Public Safety and Anti-terrorism (PSAT) Initiative,
Summative Evaluation

3. Profile of the Department of Justice component of the PSAT Initiative

3. Profile of the Department of Justice component of the PSAT Initiative

The Department's role in the PSAT Initiative is to provide legislative support and policy development, legal advice and assistance, prosecution and civil litigation. The additional funding provided to the Department under PSAT is intended primarily to address an increased demand for its services resulting from the sudden and intense demands placed on the Department in the period immediately following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as the anticipated increase in the level of activity in the areas of anti-terrorism and public safety.

3.1. Logic of the Department's PSAT Component

This section describes the Department's PSAT component logic, including its activities and expected impacts. Figure 1 (page 8) presents a diagram of activities, outputs and outcomes.[5]

3.1.1. Activities and outputs

Six core activities under the PSAT Initiative reflect the legal advisor role the Department plays in the Initiative. These activities are presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Department of Justice PSAT activities
Activity Description
Policy development and analysis Assisting with drafting policy and legislation, research, and legal advice to the Minister of Justice and other government departments on new or existing legislation, policies, and initiatives related to terrorism or public safety
Legal advice and assistance Advising on anti-terrorism and public safety policies as well as operational issues, such as the disclosure of sensitive documents and the use of investigative techniques
International advice and assistance Providing legal advice and technical assistance in negotiating international instruments, and implementing international obligations through domestic legislation, assisting other countries with the development of anti-terrorism legislation, as well as generally supporting the work of Canada with its international partners on issues related to anti-terrorism and public safety
Outreach, training and education Providing training and educational sessions on the ATA forgovernment departments and the general public
Civil litigation and prosecution Handling civil challenges to the ATA and PSA, as well as requests for disclosure of sensitive documents, and managing or supporting prosecutions for terrorism-related offences
Provision of contribution funding to the provinces and territories or their legal aid delivery entities Ensuring that the economically disadvantaged accused affected by public safety and anti-terrorism initiatives have access to legal aid

Source: Based on descriptions in the Department of Justice (2006). Results-based Management and Accountability Framework for the Public Safety and Anti-Terrorism Initiative.

3.1.2. Expected impacts

The activities listed in section 3.1.1 are expected to contribute to the achievement of the following initial outcomes:

Engagement with other departmental representatives, client organizations, and other jurisdictions in relevant public safety and anti-terrorism activities:
This impact is considered a necessary effect of the Department's activities under its PSAT component. In providing legal advice and assistance, the various departmental sections involved in the Initiative must interact, as each brings different expertise to the legal issues involved. As well, legal advice and assistance are provided to client organizations within the Canadian government and other jurisdictions.

Departmental representatives, client organizations, and other jurisdictions develop more effective laws, regulations, and policies:
Through its role as legal advisor, the Department is expected to assist client organizations and other jurisdictions in developing laws, regulations and policies that will support law enforcement and national security agencies with their public safety and anti-terrorism efforts while ensuring that issues of fundamental fairness and human rights are respected.

Increased knowledge and understanding among key participants in the justice system, and others, of laws and regulations related to public safety and anti-terrorism:
Through the Department's educational and training activities, it is expected that those involved in the justice system will become more aware and gain a greater understanding of the legislative provisions. This improved awareness will enhance the ability of law enforcement and national security personnel to use the provisions effectively.

Department representatives, client organizations, and other jurisdictions have an enhanced ability to investigate, litigate, and/or prosecute cases where terrorism or other threats to public safety and anti-terrorism are involved or where disclosure of sensitive information is an issue:
The anti-terrorism and public safety legislation provides additional tools to investigators and prosecutors, and is expected to result in more effective investigations, litigations and prosecutions that will prevent and/or punish terrorist activities while also protecting sensitive information from disclosure during court proceedings.

Legal aid provided to the economically-disadvantaged accused affected by the public safety and anti-terrorism initiatives:
To ensure that the new anti-terrorism and public safety legislation does not adversely affect low-income accused, the Department provides contribution funding to the provinces and territories to support legal aid in handling these cases. This provision of funds for legal aid is intended to ensure that the constitutional rights of accused are protected.

The successful achievement of the initial outcomes will also support the following intermediate outcomes:

More effective programs, use of intelligence, investigation, and detection by federal/provincial/territorial governments related to public safety and anti-terrorism:
The federal government expects that the development of anti-terrorism and public safety legislation, and the provision of legal advice, education and training, will result in more effective programs, intelligence, investigative operations and detection.

More effective litigation and prosecution:
The involvement of Justice counsel is expected to enhance the department's ability to conduct litigation and prosecutions related to terrorism and public safety.

Improved international efforts in the fight against terrorism:
It is expected that the international efforts will be improved in three main ways: through providing legal advice to government organizations involved in negotiating international instruments; through assisting in the investigation, litigation and prosecution of suspected terrorists at home and abroad; and, through assisting other countries in building their capacity to respond to terrorism through improved legislation.

Greater access to justice:
Through ensuring that legal aid is available to economically-disadvantaged accused in terrorism-related cases, and by providing education and training to ensure that the anti-terrorism and public safety legislation is understood and properly used, it is expected that the Department will contribute to greater access to justice.

Finally, the activities are expected to lead to the ultimate outcome of enhanced public safety and security while respecting human rights.

Figure 1, Logic Model for Public Safety and Anti-Terrorism Initiative

3.2. Main sections involved in the Department's PSAT Initiative

Public safety and anti-terrorism issues cut across subject areas and legal specialties, requiring collaboration and consultation among relevant Department of Justice organizational units, other federal departments, provincial governments, and international counterparts. For this reason, the structure of relationships within the PSAT Initiative is complex.

The following are the main groups within the Department of Justice that have a role in its PSAT component:

Table 4 shows in greater detail the main sections in the Department that are involved in the PSAT Initiative, and provides descriptions of their involvement. Please note that Table 4 does not include sections that provide organizational, administrative, and evaluation support, such as the Executive Services Office, Corporate Services, or the Evaluation Division.

Table 4 is based on the structure of the Department prior to December 12, 2006, the effective date of the PPSC. The FPS regional offices and the Ottawa-Gatineau office discussed in Table 4 are now part of the PPSC, except for counsel who perform extradition and mutual legal assistance work. The NSG and IAG remain part of the Department of Justice.

Table 4: Department of Justice sections involved in the PSAT Initiative (April 2001 – December 11, 2006, prior to the effective date of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions)

3.3. Funding

The federal government allocated 1% ($78 million) of its $7.7 billion PSAT budget to the Department of Justice. Most of these funds are dedicated to the provision of PSAT-related legal services, including legal support, advice and assistance at the national and international levels, as well as conducting prosecutions and civil litigation related to anti-terrorism and public safety legislation and policies. In addition, $2.5 million per year is used to provide legal aid funds to provinces and territories to cover costs of PSAT-related criminal legal aid services, such as immigration and refugee legal aid or representation for those charged under the ATA.

Usually when the TB approves additional resources for a department, these new funds are combined with the existing resources, and the department can reallocate the funds, subject to standard policies and regulations governing departmental spending. For national security programs like the PSAT Initiative, TB requires funded departments to establish special purpose allotments, whereby all money received has to be disbursed exclusively on the basis of the TB submissions and cannot be reallocated internally for other purposes without TB approval.

In the Initiative's first year (2002-03), the Department lapsed $1.6 million under Vote 1 and the entire $2.5 million under Vote 5 because of the late receipt of PSAT funding and the lack of terms and conditions for the legal aid funding.[6] Due to the nature of special purpose allotments, which restrict internal reallocation, and also as a result of the lapsed funds, the Department decided to contribute the projected portion of PSAT funds it could not use to the government's budget reallocation exercise. Since 2002-03, the demand for PSAT-related services has grown, but the Department had already committed PSAT funds for reallocation. As a result, there have been deficits in its PSAT budget for 2003-04 and 2005-06 in Vote 1.

Table 5: Fund allocation