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PM commissioned report on SNC-Lavalin finds no need to divide AG and justice minister roles

Canada shouldn’t break up the roles of justice minister and legal professional basic, based on a brand new report Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commissioned following the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Trudeau appointed former Liberal cupboard minister Anne McLellan to dig into whether or not Canada ought to separate the 2 roles in March. This got here after former justice minister turned Impartial MP Jody Wilson-Raybould testified that she confronted “consistent and sustained” strain to instruct federal prosecutors to drop the felony prosecution of Quebec engineering big SNC-Lavalin and search a remediation settlement as an alternative.

McLellan’s report mentioned splitting the 2 roles wouldn’t make a distinction in comparable conditions.

“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’s report reads.

“It is clear to me that there is no system for managing prosecutorial decisions that absolutely protects against the possibility of partisan interference, while providing for public accountability.”

McLellan did make a collection of suggestions, together with the event of a “detailed protocol to govern ministerial consultations in specific prosecutions.”

The protocol would deal with varied points of the consultations, comparable to who’s concerned in addition to the place and once they would happen.

The report additionally requires the Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook to be up to date to make clear points like privilege in the case of any directives offered by the legal professional basic. It provides that legal professional generals must be inspired to clarify their causes when issuing a course or taking up a prosecution “in cases which raise significant public interest.”

Different suggestions embrace the creation of education schemes on the legal professional basic’s function, a brand new oath of workplace for justice ministers that identifies the legal professional basic’s function in upholding the rule of regulation, and a title change from the Division of Justice Canada to the “Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General of Canada.”

“Any structure can be vulnerable to improper interference and decision-making based on impermissible considerations,” McLellan wrote within the report’s conclusion.

“These measures will underscore and support the unique and central role of the attorney general. I hope they will enhance Canadians’ confidence in the justice system.”

Criticism of the report emerged earlier than it was even revealed.

“I don’t believe that Canadians are interested in the findings of Liberals who investigate other Liberals,” Conservative Chief Andrew Scheer mentioned simply minutes earlier than the report was launched.

“I was never prepared to give that report any credence.”

He mentioned the extra necessary report is the one from the ethics commissioner, which was launched earlier on Wednesday.

That report discovered that Trudeau broke the federal Battle of Curiosity Act in relation to the SNC-Lavalin scandal by in search of to affect Wilson-Raybould in “many ways.”

Opposition leaders have been fast to sentence the prime minister in gentle of the findings, which have been launched a little bit over two months earlier than the federal election.

The federal election is at present scheduled to happen on or earlier than Oct. 21.


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