2.10 Application of the PPSC Deskbook in Respect of Canada Elections Act Prosecutions

Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook

Guideline of the Director Issued under Section 3(8) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act

August 26, 2016

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The purpose of this guideline is to provide guidance to federal prosecutors conducting prosecutions under the Canada Elections Act.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is independent in his or her decision-making with respect to prosecution functions but remains accountable to the Attorney General, who, in turn, is answerable to Parliament for the DPP’s activities. That accountability, however, does not extend to the DPP’s authority to initiate and conduct prosecutions under the Canada Elections Act, which is conferred by subsection 3(8) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act (DPP Act).Footnote 1

By virtue of that subsection, these prosecutions are not conducted under the authority of the Attorney General, nor can the Attorney General issue directives with respect to, or take over these prosecutions. As a result, a distinctive regime is required under the DPP’s authority to issue guidelines in relation to Canada Elections Act prosecutions.

2. The DPP’s Authority to Issue Guidelines

For all prosecutions other than those under the Canada Elections Act, the Attorney General has the authority to issue directives both with respect to the initiation or conduct of prosecutions generally under s 10(2) of the DPP Act. Similarly, s 3(3)(c) of the Act provides the Director of Public Prosecutions with the power to issue guidelines respecting the conduct of prosecutions under the authority of the Attorney General.

As the Attorney General has no authority over Canada Elections Act prosecutions, neither the directive or guideline power under ss 3(3)(c) or 10(2) of the DPP Act extends to Canada Elections Act prosecutions. Accordingly, the Director’s prerogative to issue guidelines in respect of elections prosecutions stems from the Director’s supervisory authority over federal prosecutors.

3. Application of PPSC Deskbook to Canada Elections Act Prosecutions

Other than the specific exceptions noted below, federal prosecutors, when initiating and conducting prosecutions on behalf of the Crown with respect to offences under the Canada Elections Act,Footnote 2 as well as any appeal or other proceeding related to such prosecutions, are to be guided by the policies and guidelines for the exercise of prosecutorial authority as set out in Volume I of this Deskbook.

Accordingly, for prosecutions under the Canada Elections Act, the following chapters of the PPSC Deskbook:

  1. do apply (except that references to the Attorney General and to the Attorney General’s powers and responsibilities under the DPP Act are not applicable):
  2. do not apply:

[ Previous | Table of Contents | Next ]

Date modified: