FPT HEADS OF PROSECUTIONS COMMITTEE
REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE PREVENTION OF MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE


FOREWORD

On behalf of the FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee, we are pleased to submit the report of its Working Group on the Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice.

The Working Group has worked diligently for the past two years to produce this excellent report and we are indebted to its members. This report was drafted in close collaboration with the police community. This new cooperative approach will serve as a model for future joint work on issues of mutual concern.

The Heads of Prosecutions Committee has twice reviewed the report and we are pleased to inform you that jurisdictions have already begun to review their policies and practices in light of the recommendations. To supplement these efforts, as a group, the Committee has already taken concrete steps to act on several key recommendations, including the establishment of a permanent standing sub-committee on the prevention of wrongful convictions.

We also look forward to working with Manitoba and the University of Manitoba on a proposed international conference on wrongful convictions in fall 2005.

As the problem of wrongful convictions knows no borders, we have already been in touch with colleagues in the United States to share the insights and knowledge gained through the Working Group’s deliberations.

As this report notes, a wrongful conviction is a failure of justice in the most fundamental sense and all participants in the criminal justice system must commit themselves to preventing such miscarriages of justice.

On behalf of the prosecution community in Canada, we commit ourselves to this important and vital challenge.

D.A. Bellemare, Q.C.
Assistant Deputy Attorney General (Criminal Law)
Federal Prosecution Service
Permanent Co-Chair of the Heads of Prosecutions Committee

Rob Finlayson
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Manitoba Justice Prosecutions Service
Chair of the Working Group on Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice

September 2004


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