Message from the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions
The creation of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) was the culmination of an exemplary planning exercise and the efforts of a committed team. On December 12, 2006, the Federal Prosecution Service became independent of the Department of Justice Canada, forming the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Since then, we have been building a new organization we now call the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
The prosecution function is an integral part of the criminal justice system and defines what we are as an organization. Before a case is brought before a court, the prosecutor must decide whether to prosecute. A criminal case is brought to court only when the prosecutor is satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and believes that a prosecution will serve the public interest. The obligation to make this assessment continues throughout the cases we prosecute. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion arises at numerous stages of the criminal justice process, including the charging decision, release on bail, disclosure, termination of proceedings, and granting of immunity to a witness. It is guided by established policies and guidelines that seek to ensure that our decisions are made fairly and judiciously in the public interest.
I became the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions on December 12, when the Director of Public Prosecutions Act came into force. On the same day, I named two Acting Deputy Directors of Public Prosecutions to assist me in managing the PPSC, Chantal Proulx and George Dolhai.
Our first task was to build a new organization. Working with colleagues in the Department of Justice as well as with our federal and provincial partners, we have maintained our principles and standards in playing our key role in Canada's criminal justice system. We have worked together to ensure a smooth and seamless transition, guided by the principle that people are our main concern and focused on the prosecution of criminal offences under federal law in a manner that is independent of any improper influence and that respects the public interest.
This annual report, while covering only a few short months following the creation of the PPSC, charts our progress and chronicles our accomplishments to date. It demonstrates to Parliament and to Canadians our commitment to the guiding principles of independence, transparency, and accountability.
We take pride in the high level of professionalism of our prosecutors and the paralegals and support staff who work with them.
The task before us is considerable as we continue to represent the federal Crown while evolving as an independent organization. The transition will require both co-operation and collaboration and I am confident that our team will rise to the challenges ahead.
Brian J. Saunders
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions
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