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PPSC Deskbook updated with Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

Press Release

Ottawa – May 17, 2019 – The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) announced changes today to the “Decision to Prosecute” chapter of the PPSC Deskbook in response to recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The PPSC Deskbook sets standards of conduct for federal prosecutors to ensure the objectivity, fairness, transparency, and consistency of prosecutions through a compilation of directives and guidelines.

The PPSC’s National Committee on the Interaction of Indigenous Peoples with the Criminal Justice System is reviewing the PPSC Deskbook to incorporate Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. This is the first chapter to be updated.

The changes include the importance of considering:

  • whether a prosecution is in the public interest and whether an alternative, such as a restorative justice program, would be more appropriate;
  • the nature of the offence, especially when the accused is a member of an overrepresented population, such as Inuit, Métis, or First Nations;
  • what the sentence will likely be and its relationship to the ongoing trauma of those affected by the residential school system and other historical factors; and
  • significant circumstances affecting the accused, including those identified in R. v. Gladue and R. v. Ipeelee.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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