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Ontario|Government & Justice System
Government & Justice System
720 Department of Justice Canada The role of the Department of Justice is to ensure that Canada's justice system is as fair, accessible and efficient as possible. The Department works with the federal government to develop policy and to make and reform laws. It also acts as the Government's lawyer, providing legal advice, prosecuting cases under federal law, and representing the Government in court. These responsibilities reflect the double role of the Minister of Justice, who is also the Attorney General of Canada. While the Minister is concerned with questions of policy and their relation to the justice system, the Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Crown.
- Mission StatementThe mission of the Department of Justice is to:
- support the minister of justice in working to ensure that Canada is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, efficient and fair system of justice;
- provide high-quality legal services and counsel to the government and to client departments and agencies; and
- promote respect for rights and freedoms, the law and the constitution.
While the headquarters of the Department of Justice is near Ottawa, many Justice lawyers work in legal service units located in 30 other federal departments and agencies. Justice employees are also responsible for drafting bills for Parliament. Approximately half of the Justice Department's staff are lawyers, while the other half includes experts in such fields as research, social sciences, communications, as well as paralegals and support staff.
Many Justice employees work in the Department's eleven regional offices across Canada. Regional staff provide legal advice to federal government departments and agencies outside Ottawa, and they are responsible for most of the Government's litigation work in the provinces. The Department's offices in the territories also deal with some responsibilities normally carried out by provincial governments, such as Criminal Code prosecutions and property law transactions.
- Programs and ServicesThe programs and services offered by the Justice Department cover a wide range of initiatives, such as:
- Youth Justice,
- Crime Prevention,
- The needs of victims of crime,
- Gun Control & Firearms policies,
- Dispute Resolution,
- Access to Information and Privacy,
- Child Support, Custody and Access,
- Constitutional Affairs,
- Electronic Commerce, and
- The Aboriginal Justice Learning Network
- Grants and ContributionsAlong with Department of Justice programs and services, the Department's Grants and Contributions Fund is used to develop policies to test fresh approaches to improving Canada's justice system. To receive funding from the Grants and Contributions Fund a project must meet at least one of the following objectives:
- Promoting understanding and knowledge of public law areas under the Government of Canada's authority;
- Promoting access to justice, equality and human rights in Canada;
- Promoting a safer society through law and social reforms;
- Supporting efforts to make the justice system more efficient and effective and less costly; and
- Fostering a system that serves the needs of Aboriginal people in a fairer, more responsive, and effective way.
For more information on the Department of Justice Canada, call the Communications and Executive Services office in Ottawa at (613) 957-4222, or visit the Department website at www.canada.justice.gc.ca.
For information on other ministries and departments of Canada's government, refer to other sections of Legal Line .