JusticeBC
Criminal Justice Information and Support

Crown Counsel

Prosecutors in British Columbia are known as Crown counsel. They are appointed and assigned to cases by the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (the federal Crown) prosecutes cases involving federal offences such as drug violations.

Crown Independence and Responsibilities

In Canada, a crime against one person is regarded as a crime against society. Crown counsel do not represent the police or victim. They represent the community as a whole. 

Crown counsel are independent officers of the court and are protected from outside influence by the Crown Counsel Act. The courts have described the role of Crown counsel in Canada as a quasi-judicial function and matter of public duty. 

The first duty of Crown counsel is to ensure the prosecution process is fair to all, evidence is presented thoroughly and accurately and the independence and integrity of the justice process is maintained. Their duty as professionals is to evaluate and present evidence to the court in a vigorous manner. They ensure justice is done in a fair, impartial, efficient and respectful manner.

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