Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Information regarding the organization of the Department of Justice Canada may be found here.

The Department's functions, activities and programs consist of:

Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

The Department of Justice Canada fulfills its stewardship role by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework for the administration of justice that contributes to a safe and just society for all Canadians and confidence in the Canada's justice system. The Department develops and test innovative approaches to strengthen the legal framework within the following domains: criminal law, youth criminal justice, sentencing, official languages, marriage and divorce, access to justice, legal dualism and Aboriginal justice. In addition, in view of the federal government's shared interest in a sustainable justice system, the Department promotes and facilitates ongoing dialogues with the provinces and territories in the areas of shared jurisdiction and provides funding for the delivery of programs that directly support federal policy objectives.

Legal Policies and Laws

The Department of Justice Canada develops and coordinates all federal justice legislative reforms, policy options, and initiatives that promote a fair, accessible and relevant justice system for the benefit of Canadians. This includes the areas of criminal justice, victims of crime, youth justice, family justice, official languages, contraventions, illicit drugs (via the National Anti-Drug Strategy), legal dualism, Aboriginal justice, security and terrorism. The Department monitors developments in justice law, policy and procedure; develops and implements options for law, enforcement and policy reforms through legislation; develops and provides information and services to implement policies and laws; and provides advice to other federal departments in matters related to justice-related laws and policies. As the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction, the Department works closely with the provinces and territories in support of their responsibility for the day to day administration of justice. The Department also responds to Parliamentary business involving justice matters, including government bills, private members' bills and Parliamentary reviews. Furthermore, the Department supports the government's international priorities related to justice- namely, the provision of policy advice in the development of Canada's international justice policies, the negotiation either through bilateral or multilateral fora of international norms, treaties and conventions, the development of legal cooperation programs as well as the provision of legal technical assistance to foreign countries seeking to reform their justice systems.

Criminal Conviction Review

Description: Includes records pertaining to the Criminal Conviction Review process, mandated by the Criminal Code, which provides the Minister of Justice of Canada with the power to review a conviction in order to determine whether there may have been a miscarriage of justice. Upon submission of an application for ministerial review, a preliminary assessment is conducted. Records related to the preliminary assessment phase may include copies of documentation related to the criminal investigation, such as eye-witness statements, scientific testing, reports and consultations with law enforcement organizations. Dependent on the outcome of the preliminary assessment, records may also include those related to the investigation phase of the criminal conviction review process. Upon completion of an investigation, advice is provided to the Minister on whether a remedy is warranted in a particular criminal conviction case. An annual report is submitted to Parliament regarding the applications submitted and reviewed each fiscal year, which contains statistical data and other information related to the review process.

Document Types: Submissions, ministerial correspondence, applications, investigations, assessments, reports, memoranda, reference materials, waivers, forms, consultation documents and copies of investigative or court documents.

Record number: JUS 1.1.1

Family Law Assistance Services

Description: Includes records related to activities under the Family Orders & Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA), which : trace individuals in default of a family provision; intercept federal payments that would otherwise go to individuals who are in default of their family support obligations; and order the suspension or denial of federal licences and passports. Also includes records related to the detection of duplicate divorce proceedings in accordance with the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) Regulations and records related to salary garnishment and/or remuneration paid to federal employees and contractors related to activities under Division I of the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA). These records include information contained within several databanks: the FOAEA automated information system; the CRDP, a nation-wide registry of divorce actions; and the Garnishment Registry for the National Capital Region under the GAPDA.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Information Sharing Agreements, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, audit and financial documentation, application forms, garnishee summonses and other documents related to the administration of the three programs.

Record Number: JUS 1.1.2

General International Relations

Description: Includes records pertaining to the planning, coordination and organization of international visits to and from the Department. This includes exchanges between the Department of Justice Canada and international delegations interested in learning more about Canadian approaches to specific justice system issues.

Document Types: Briefing notes, administrative arrangements, contracts, research reports, reference materials, correspondence, and mission/visit schedules and agendas.

Record Number: JUS 1.1.3

International Development - Technical Assistance

Description: Includes records related to the development and implementation of technical assistance initiatives in support of foreign countries' efforts to improve their justice system. These initiatives are consistent with core Department of Justice Canada priorities, such as enhancing domestic security by strengthening the rule of law and anticrime capacity abroad, as well as with justice sector reform priorities of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Document Types: Briefing notes, administrative arrangements, memoranda of understanding, contracts, research reports, assessment reports, reference materials, correspondence, and mission/visits schedules and agendas.

Record Number: JUS 1.1.4

Legal Policy Development

Description: Includes records relating to policy development, which contributes to the development and maintenance of a fair and accessible justice system by law reform, policy analysis and development, program delivery, ongoing research and evaluation. Records include those related to planning, developing and implementing laws, policies and programs dealing with issues in Aboriginal and Northern justice, criminal justice and legal representation, victims of crime, youth justice, family justice as well as justice in official languages.

Document Types: Bills, briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, legal opinions, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, House of Commons proceedings, regulations, opinions, appeals, appearance notices, warrants, subpoenas, summons, procedures, proceedings, treaties, studies.

Record Number: JUS 1.1.5

Justice System Support

The Department of Justice Canada, through grant and contribution funding, supports access to the justice system by enabling Canadians to obtain assistance and legal information in order to resolve their legal issues, whether in the formal justice system or through alternative resolution mechanisms. The Department provides ongoing funding to provincial, territorial and non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal groups, and communities. This program provides justice system support to advance federal justice policy in the following core domains: criminal justice (including youth justice and victims of crime), family justice, access to justice, official languages, contraventions, and Aboriginal justice.

Aboriginal Courtwork

Description: Includes records related to the Aboriginal Courtwork Program which provides ongoing funding to provinces in order to increase access to justice for all Aboriginal people who come into contact with the criminal justice system by ensuring they receive fair, equitable, culturally sensitive treatment. Provinces also contribute funding and in most cases contract with third party Aboriginal service delivery agencies who hire Courtworkers to provide a range of Aboriginal Courtwork services that include non-legal advice as well as referrals to services such as legal aid, alcohol and drug treatment as well as family counselling. Records may also include information related to procedures and policies, program design, analysis and evaluation, program administration, training, community referrals, contract terms and conditions, and language requirements.

Document Types: Briefing notes, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, contribution agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, copies of relevant legislation, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.1

Aboriginal Justice Strategy

Description: Includes records related to the Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS), which is a cost-shared program that supports innovative community-based justice programs that help address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system. Operating within the framework of the law, AJS programs provide cost-effective alternatives to mainstream justice processing by holding offenders accountable for low-level non-violent offences according to the same principles used in non-Aboriginal cases. Records may include information relating to procedures and policies, program design, analysis and evaluation, program administration, terms and conditions, and training.

Document Types: Policy related reports and position papers, briefing notes, presentations, ministerial correspondence, communication plans and products, evaluation criteria, results and reports, Cabinet confidences, federal-provincial-territorial documentation (including agendas, minutes of meetings and list of members), corporate reporting documentation, Memoranda of Understanding, Justice Enterprise Model on Transfer Payments, funding guides, program proposals (including objectives, budgets, plans, reports and statistics, anticipated results as well as deliverables), contribution agreements, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.2

Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Initiative

Description: Includes records related to the initiative in support of access to justice in both official languages, which consists of a grant and contribution program designed to provide Canadians from official language minority communities with access to legal information regarding their rights and responsibilities in the official language of their choice and, where necessary, to give them access to a justice system that meets their needs in that language. Records relate to projects funded through either the information or training pillars of the program. Records for the former describe projects that aim to provide direct services to the population by providing useful and accurate legal information in French outside Quebec and in English within Quebec. Records for the training-oriented projects involve the training and development of bilingual justice professionals (such as judges, prosecutors, court clerks and probation officers) in substantive law and language training in order to maintain and strengthen their language skills. The availability of such training will increase their ability to offer services in French outside Quebec and in English within Quebec as part of their work within the justice system, including within the area of criminal law.

Document Types: Bills, briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q& A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.3

Access to Justice Services in the Territories

Description: Includes records related to Access to Justice Services Agreements, which integrate federal government funding support to Canada's 3 territories for access to justice services (including criminal and civil legal aid, the Aboriginal Courtwork Program, and public legal education and information) through ongoing contribution agreements. These agreements allow the territories the flexibility needed to provide these services in a challenging environment (vast distances, harsh climate or cultural/linguistic differences).

Document Types: Briefing notes, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies and procedures, contribution agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, copies of relevant legislation, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, audit and financial documentation, program design documentation, training materials, analysis and evaluation, and community referrals.

Record Numbers: JUS 1.2.4

Contraventions Act Fund - Official Languages

Description: Includes records relating to the Contraventions Act Fund, established to provide financial support to provinces, territories and municipalities who undertake measures on behalf of Canada to guarantee languages rights regarding the enforcement and administration of the Contraventions Act. In the case of judicial services, the Fund ensures that the provinces, territories and municipalities, acting on behalf of the federal government, comply with the language rights set out in sections 530 and 530.1 of the Criminal Code, which pertain to the language of the accused. In the case of extra-judicial services, the Fund ensures that they comply with the language obligations set out under Part IV of the Official Languages Act, which deal with communications with and services to the public, including active offer.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.5

Court-Ordered Counsel in Federal Prosecutions

Description: Includes records related to court-ordered counsel in federal prosecutions, where the Department of Justice Canada has secured permanent funding for the management of court-ordered counsel, on behalf of the federal government, in federal prosecutions. These cases involve federal prosecutions where the charge is serious and there is a likelihood of incarceration upon conviction. This funding reduces the likelihood of a stay of proceedings due to lack of defence counsel.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.6

Drug Treatment Courts

Description: Includes records related to the Drug Treatment Courts (DTCs) Program, which provides funding that supports a comprehensive approach to reducing the number of crimes committed to support drug dependence. DTCs include the following interrelated components: judicial supervision, comprehensive substance abuse treatment, random and frequent drug testing, incentives and sanctions, clinical case management, and social services support.

Document Types: Briefing notes, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, contribution agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, copies of relevant legislation, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.7

Family Violence Initiative

Description: Includes records pertaining to the Department of Justice Canada's role in the federal government's Family Violence Initiative, which involves 15 partner federal departments with the Public Health Agency of Canada as the lead. This role aims to reduce family violence in Canada by strengthening the justice system's response to the issue through law reform, policy analysis and development, public awareness, program delivery and research. Records may include information related to: reviewing, planning, developing and implementing laws and policies dealing with the response of the criminal and family justice systems to family violence; developing strategies, models and tools to improve service or program delivery to family violence victims, raising public awareness of the legal issues surrounding family violence; and developing and implementing support for child victims of or witnesses to family violence as participants in the criminal justice process. Records may also include information related to addressing the needs of service providers for hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups, such as children, and aboriginal and ethno-cultural communities.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.8

Federal Victims Strategy

Description: Includes records related to the Federal Victims Strategy (FVS), a multipronged initiative whose mandate is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. Working in collaboration with victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers and others involved in the criminal justice system, the FVS is the main federal authority for legal, policy and program work on issues of concern to victims of crime. This work may include legal and policy advice as well as projects and programs for victims of crime, victim-serving organizations or allied professionals. Records therefore may include information related to the FVS's Victims Fund, public legal education and awareness initiatives, policy development as well as research and federal coordination in the area of victim policy and program activities (in support of enhancing awareness of victim issues, increasing awareness of services available, reducing hardship for victims of crime, enhancing the scope and reach of victims services and advancing responsive, accessible victim services across Canada).

Document Types: Briefing notes, impact statements, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, fact sheets, reference materials, reviews, feasibility studies, presentations, meeting documents, audit and financial documentation, final reports and evaluations, Treasury Board submissions, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, Green Papers and Option Papers.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.9

Integrated Market Enforcement Teams

Description: Includes records related to the Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) Reserve Fund which encourages provinces to participate in the IMET Program as well as to play a role in the prosecution of IMET-generated cases by providing funding to provincial Attorneys-General that would defray exceptional costs related to these prosecutions.

Document Types: Briefing notes, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, contribution agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, copies of relevant legislation, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.10

Justice Partnership and Innovation

Description: Includes records related to funding that provides support for innovative projects that ensure greater access to the justice system. This funding supports activities that respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy. It contributes to a more informed and engaged public and legal community with regard to the law and the legal system as well as to policy development in the Department of Justice Canada. Records also include those related to funding provided for projects specifically concerning family violence as well as violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.11

Legal Aid

Description: Includes records related to the Legal Aid Program, which provides significant, ongoing funding to provinces in support of their constitutional responsibility for the provision of criminal legal aid services. Provinces use this funding to support legal aid services for economically disadvantaged adults facing serious criminal charges and at risk of incarceration as well as for youths charged under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Funding is also provided to 6 provinces currently providing legal aid in immigration and refugee matters.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, legal opinions, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and funding documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.12

Legal Aid - Public Security and Anti-Terrorism

Description: Includes records related to legal aid in Public Security and Anti-Terrorism (PSAT) cases, where the Legal Aid Program provides contributions to cover costs for persons eligible for legal aid in national security cases. This funding is necessary given the federal government's strong policy interest in national security and related legal proceedings.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, legal opinions, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, and meeting documents.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.13

Special Advocates

Description: Includes records related to the Special Advocates Program, created pursuant to Division 9 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which provides for the involvement of a special advocate in IRPA proceedings when hearings are conducted in the absence of a foreign national or permanent resident (the interested party) or their counsel. Special advocates are senior private sector, security- cleared lawyers appointed by court or the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to protect the interests of the interested party when evidence is heard in their absence, the absence of the public and their legal counsel. This regime is intended to strike the appropriate balance between the named person's right to a fair hearing and the need to protect information, the disclosure of which would be injurious to national security or would endanger the safety of any person. Special advocates are funded by, but not affiliated with, the federal government. Records also reflect the Canadian Minister of Justice's responsibility through the Program to maintain a list of persons who may act as a special advocate in such proceedings as well as the Minister's responsibility to ensure that special advocates have adequate administrative support and resources.

Document Types: Briefing notes, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, contribution agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, copies of relevant legislation, statistical reports and surveys, contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: 1.2.14

Supporting Families Initiative

Description: Includes records related to funding for the Supporting Families Initiative, a range of services, programs and information resources that assist separating or divorcing families in gaining access to the family justice system. The Supporting Families Fund is a major component of the Initiative that provides funding to provinces and territories for their family justice services and programs and to non-governmental organizations for their public legal education and information activities, professional training projects and information resources, particularly those that promote parental compliance with financial support and custody/access obligations.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, and audit and financial documentation.

Record number: JUS 1.2.15

Youth Justice Initiative

Description: Includes records pertaining to the Youth Justice Initiative, the objectives of which are to: encourage a fair and effective youth justice system; respond to emerging youth justice issues; and enable greater citizen/community participation in the youth justice system. These objectives entail the interpretation and development of youth justice policy, including monitoring and analysis of the implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act as well as responding to youth justice issues within broader strategic initiatives such as the National Anti-Drug Strategy, Aboriginal justice, the prevention of violence against Aboriginal women and girls as well as access to justice for people with Fetal Alcohol Disorder. Activities may consist of: reviewing; planning; developing and implementing law, policies, strategies, models and tools; training; and public legal education and awareness initiatives. Records may also include information related to transfer payment programs under the Initiative: the Youth Justice Fund (which funds activities designed to encourage a more effective youth justice system, enable greater citizen/community participation in the youth justice system and respond to emerging youth justice issues such as cyber-bullying), the Youth Justice Services Funding Program (which provides financial assistance to the provinces and territories in their provision of a range of youth justice services and programs that are consistent with federal policy objectives), and the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program (which provides financial assistance to the provinces and territories in their provision of the specialized services required for serious violent youth offenders with mental health issues).

Document Types: Briefing notes, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, Treasury Board submissions, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, reference materials, presentations, meeting documents, evaluations (through statistical reports and surveys), legal advice, federalprovincial- territorial documentation (such as agendas, meeting minutes and lists of members), contract and supporting documentation, and audit and financial documentation.

Record Number: JUS 1.2.16

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) was created to provide a voice for victims of crime at the federal level and to ensure that the federal government meets its commitments to victims. The Office provides direct information, referral and complaint-review services to its primary clients- victims, victims' family members or representatives, victim-serving agencies, and other related stakeholders. The Office also helps raise awareness of systemic issues amongst all criminal justice and victim-serving personnel as well as provides related recommendations and advice to the federal government through the Minister of Justice Canada. In order to fulfill its mandate, the Office promotes access by victims to existing federal programs and services for victims; addresses complaints of victims about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act; promotes awareness of the needs and concerns of victims and the applicable laws that benefit victims of crime, including promoting the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime; identifies and reviews emerging and systemic issues that negatively impact victims of crime; and facilitates access by victims to existing federal programs and services by providing them with information and referrals. The Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister and, as such, the Office falls outside the Department of Justice Canada's governance framework.

Reviews, Inquiries and Recommendations

Description: Includes records related to the requests for information from or the complaints made by victims of crime, victim advocates and victim service organisations that are received by the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. In addition, records may include research and review of emerging and systemic issues that impact negatively on victims of crime, with a view of making recommendations to the federal government.

Document Types: Presentations, communications documentation, reports, correspondence, analysis documentation, case review requests, interviews, waiver and consent forms, activity logs, memoranda, findings and recommendations.

Record Number: JUS 2.0.1

Legal Services to the Government Program

The Department of Justice Canada provides an integrated suite of high quality legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to the Minister of Justice Canada and to all federal departments and agencies in order to support them in meeting the federal government's policy and programming priorities as well to advance the overall objectives of the federal government. Services are provided through: a network of departmental legal services units co-located with client departments and agencies; specialized legal capacities within national headquarters; and a network of regional offices and sub-offices providing legal advisory and litigation services to federal departments and agencies across the country.

Advisory Services

Description: Includes records related to the provision of legal advice and opinions to client departments and agencies as well as to the Department of Justice Canada. Records consist of detailed descriptions of a client's situation or question, interpretation of legal instruments, document review, preparation of contracts, agreements and other legal documentation, supporting background materials, descriptions of possible courses of action and related correspondence.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, conference documents, consultation documentation, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, legal opinions, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, White Papers, plans, policies, contracts and agreements, reports, reference materials, and meeting documentation.

Record Number: JUS 3.0.1

Commissions of Inquiry

Description: Includes records related to commissions of inquiry that are called by the Governor-in-Council to fully and impartially investigate issues of national importance. The mandate of a commission of inquiry, whether advisory or investigative, depends on the nature of the issue to be considered.

Document Types: Commission reports, briefings, submissions, evidence, and working papers.

Record Number: JUS 3.0.2

Judicial Affairs - Courts and Tribunal Support

Description: Records may include information related to judicial affairs activities associated with the development and implementation of justice-related policies, law reforms and special initiatives (JACTP). This includes: the provision of legal advice on a wide range of issues, including the scope and application of the judicature provisions of the Canadian Constitution; the application of the Judges Act; judicial independence; judicial compensation and benefits; the judicial appointments process; the structure and jurisdiction of superior and other courts; the structure, jurisdiction, complement and facilities of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal, the Canadian Federal Court as well as the Tax Court of Canada; judicial discipline; technology in the courts; bilingual capacity of judges; international activities of judges; and federal government contact with the courts. JACTP may provide policy support if changes are proposed to the federal judicial appointment process.

Document Types: memoranda of law and facts, reports and studies, research material, communication strategies, guidelines, surveys, Bills, briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, Green Papers, legal opinions, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, speeches, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reference materials, presentations, and meeting documents.

Record number: JUS 3.0.3

Legislative Services

Description: Includes records related to the activities associated with: the drafting of all federal government bills and motions to amend; the drafting and examination of proposed regulations; the official publishing of Acts of Parliament following Royal Assent and related tables; the updating and consolidation of federal statutes and regulations; and the bijural review of both existing and new legislation to ensure that the civil law and common law traditions are reflected in federal laws and regulations in both official languages.

Document Types: Bills and draft regulations, briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, Treasury Board submissions, White Papers, plans, policies, agreements, communiqués, reports, meeting documents, publications, jurilinguistic and bijural reviews, statutes, regulations, proposals, and Orders in Council.

Record Number: JUS 3.0.4

Litigation Services

Description: Includes records related to the legal support associated with the regulation and conduct of litigation provided to client departments and agencies, with an anticipated or actual appearance before a court or tribunal. Records include case preparation and management as well as advocacy and examination. They may also include alternative dispute prevention and resolution.

Document Types: Briefing notes, clause-by-clause analyses, legal opinions, conference documents, consultation documents, ministerial correspondence, letters, memoranda, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda to Cabinet, Options Papers, Question and Answers (Q&A), Question Period notes, communiqués, reports, reference materials, meeting documents, minutes and court documents including statements of claim and defence, factums, and reasons for judgment.

Record Number: JUS 3.0.5

Internal Services

Internal services constitute groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are management and oversight services, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, and travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

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  • Standard Class of Records (CoRs)
    • Standard Personal Information Banks (PIBs)
Acquisition Services

Acquisition services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfill a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public—internal or external—receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management Services

Financial management services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human resources management services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans.

Information Management Services

Information management services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology Services

Information technology services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Legal Services

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and oversight services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Materiel Services

Materiel services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the costeffective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Real Property Services

Real property services involve activities undertaken to ensure that real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and other administrative services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

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