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McLellan advises against splitting roles of attorney general, justice minister

The twin function of Canada’s legal professional basic and justice minister that is now carried out by the identical cupboard minister would not have to be break up, based on a brand new report by Anne McLellan, the previous Liberal cupboard minister and deputy prime minister.

“I do not believe that further structural change is required in Canada to protect prosecutorial independence and promote public confidence in the criminal justice system,” McLellan wrote within the report launched Wednesday.

“The model of having the same person hold the minister of justice and attorney general roles was deliberately chosen at Confederation, and for good reason. Our system benefits from giving one person responsibility for key elements of the justice system.”

McLellan’s suggestions had been made public simply hours after the discharge of a scathing report by the federal ethics commissioner on the SNC-Lavalin affair. Marion Dion discovered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the Battle of Curiosity Act by attempting to affect then justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to overrule a choice to not grant a deferred prosecution settlement to the Quebec-based engineering agency.

Earlier this 12 months, Trudeau had requested McLellan to look into whether or not the cupboard roles of justice minister and legal professional basic needs to be reformed within the wake of allegations of political interference.

A few of McLellan’s key suggestions embrace that:

  • The legal professional basic develop a “detailed protocol” to manipulate ministerial consultations in particular prosecutions.
  • An training program for ministers and others on the function of the legal professional basic and associated points be applied.
  • There be a brand new oath taken for the workplace to emphasise the distinctive function of the legal professional basic.
  • The identify of the Justice Division be modified to Division of justice and Workplace of the Legal professional Normal of Canada.

Earlier than her appointment as particular adviser, McLellan, who held the publish of justice minister and legal professional basic from 1997 to 2002 below then prime minister Jean Chrétien, had beforehand voiced she backs the thought of splitting the present function.

She additionally argued that when she served within the publish, its twin nature made for higher coverage.




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