Role of Police and Crown Counsel
Role of Police
Police are responsible for preventing and responding to crime. This includes making arrests, conducting investigations and recommending charges. The police continue to be involved as their cases go through the criminal justice process. For example, a police officer may testify in court.
Role of Crown Counsel
Prosecutors in British Columbia are known as Crown counsel. They are lawyers appointed and assigned to cases by the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (the federal Crown) prosecutes cases involving certain federal offences such as drug violations.
Crown Independence and Responsibilities
In Canada, a crime against any person is regarded as a crime against society. Crown counsel do not represent the police or victim. They represent the community as a whole. Crown counsel are independent officers of the court and are protected from outside influence from the public, media or any other party.
The first duty of Crown counsel is to ensure the prosecution process is fair to all, evidence is presented thoroughly and accurately and the independence and integrity of the justice process is maintained. Their duty as professionals is to evaluate and present evidence to the court in a vigorous manner and to ensure justice is done in a fair, impartial, efficient and respectful manner. This includes letting you or your defence counsel know what evidence will be presented against you in court, so you can properly defend yourself against the charges.
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