Articles with the Prosecution Service
The Criminal Justice Branch (B.C.'s Prosecution Service) provides prosecutorial services throughout the province. These articles are primarily devoted to the practice of criminal law in a Crown counsel office. Students working with the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) work directly with Crown counsel.
Crown counsel are barristers who must master every element of trial practice including, case preparation, the examination and cross-examination of witnesses, and the presentation of legal arguments
CJB generally hires 8 to 15 students each articling year. Those students work in various Crown counsel offices throughout the province. Indigenous Canadian applicants are encouraged to apply for all ministry articled student postings; two of the Prosecution Service's positions are designated for Indigenous Canadian students. Articled students work closely with lawyers in all aspects of trial work, both at the Provincial Court and Supreme Court levels and may be asked to:
- Do legal research
- Assist in interviewing witnesses
- Appear at arraignment hearings
- Deal with disclosure
- Assist in the preparation of witness examinations and arguments
Articled students will conduct bail hearings, trials, sentencings, and will often make other court appearances. Students may also help provide legal opinions, and draft factums under the supervision of appellate trial counsel in the Court of Appeal. Students also have the opportunity to assist Crown counsel in the Crown Law Division on criminal and quasi-criminal matters of province-wide effect, such as the implementation of new legislation, the development of practice and procedural advice to Crown counsel, and legal advice to other government agencies.
Students are exposed to all aspects of a prosecutor’s work, including providing advice to police during the course of an investigation, reviewing reports to Crown counsel, and assisting in charge approval.
Students who article with B.C.’s Prosecution Service may also request a rotation of two or three months with the Legal Services Branch in Victoria or Vancouver.
By the end of articles, students will have the training required to work as junior prosecutors, including the litigation skills necessary to start a career in criminal law and the contacts to approach if considering a career as Crown counsel.