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


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


A fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values is a responsibility that does not lie with the Department of Justice alone, rather it involves a broad range of players, including all three branches of the federal government – Parliament, the judiciary, and federal departments and agencies; our partners in the provincial, territorial and municipal levels of government; a broad range of non-governmental organizations and stakeholders; and, ultimately, all Canadians.

The Department plays a major part in this by carrying out its fundamental role in establishing, maintaining and refining the national legal framework. It also exercises a leadership role in consulting and collaborating with our federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and non-governmental partners to identify and address issues affecting the fairness, accessibility and relevance of the Canadian justice system.

This Strategic Outcome is supported by two program activities: Justice policies, laws and programs and the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

Program Activity A1: Justice policies, laws and programs

Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ millions)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
361 429.80 364 423.01 365 396.12

Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Performance Measurement
Sustainable national justice system
  • Trends in per capita spending by all levels of government in Canada on the justice system
  • Trends in lag time from charges to court resolution
  • Trends in the crime index
  • Analysis of data from Statistics Canada – Canadian Center for Justice Statistics

Key Program Sub–Activity
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Performance Measurement
Criminal law is reformed to respond to emerging issues
  • Trends in justice process (average length of a case, use of police discretion and sentencing variances)*
  • Trends in outcome fairness (proportionate sentences, wrongful convictions etc.)*
  • Trends in the ratio of chargeable incidents (i.e. founded incidents) to charges laid for criminal offences*
  • Analysis of data from Statistics Canada - Canadian Center for Justice Statistics
Canadians have a positive perception of the criminal justice system
  • Trends in self-reported victimization
  • Trends in public perceptions of personal safety
  • Trends in public perceptions of the justice system
Increased compliance by parents with the terms and conditions of family support, custody and access obligations
  • Trends in compliance/non-compliance with family law obligations
  • Key informants study
  • Analysis of data from Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs
Equitable Access to the Justice System
  • Public perceptions regarding access to justice
  • Number of stays in proceedings due to lack of counsel
  • Number of instances of court-ordered counsel
  • National Justice Survey (questions on public confidence)
  • Department of Justice File Review
  • Survey of Provincial and Territorial Partners
Increased involvement of Aboriginal communities in the local administration of justice
  • Number of communities with Aboriginal Justice Strategy projects
  • Number of communities undertaking capacity building and training to support the administration of justice
  • Number of clients served by Aboriginal justice programs (year-over-year data)
  • Analysis of data from the Department of Justice Grants and Contributions Information Management System

* These are new performance indicators, which replace previous indicators identified in the Departmental Performance Measurement Framework.


Under Canada's federal system, the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal government and the provinces. Through this program activity, the Department fulfills its constitutional responsibility to ensure a bilingual and bijural national legal framework for the administration of justice by developing policies, laws and programs to strengthen the national framework. The Department's focus is in five core domains which include: criminal justice, family justice, access to justice, Aboriginal justice, and private international and public law.i As well, in recognition of the federal government's shared interest in a sustainable justice system, the Department also provides significant ongoing funding to provinces and territories for the delivery of programs that directly support federal policy objectives, including legal aid, youth justice services, and Aboriginal justice services.

Benefits for Canadians

Canadians rely on the justice system to prescribe the balance between collective and individual rights and responsibilities that ensure a safe, secure and resilient society. The justice system affects almost every facet of Canadians' daily lives from guiding everyday activities that ensure our safety, to supporting social policies and social benefits, regulating our economy, and offering ways to resolve disputes peacefully where there are disagreements or conflicts between individuals, organizations or governments.

Planning Highlights for 2010-11

In support of the expected results, the following highlights of some of the key Justice policies, laws and programs' activities upon which the Department will be actively engaged during 2010-11.

  • Update the Criminal Code in order to deal with the challenges of new telecommunications technologies
  • Continue to lead the interdepartmental National Anti-Drug Strategy and implement Department of Justice components of the Strategy
  • Implement renewal of the Drug Treatment Court Funding Program
  • Work with provinces and territories to modernize and streamline the criminal justice process by maximizing the use of technology, simplifying procedures, and rationalizing police presence in court
  • Continue to manage the Integrated Market Enforcement Team Reserve Fund
  • Finalize and implement the renewal strategy for the Youth Justice Services Funding Program, while managing current agreements under both this program and the Intensive Rehabilitation Custody Supervision Program
  • Continue implementation of the Federal Strategy for Victims of Crime and the Victims Fund
  • Develop security and anti-terrorism legislative reform proposals
  • Work with international partners to ensure international legal frameworks adequately combat crime, including organized crime and terrorism and with Canadian and United States partners to enhance cross-border law enforcement cooperation
  • Develop proposals for extradition reform to make Canada's extradition regime more efficient while safeguarding the constitutional rights of those sought for extradition
  • Implement international technical legal assistance projects which promote the Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine, Jamaica and Palestine
  • Develop law reform proposals, research plans and measures in support of the government's family justice priorities
  • Implement the Supporting FamiliesInitiative to promote compliance with child custody, access and family support orders through family justice services funding agreements with provinces and territories and Public Legal Education and Information project agreements with non-governmental organizations
  • Implement and manage contribution agreements respecting legal aid with the provinces and Access to Justice Services agreement with the territories
  • Implement the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Review recommendations pertaining to the Special Advocates Regime
  • Implement the training component of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund
  • In collaboration with federal, provincial, territorial and community justice partners, continue implementation and ongoing management of the Aboriginal Justice Strategy and the development of both a renewal strategy and evaluation of the program
  • Negotiate Canada's position in international forums with respect to: security interests in intellectual property; uniform rules for securities transfer and holding systems; and the settlement of investment disputes between countries and foreign investors

Program Activity A2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Program Activity A2: Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ millions)*
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
9 1.31 0 0.00 0 0.00

*Note: The funding profile for the Office of the Federal Ombudsman reflects that the initiative is scheduled to sunset at the end of fiscal year 2010-11.


The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was established in 2007-08. The Ombudsman operates at arm's length from the federal departments responsible for victim issues, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety. The Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister of Justice3 and is therefore outside the Department's governance framework. The Office is physically housed within the Department of Justice which also provides it with corporate services support.

The mandate of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime relates exclusively to matters of federal responsibility and includes:

  • facilitating victims' access to existing federal programs and services by providing them with information and referrals;
  • addressing victims' complaints about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that apply to victims of offenders under federal supervision and providing an independent resource for those victims;
  • enhancing awareness among criminal justice personnel and policy makers of the needs and concerns of victims and the applicable laws that help victims of crime, including promotion of the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime; and
  • identifying emerging issues and exploring systemic issues that impact negatively on victims of crime.


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


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


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. Under section 4 of the Act, the Minister is the legal member of the Queen's Privy Council responsible for seeing that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law. Additionally, under section 4.1, the Minister is responsible for drafting and reviewing all government regulations prior to registration to ensure conformity with the Statutory Instruments Act and all government bills prior to tabling in Parliament to ensure that the bills are not inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Under section 5 of the Act, the Attorney General is responsible for advising the heads of government departments on all matters of law and for conducting all litigation for any federal department or agency of the Crown in respect of any subject within the authority or jurisdiction of Canada.

The Department seeks to attain this strategic outcome through one program activity - Services to Government.

Program Activity B1: Services to Government

Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ millions)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
3,293 183.37 3,334 175.80 3,355 175.82

Note: Planned spending excludes respendable revenue.

Program Activity
Expected Results
Performance Indicators
Comprehensive delivery on the government's legislative agenda
  • Levels of effort dedicated to legislative files
  • Number of bills tabled in Parliament
  • Number of regulations published in the Canada Gazette
  • Number of motions to amend private members bills for which the Department was responsible
Legal Advisory services to support the Government in attaining its priorities
  • Levels of effort devoted to providing legal advisory services to government client organizations
Representing the Crown's interest to enable the Government to attain its priorities
  • Levels of effort dedicated to litigation files
  • Trends in levels of assessed risk of the litigation inventory
  • Trends in the settlement of disputes through alternatives to litigation
  • Trends in Crown results for litigation files – final litigation outcome indicators
Performance Measurement Strategy: Analysis of Departmental timekeeping and case management systems


The Department provides an integrated suite of common legal advisory, legislative and regulatory drafting and litigation services to assist departments and agencies in meeting their policy and programming priorities and to advance the overall objectives of the government, including those related to sustainable development. In delivering these services, the Department provides coherent and coordinated legal advice in the conduct of core and ongoing operations as well as legal awareness training across government, actively defends the Crown's interests before the courts and administrative tribunals, and drafts bills and regulations that give effect to government priorities.

Client departments and agencies have a shared accountability for the government's use of legal services. Consequently, the alignment of legal services to government priorities is achieved through annual joint Department of Justice and client department planning and prioritizing sessions for the provision of legal services and a shared understanding of the impacts on legal risks. In addition, senior departmental officials regularly interact with their colleagues in client departments and in central agencies, and make adjustments from time to time to maintain the focus on government priorities.

The delivery of an integrated suite of legal advisory, litigation and legislative services through six portfoliosii is supported through:

  • specialized legal capacities;
  • a network of 42 departmental legal services units and 4 departmental regulations sections, which are co-located with client departments and agencies; and,
  • a network of regional offices and sub-offices providing legal services to federal departments and agencies in the North, British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces.

There are a number of trends that are having impacts on our planning assumptions for fiscal year 2010-11 in delivering effective and responsive legal services to government. By way of examples, over the past two years, the levels of effort devoted to providing legal advisory and drafting services across government have increased by more than 4% per year and this trend is expected to continue. Additionally over the past three years, there has been an overall increase of 15% in the levels of effort devoted to managing the Government's litigation inventory. In part, this increase is due to a significant increase in the number of high risk litigation files in the Government's litigation inventory during the past three years. This trend is expected to continue.

Benefits for Canadians

The Department supports the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Crown in the ongoing operations of government and in the provision of legal advice for the Government and all federal government departments and agencies. The Department represents the Crown in civil litigation, some criminal litigation and before administrative tribunals. The Department also drafts legislation and regulations, and responds to the other legal needs of federal departments and agencies.

In so doing, the Department directly and indirectly supports the federal government by preparing new and ongoing programs and services to Canadians; by ensuring that decision makers are able to factor the legal implications into their chosen courses of action; and by defending the government's ability to continue to provide programs and services in the face of court challenges.

Planning Highlights for 2010-11

In support of the expected results, the following highlights some of the key files and activities in which the Department will be engaged in providing legal support and policy advice to the government during 2010-114:

Economic Affairs

  • Supporting Government departments and agencies in the continuing implementation of Canada's Economic Action Plan, including infrastructure renewal, investment in housing and retrofits
  • Supporting negotiation, drafting and implementation of federal-provincial labour market agreements
  • Supporting development of a Canadian securities regulatory regime. As part of this process, the government will seek the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada as to whether Parliament has the constitutional authority to enact and implement a federal securities regulatory regime
  • Providing litigation support to the federal government in responding to the judicial inquiry into the decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River called by the Prime Minister pursuant to Part I of the Inquiries Act
  • Supporting enhancements the soundness of the regulatory framework for financial institutions and pension reform
  • Supporting programs and initiatives related to sustainable development

Social Affairs

  • Supporting initiatives to combat cybercrime and enhance Canada's cyber network
  • Supporting ongoing correctional services and parole system reforms
  • Defending court challenges to the constitutionality of Criminal Code provisions, and defending the discretion of the Minister of Justice to surrender fugitives sought for crimes committed in foreign countries
  • Follow-up on recommendations of the Air India Commission of Inquiry concerning transportation security and the protection of national security information before the courts
  • Supporting the implementation of security and intelligence review mechanisms from the O'Connor Report and the Brown Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change at the RCMP
  • Supporting the implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
  • Supporting actions to accelerate the resolution of Specific Claims
  • Supporting the retooling of the British Columbia Treaty Process and to the Action Plan on consultation and accommodation

International Affairs

  • Supporting Canada's efforts in the G8 to create a safer world and to participate in the G20 efforts to address the fallout from the global financial crisis
  • Defending Canada's interests in trade litigation and supporting Canada's negotiating position on economic harmonization in international organizations
  • Supporting the development of information sharing principles and frameworks to protect Canadians and facilitate travel and trade
  • Continuing to defend in the courts Canada's ability to acquire, maintain and share information that is vital to national security
  • Supporting activities to reinforce international agreements and border controls to prevent nuclear proliferation

Government Affairs

  • Supporting implementation of tax and benefits policies and programs, addressing issues of tax compliance and in moving forward with provinces on tax harmonization
  • Defence of court challenges to the $30.2 billion surplus in pension plans established for federal government employees, as well as challenges to the scope of group life insurance plans ($2.5 billion at issue)
  • Supporting the preparation of the Federal Budget
  • Supporting continuation of the implementation of the Cabinet Directive on Law-Making and the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation including roadmapping to modernize the Regulatory System for Project Review
  • Supporting democratic reform proposals including changes to the Senate and to the House of Commons

Program Activity C1: Internal Services

Program Activity C1: Internal Services


This program activity supports the Department's two strategic outcomes. Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of the Department. Treasury Board Secretariat has developed standardized categories for all federal organizations to use for reporting on internal services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, representing indirect overhead, and not those services provided directly to a specific program area.

Program Activity C1: Internal Services
Human Resources (FTEs) and Planned Spending ($ millions)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending FTEs Planned Spending
1,215 104.76 1,237 104.44 1,248 104.10

Planning Highlights for 2010-11

The following provides highlights of some of the key internal services' activities upon which the Department will be engaged during 2010-11.

Law Practice Management

  • Continue developing and implementing national policies, processes, strategies and tools to support legal risk management, knowledge management, dispute prevention and resolution, legal information and systems, quality assurance and gender-based analysis

Renewal of Departmental Systems and Infrastructure

  • Enable legal practitioners' abilities to collaborate and harness new opportunities by implementing a modern and robust technology infrastructure (including a high-speed network, desktop collaborative tools and high-availability systems)

Financial Management

  • Address the recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General's management letter, stemming from the unqualified audit opinion on the Department's 2008-09 financial statements
  • Ensuring compliance to Treasury Board Policies the department will standardize practices in regard to financial management activities based on an analysis of risks and needs, including standards on the management of budgetary resources and revenues, sustainable financial systems solutions integrated with the department's core business, etc.

Public Service Renewal

  • Enhance organizational integrated planning capacity and practices to identify and meet departmental goals
  • Enhance recruitment strategies, including post-secondary, collective staffing, and the enhancement of the Legal Excellence Program for articling students
  • Promote employee development through enhanced legal skills training, leadership and management development, access to language training, talent management and succession planning
  • Continue to build on the departmental commitment to employment equity and diversity through the development and implementation of a multi-year employment equity plan including both quantitative and qualitative diversity goals
  • Enhance departmental infrastructure to support and enable managers to meet expanded human resources management responsibilities and in support of the LA Arbitral Award