Evaluation of the International Legal Programs Section

2. Profile of the International Legal Programs Section

The International Legal Programs Section (ILPS) was created by the Department of Justice Canada in 2005 to support Canada's whole-of-government approach to the achievement of the country's foreign policy objectives and development assistance agenda.

2.1. Background

The Section initially comprised of two (2) business lines, the IDG and the IRG. The IDG was responsible for developing and implementing the Department’s cooperation initiatives in support of the efforts of foreign countries to reform their justice system. The IRG had planned, coordinated and organized international visits of foreign justice officials to the Department, and senior representatives of the Department attending meetings and/or conferences overseas. The IRG moved to the IERD of the Policy Sector in April 2014.

The ILPS is responsible for providing technical assistance to countries seeking to reform their justice system. The expression "technical assistance" — also called "technical cooperation" and, in the justice sector, "legal technical assistance" — refers to a range of activities that enhance or complement human and institutional capabilities through the development, transfer, adoption and use of skills and technology from sources external to the recipient government or organization. The expression is generally used to distinguish that form of aid from "humanitarian assistance" and "financial support". This technical assistance was for the most part provided through projects once funded by the Canadian International Development Agency or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and which then merged into a single entity in June 2013, to form the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. In November 2015, it was re-named to Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

History of ILPS

The Department began developing justice-related assistance projects after the collapse of the Soviet system and the fall of Berlin Wall, in 1989, at the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which at the time was responsible for supporting post-communist countries. The first cooperative program implemented by the Department was in Hungary and commenced in 1990. Other initiatives followed from 1990-2000 with other former Soviet-bloc countries, including the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. Eventually, countries beyond the Central and Eastern European sphere requested assistance.

In May 1999, a distinct administrative unit within the Department was established under the name of "International Cooperation Group". A staff of specialists was consolidated into a single unit to provide a more coordinated approach to technical assistance on justice issues to developing countries.

Then in 2005, the Section was created with two business lines comprising of the IDG and the IRG.

2.2. Structure

The ILPS, which is part of the Policy Sector, is led by the Director General (DG) with the responsibilities of overseeing the provision of legal technical assistance initiatives to foreign countries seeking to reform their justice system, and strategic advice and outreach functions.

In line with its key functions, the Section consists of a core team of permanent employees and a flexible group of non-permanent or temporary employees on secondment to the Section from across the Department and/or other federal departments. This organizational structure of staffing provides flexibility by maintaining a core complement of staff to respond to ongoing strategic advisory and outreach functions, and temporary personnel to respond to more time limited and specific needs of GAC funded projects.

2.3. Key Functions

The ILPS supports the Department and the federal government in their role on international justice sector development matters through two key functions: project design and implementation; and strategic advice and outreach.

Program Design and Implementation Function

The ILPS is responsible for the design and implementation of technical assistance initiatives to foreign countries seeking to reform their justice system. These activities involve the transfer of technical expertise rooted in the Canadian justice system.

The Section’s program-based legal technical assistance is in some cases carried out in the context of larger government foreign policy or aid-based initiatives that seek to incorporate justice and security sector areas like public safety, policing or border control. This program-based work applies a whole-of-government approach to foreign policy, and requires key competencies associated with international justice sector development, such as knowledge of legal technical assistance theory, solution-oriented system design, and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural environment.

Currently, ILPS’ legal technical assistance initiatives are undertaken at the request and with the financial support of GAC. The Section uses GAC bilateral program funding to work with justice system partners, normally on a government-to-government basis.

To achieve longer-term and sustainable results, ILPS program-based assistance work has concentrated on initiatives that focus on institutional development and capacity building.

The technical assistance team within ILPS includes lawyers, notaries, and other professionals. The Section draws upon the expertise of individuals and institutions from outside the Section - both within the Department and external (e.g., judges, academics and consultants) - depending on the expertise required for particular initiatives. The technical assistance is primarily substantive in nature, and involves the transfer of knowledge and experience on justice sector issues. It can include sharing or advising on Canadian and international standards, laws and policies in respect of criminal or civil matters. Depending on the recipient country requirements, the legal technical assistance may also need to deal with operational matters, such as strengthening the human resources capacity or organizational design of the foreign justice institution.

ILPS’ technical assistance work is grounded in institutional, justice sector reform activities and, to date, has led to the provision of support in areas such as:

Legal technical assistance initiatives have been implemented in countries as diverse as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Mexico, Jamaica and the Palestinian Authority (West Bank).

Strategic Advice and Outreach Function

The scope of ILPS' activities has expanded. Due to its expertise and involvement in international development, the Section has increasingly become engaged in policy development and strategic advisory work to support GAC on matters of justice sector reform.

ILPS’ strategic advisory role consists of:

Research and development activities include conducting research on the legal, social, economic and political situation of a foreign country; research on justice organizational-related matters; legal policy development in the area of justice sector development; and the development of options to guide decision making by developing countries.

Other strategic advisory activities include:

The Section’s outreach activities have included participation in bilateral or multilateral information-sharing meetings on international justice sector reform with counterparts in foreign countries. This has included participation in bi-annual Canada-UK-US Trilateral Forums pertaining to international justice sector development issues. ILPS also co-hosts international justice sector development workshops with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) at its annual conferences.

Partners and Beneficiaries

ILPS partners with representatives of the federal government and justice system both within Canada and in foreign countries.

Examples of partners include:

The beneficiaries of ILPS’ legal technical assistance through the program-based initiatives include foreign countries and Canadians.

2.4. Resources

The resources of ILPS had consisted of a mix of Justice A-base funds and other government department funds such as from GAC. The A-base salary funding (permanent salary budget) that the Section had received was fully utilized to help fund the positions of the Director General and the Director of ILPS, and related administrative support positions. In 2011-12, the decision was made that the Section will operate on a full cost-recovery approach to carry out its technical assistance activities (i.e., on basis of the funds ILPS recovers through the implementation of technical legal activities/projects funded by another government department). The cost recovery approach was implemented progressively. This meant that the A-base salary funding decreased over the fiscal years to be eliminated eventually. Table 1 lists the expenditures of ILPS by fiscal year during the evaluation period.

Table 1: ILPS Expenditures ($) by Year
Expenditures 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
A-base Salary Budget per YearNote de table i 474,190 496,380 508,687 483,253 222,650
RecoveriesNote de table ii 1,518,240 1,342,168 1,482,024 1,755,691 1,368,793
Total BudgetNote de table iii 1,992,430 1,838,548 1,990,711 2,238,944 1,591,443
Operating and Maintenance Expenditures 181,632 206,016 88,019 84,746 68,080
Salaries for Temporary Staff 1,193,368 1,068,253 1,067,680 1,145,780 1,084,007
Total ExpensesNote de table iv 1,849,190 1,770,649 1,664,386 1,713,779 1,334,737
VarianceNote de table v 143,240 67,899 326,325 525,165 216,706
Note de table i

Salaries for the Director-General and Director of ILPS and related administrative support staff

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Note de table ii

Funding received for undertaking the legal technical assistance projects

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Note de table iii

A-base budget and Recoveries (i.e., legal technical assistance project funds)

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Note de table iv

Total salaries (A-base and temporary staff ) plus the operating and maintenance expenditures

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Note de table v

Difference between Total Budget and Total Expenses

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The composition of full-time equivalents (FTEs) within ILPS is fluid since the number of positions vary year-to-year due to the temporary employees that come to ILPS on secondment to work on the technical assistance projects. Table 2 below illustrates the number of FTEs for the various categories during the evaluation period.

Table 2: ILPS Human Resources (FTEs) by Year
Categories 2009-10 FTEs 2010-11 FTEs 2011-12 FTEs 2012-13 FTEs 2013-14 FTEs
Counsel 11 11 12 12 10
Other Professional(s) 1 1 1 2 1
Administrative Support Staff 7 7 6 7 5
Other (StudentsNote de table vi) 4 4 2 0 0
Total 23 23 21 21 16
Note de table vi

Students from the Legal Excellence Program articled with ILPS to provide targeted legal research and writing support to the technical assistance projects.

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