeping/Case management systems
Managing Legal Risk
  • Trends in risk profile for litigation inventory
  • Level of effort by risk level (shown as proportion of total effort devoted to litigation files for hi, med and low risk files)
Timekeeping / Case management systems
Representing the Crown's interests to enable government to attain its key priorities

Awards and settlements
  • Total value of awards and settlements for the closing inventory at the end of the fiscal year
Timekeeping and case management systems
Litigation Outcomes
  • Adjudicated
  • Resolved
  • Closed Administratively
Case management systems
Crown Results
  • Successful
  • Partially Successful
  • Unsuccessful
Case management
Supreme Court of Canada Outcomes
  • List of cases of importance to Canadians and the influence/explanation of the impact of the case on Canadians' life
Case management systems and Top 100
Client feedback on legal advisory, litigation and legislative services
  • Client feedback about quality of services re:
    • Utility
    • Timeliness
    • Relevance
Standardized Client Feedback Survey

Federal Prosecution Service

Description of Program Activity or Service

The Federal Prosecution Service (FPS) supports the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in the discharge of his criminal law mandate – in particular this work supports the Department's priority of Protecting Canadian Communities. Over 50 federal statutes confer prosecution and prosecution-related responsibilities on the Attorney General of Canada; these duties are carried out by the FPS.

In all provinces except Quebec and New Brunswick, the FPS has responsibility for the prosecution of all drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, regardless of which federal, provincial, or municipal police agency laid the charges. In Quebec and New Brunswick, the FPS is responsible for all drug charges laid by the RCMP. In addition, in all provinces, the FPS prosecutes violations of federal statutes such as the Fisheries Act, the Income Tax Act, the Excise Act, the Customs Act, the Environmental Protection Act and the Canada Shipping Act as well as conspiracies and attempts to violate these statutes. Pursuant to understandings with the provinces, the FPS also prosecutes Criminal Code offences (including gun-related offences) where drug charges are involved and are the focus of the case. In the three Territories, the FPS is additionally responsible for prosecuting all Criminal Code offences.

Hence, the FPS performs a number of key national roles. The FPS fulfils the criminal litigation responsibilities of the Attorney General of Canada and the Minister of Justice, that is, the prosecution function and prosecution-related functions. These include

  • legal advice to investigative agencies and government departments on the criminal law implications of investigations and prosecutions
  • litigation support during the investigative stage, including wiretap applications and orders to produce evidence;
  • charge review and exercise of the Attorney General's discretion to prosecute;
  • legal risk assessment and management, with the development of prosecution plans for the management of prosecutions of mega-cases;
  • role as prosecutor in all matters prosecuted by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the Crown;
  • fulfilment of the Minister of Justice's responsibilities in providing counsel to assist in the execution of extradition and mutual legal assistance requests before Canadian courts; and
  • role as a centre of expertise for criminal law, national security and federal prosecution matters, and provision of policy advice in the development of amendments to federal statutes relevant to the criminal justice system.

In terms of the reach of its work, the FPS is engaged in prosecution and advisory work that touches on international, national, regional, and community level interests across Canada, and from trans-national to local gang crime. In 2005/06, the FPS had a caseload of 59,012 litigation files and 2,847 advisory files, excluding fine recovery files.


In support of Strategic Outcome II, the Federal Prosecution Service will focus its efforts in the following areas in 2006-2007:

  • Prosecution of drug, organized crime and Criminal Code offences
  • Addressing criminal issues related to contributing to a safer world for Canada
  • Prosecution to protect environment, natural resources, and economic health
  • Achieving excellence in managing for results, including legal risk management
  • Addressing the sustainability of the Federal Prosecution Service

1. Prosecution of drug, organized crime and Criminal Code offences

This will continue to be an important activity for the Federal Prosecution Service in 2006-07. In 2005-06, 86.1% of the 59,012 litigation files and 20% of the 2,847 advisory files on which the FPS worked involved drugs, organized crime and money laundering, and Criminal Code offences. In response to strengthened federal, provincial and municipal efforts to crack down on drug and organized crime, and new policing resources, the volume of the FPS caseload for these offences is expected to increase in 2006-07, and in turn, the resource requirements needed to meet this demand.

Within this, organized crime will continue to be the substantive priority for the FPS in 2006-2007, reflecting the priority given to this issue by the federal government, federal police and other law enforcement authorities, and the FPS. During 2006-07, the FPS will continue to implement the Intensive Prosecution Strategy for Organized Crime; continue its focus on inter-jurisdictional cooperation within the prosecutorial community, and with investigative agencies both federally, nationally and internationally; provide advice and litigation support during the investigative stage on highly complex cases; serve as prosecutor on organized crime cases prosecuted by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the Crown; and pursue proceeds of crime. While all FPS regional offices are prosecuting organized crime cases, a number of FPS regional offices are involved in highly complex and resource intensive cases that will continue through 2006-2007 and 2007-08, and require dedicated teams of experienced counsel.

2. Addressing criminal issues related to contributing to a safer world for Canada

In 2005-06, 59% of the 2,847 advisory files on which the FPS worked involved extradition and mutual legal assistance, public safety and anti-terrorism, and immigration law. National security issues continue to dominate the domestic and international agenda. The international focus on the threat of terrorism and the legal ramifications of counter-terrorism measures are matters requiring judicious consideration and a balancing of the competing interests of security, liberty and privacy. In the post 9/11 environment the Department faces significant and changing legal and policy challenges.

In 2006-07, the National Security Group of the Federal Prosecution Service will play an important role by providing legal advice on matters relating to national security and intelligence including terrorism offences under the Criminal Code; provide legal advice on matters related to Part II.1 of the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Act, the Security of Information Act, the Security Offences Act, the Canada Evidence Act; serve as a resource to FPS prosecutors by providing advice on national security matters and to Justice counsel on matters relating to the Canada Evidence Act; and act as independent counsel to review applications for s.21 CSIS Act Warrants. Since, under the new Anti-Terrorism Act, the federal and provincial governments have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute terrorism offences, the National Security Group will also coordinate federal and provincial activities to advance the effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act, including developing a Canada-wide memorandum of understanding.

On extradition and mutual legal assistance matters, during 2006-07, the International Assistance Group, together with FPS regional offices, and two liaison Counsel on-site in Europe, will support the Minister as Attorney General of Canada in relation to his extradition and mutual legal assistance mandate from the Extradition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, and 130 agreements with other countries. This involves working closely with the governments and law enforcement authorities of other countries as well as Canada; reviewing and providing legal advice and recommendations to the Attorney General of Canada on requests expected to be received from over 40 nations; representing the Attorney General of Canada in Court; and defending appeals to a provincial Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

3. Prosecution to protect environment, natural resources, and economic health

In 2006-07, the FPS will provide expert advice to government departments and agencies having law enforcement responsibilities, and prosecute offences on behalf of client departments under 50 federal statutes and regulations e.g. Fisheries Act, Environmental Protection Act. In 2005-06, the FPS caseload in relation to these regulatory prosecutions accounted for 9.3% of its total litigation caseload, and 12.1% of its total advisory caseload.

4. Achieving excellence in managing for results, including LRM

As part of the Department's performance management approach to our core business and to strengthen performance reporting, in 2006-07, the FPS Management Board will build on the strategic and operational business planning, and the legal risk management initiated in 2005-06, improve the reports available to FPS managers for performance management from the iCase file management system, and continue its work to strengthen FPS performance measures and related data quality.

5. Addressing the Sustainability of the Federal Prosecution Service

Under 50 federal statutes, the FPS performs the criminal litigation responsibilities of the Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice, that is the prosecution and prosecution-related functions, in relation to cases referred by federal police, RCMP contract police, provincial, and municipal police forces. Over time, the workload of the FPS has risen in response to changes in: the level of police resources; priorities (e.g. to address grow-ops and meth labs); and operational strategies. The growth in the caseload handled by in-house counsel, particularly of organized crime cases which have more than doubled in the last five years, together with continued growth of major cases and mega-cases, and the rising costs of cases has strained the FPS capacity to deliver on its mandate, and achieve the outcomes.

FPS faces significant costs such as for new mega-cases, which cannot be met within the existing budget. It faces funding shortfalls in particular areas of activity such as its core drug work, extradition and mutual legal assistance work, and the North. And, these resource constraints have affected the degree of pre-charge support that FPS can provide to investigative agencies on highly complex cases. In 2006-07, the FPS will be reviewing its capacity to meet the demands for its services in relation to available resources, and developing options for consideration for addressing its current shortfall in resources.

Expected Results for Policy/Program/Service

  • Effective prosecution of drug, organized crime and Criminal Code offences
  • Criminal issues related to contributing to a safer world for Canada, are addressed
  • Effective prosecutions to protect environment, natural resources, and economic health
  • Excellence is achieved in managing for results, including legal risk management
  • Strategies are developed and implemented to address the sustainability of the Federal Prosecution Service

How we will assess our performance in support of this Strategic Outcome:

The Figure below shows the indicators that will be used to assess performance in the delivery of prosecution services over the reporting period.

Program Activity B.2: Providing prosecution services
Expected Results: Effective pre-charge interventions/advice

Data Collection
Effective management of FPS caseload
Number of new litigation and advisory files that were opened in the fiscal year, plus carry-over files i.e. files opened in previous fiscal years against which time was recorded in the new fiscal year, for:
  • Drug
  • Organized crime and money laundering
  • Criminal Code offences
  • Extradition and mutual legal assistance
  • Immigration law
  • Public safety and anti-terrorism
  • Regulatory prosecution
iCase file management system
Complexity of caseload
Breakdown of the volume of work by complexity i.e. low, moderate, high, and mega-case complexity
iCase file management system
Effective pre-charge interventions/advice
New files where pre-charge advice provided
Percentage of new files where pre-charge advice provided by level of complexity, for:
  • Organized crime
  • Public safety and anti-terrorism
  • Regulatory prosecutions

iCase file management system
New files where pre-charge advice provided
New files with pre-charge intervention approved for prosecution
Percentage of new files where pre-charge advice provided, by level of complexity, approved for prosecution:
iCase file management system
Effective Prosecutions
Outcomes of pre-charge and post-charge review

Outcomes of pre-charge and post-charge review

  • Number of cases stayed by the Crown
  • Number of cases withdrawn
  • Number of cases where charges declined
iCase file management system
Outcome of cases decided on merit

Percentage of cases decided on merit:

  • Guilty pleas
  • Guilty plea to lesser offence
  • Conviction
  • Conviction of a lesser offence
Maintaining public confidence in the administration of criminal justice
Trends in public confidence in the criminal justice system
Joint measure of police and prosecution services
Achieving excellence in managing for results, including legal risk management

Legal and non-legal trends are monitored
Semi-annual FPS legal trends reports produced
Legal risks are identified and managed
Target of 97% of in-house counsel litigation cases are assessed and coded for legal risk
iCase file management system
Improved FPS data quality
95% completion of key data for new litigation files opened and files closed during the fiscal year, for in-house counsel files
iCase file management system
Improved ability to report to Parliament
Statistics on FPS MRRS indicators for 2006-07