Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) for Fiscal Year 2016-17

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SO 1 - A Fair, Relevant and Accessible Canadian Justice System

The Department plays a stewardship role in ensuring a fair, relevant and accessible Canadian justice system. This Strategic Outcome is a shared responsibility among a broad range of players, including Parliament, the judiciary, federal departments and agencies, partners in provincial, territorial and municipal governments, a broad range of non-governmental organizations and stakeholders, and, ultimately, all Canadians.

P 1.1 - Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework

The Department fulfils its stewardship role by ensuring a bilingual and bijural national legal framework for the administration of justice that contributes to a safe and just society for all Canadians and confidence in Canada’s justice system.  The Department develops and tests innovative approaches to strengthen the legal framework within the following domains: criminal law, youth criminal justice, sentencing, official languages, marriage and divorce, access to justice, bijuralism, human rights, privacy, access to information, and Aboriginal justice. In addition, in view of the federal government's shared interest in a sustainable justice system, the Department promotes and facilitates ongoing dialogues with the provinces and territories in the areas of shared jurisdiction and provides funding for the delivery of programs that directly support federal policy objectives.

SP 1.1.1 - Legal Policies and Laws

The Department develops and coordinates all federal justice legislative reforms, policy options, and initiatives that promote a fair, accessible and relevant justice system for the benefit of Canadians. This includes the areas of judicial affairs, criminal justice, victims of crime, youth justice, family justice, official languages, contraventions, illicit drugs (via the National Anti-Drug Strategy), bijuralism, Aboriginal justice, human rights, privacy, access to information, security and terrorism. The Department monitors developments in law, policy and procedure; develops and implements options for law, enforcement and policy reforms through legislation; develops and provides information and services to implement new and existing policies and laws; and provides advice to other federal departments in matters related to justice-related laws and policies. As the administration of justice is an area of shared jurisdiction, the Department works closely with the provinces and territories in support of their responsibility for the day-to-day administration of justice. The Department supports the Minister of Justice throughout the Cabinet and Parliamentary processes with respect to both justice reforms and Parliamentary business involving justice matters such as private members’ bills and Parliamentary reviews. Furthermore, the Department supports the government's international priorities related to justice - namely, the provision of policy advice in the development of Canada's international justice policies, the negotiation within bilateral or multilateral fora of international norms, treaties and conventions, the development of legal cooperation programs as well as the provision of legal technical assistance to foreign countries seeking to reform their justice system.

SP 1.1.2 - Justice System Support

The Department, through grants and contributions funding, supports access to the justice system by enabling Canadians to obtain assistance and legal information in order to resolve their legal issues, whether in the formal justice system or through alternative resolution mechanisms. The Department provides ongoing funding to provincial, territorial and non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal groups, and communities. The Justice System Support Program supports the advancement of federal justice policy in the following core domains: criminal justice (including youth justice and victims of crime), family justice, access to justice, official languages, contraventions, and Aboriginal justice. 

SSP 1.1.2.1 - Criminal Justice and Legal Representation

The Department supports access to justice and the efficient functioning of the Canadian justice system.  The Department provides contribution funding to Provinces to help ensure that economically disadvantaged individuals have access to legal advice, representation and information for criminal law, youth criminal justice, and immigration and refugee matters.  Provinces, territories, or their legal aid service delivery entities also receive funding for the management and delivery of court-ordered counsel in federal prosecutions, and for legal assistance in national security matters.  In addition, grants and contributions funding is also made available to a wide range of other recipients to support: (1) alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug addicted offenders; (2) Special Advocates in Division 9 proceedings under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (3) the prosecution of capital market fraud cases; (4) the development of public legal education resources; and (5) projects that assist in developing effective responses to trends and issues effecting Canadian justice policy.  This sub-sub program uses funding from the following grants and contributions programs: Legal Aid Program (includes, Criminal Legal Aid, Public Security and Anti-terrorism Legal Aid, Immigration and Refugee Legal Aid and Court Ordered Counsel in Federal Prosecutions), Drug Treatment Court Funding Program, Integrated Market Enforcement Teams Reserve Fund, Special Advocates Program, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit), Hague Conference on Private International Law, and Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

SSP 1.1.2.2 - Victims of Crime

The Department, through grants and contributions funding, aims to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. As part of the Federal Victims Strategy, the Department provides funding to provincial and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations to increase awareness and knowledge of victim issues, legislation and services available, as well as to develop and deliver victim programs, services and assistance to meet gaps in services for victims of crime.  The Department also provides direct, limited, emergency financial assistance to individual victims in certain specified circumstances, including travel for registered victims to attend Parole Board of Canada hearings and Canadians victimized abroad.  This sub-sub program uses funding from the following grants and contributions program: the Victims Fund.

SSP 1.1.2.3 - Youth Justice

The Department promotes the protection of the public by supporting programs and services which are consistent with the objectives of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  The Department provides contribution funding to the provinces and territories for programs and services aimed at youth in conflict with the law which encourages their accountability, rehabilitation and reintegration into the community; promote diversion from the formal court process where appropriate; and reserve custody for the most serious offenders. Funding is also provided to the provinces and territories for specialized therapeutic programs and services for youth with mental health needs who are convicted of a serious violent offence. Finally, funding is available to a wide range of recipients for projects which encourage a more effective youth justice system, respond to youth justice issues and enable greater citizen and community participation in the youth justice system.  Such projects include programs specifically aimed at youth in conflict with the law, training for justice professionals and youth service providers and research. Funding is provided through the following grants and contributions programs: Youth Justice Services Funding Program, Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program and the Youth Justice Fund.

SSP 1.1.2.4 - Family Justice

The Department, through grants and contributions funding, provides support to Canadians experiencing separation and divorce by facilitating effective delivery of programs and services, such as parent education, mediation, support enforcement and child support recalculation, and developing family law information and training resources. Family justice funding assists the provinces and territories to develop and provide family justice services and programs that are aimed at enhancing the capacity of parents to reach appropriate custody, access and support agreements and comply with those agreements. Federal funding also assists non-government organizations in developing family law information and training resources, supports implementation of the Department’s legislative obligations and policy priorities in the area of family justice, and provides support to program evaluation by collecting and reporting on the funding data. This sub-sub program uses funding from the following grants and contributions program: Supporting Families Fund.

SSP 1.1.2.5 - Aboriginal and Northern Justice

The Department contributes funding to the provinces and territories for programs and services which provides culturally appropriate assistance to Aboriginal people navigating the criminal justice system. The Department also provides funding to a range of recipients who deliver programs which provide culturally relevant alternatives to the mainstream justice system for Aboriginal people. Finally, the Department provides contribution funding to the territories to help ensure that Northern residents have access to legal representation and advice as well as information on the justice system. Funding is provided through the following grants and contributions programs: Aboriginal Justice Strategy, Aboriginal Courtwork Program, and Access to Justice Services Agreements in the Territories.

SSP 1.1.2.6 - Justice in Official Languages

The Department, through grants and contributions funding, provides support to improve access to justice in both official languages to persons navigating the justice system. The Department manages the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund and takes positive measures to fulfill the federal government’s commitment contained in section 41 of the Official Languages Act towards the development of official language minority communities and the promotion of English and French. The Department also manages the Contraventions Act Fund that provides funding to provinces, territories and municipalities where the Contraventions Act is implemented so that they can provide justice services on behalf of the federal government in a manner consistent with the applicable language rights involving compliance with judicial services as set out in sections 530 and 530.1 of the Criminal Code and extra-judicial services as set out in Part IV of the Official Languages Act. This sub-sub program uses funding from the following grants and contributions programs: Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund and Contraventions Act Fund.

P 1.2 - Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was created to provide a voice for victims of crime at the federal level and to ensure that the federal government meets its commitments to victims. The Office provides direct information, referral and complaint‑review services to its primary clients – victims, victims’ family members or representatives, victim‑serving agencies, and other related stakeholders. The Office also helps raise awareness of systemic issues among all criminal justice and victim‑serving personnel as well as provides related recommendations and advice to the Government of Canada through the Minister of Justice. In order to fulfill its mandate, the Office promotes access by victims to existing federal programs and services for victims; addresses complaints of victims about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, promotes awareness of the needs and concerns of victims and the applicable laws that benefit victims of crime, including Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime; identifies and reviewsemerging and systemic issues that negatively impact victims of crime; and facilitates access by victims to existing federal programs and services by providing them with information and referrals. The Ombudsman reports directly to the Minister of Justice and, as such, the Office falls outside the Department’s governance framework.

SO 2 - A Federal Government that is Supported by High Quality Legal Services

Under the Department of Justice Act, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada provides high quality legal services to the federal government and its departments and agencies. According to section 4 of the act, the Minister is the legal member of the Queen’s Privy Council responsible for seeing that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law. Under section 4.1 of the act, the Minister is responsible for examining all government bills introduced in or presented to the House of Commons and, subject to the Statutory Instruments Act, all government regulations to ascertain whether any of their provisions are inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, under section 5 of the Department of Justice Act, the Attorney General is responsible for advising the heads of government departments on all matters of law and for conducting all litigation for any federal department or agency of the Crown with respect to any subject within the authority or jurisdiction of Canada.

P 2.1 - Legal Services to Government Program

The Department of Justice provides an integrated suite of high quality legal advisory, litigation and legislative services to the Minister of Justice and to all federal departments and agencies to support them in meeting the Government’s policy and programming priorities and to advance the overall objectives of the government. Services are provided through a network of departmental legal services units co-located with client departments and agencies, specialized legal capacities within national headquarters, and a network of regional offices and sub-offices providing legal advisory and litigation services to federal departments and agencies across the country.

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