Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) for Fiscal Year 2015-16

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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, legal dualism, 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 criminal justice, victims of crime, youth justice, family justice, official languages, contraventions, illicit drugs (via the National Anti-Drug Strategy), legal dualism, Aboriginal justice, security and terrorism. The Department monitors developments in justice law, policy and procedure; develops and implements options for law, enforcement and policy reforms through legislation; develops and provides information and services to implement 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 also responds to Parliamentary business involving justice matters, including government bills, 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 either through 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 systems.

SP 1.1.2 - Justice System Support

The Department, through grant and contribution 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. This program provides justice system support to advance 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, through contribution and grant funding, facilitates access to justice and the functioning of the Canadian criminal justice system. The Department provides funding to provincial legal aid plans and designated counsel to help ensure that economically disadvantaged individuals deemed in need of legal assistance have access to legal advice and representation when facing a serious and/or complex criminal charge(s), the immigration and refugee determination system, or Division 9 proceedings of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (alleged threats to national security.) Funding is also made available to the other partners in the justice system for specialized criminal justice programs and services to improve access to justice as well as for the development of public legal education resources to respond to the legal information needs of Canadians. This program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Legal Aid Program, Public Security and Anti-terrorism Legal Aid, Court Ordered Counsel in Federal Prosecutions, Drug Treatment Court Funding Program, Integrated Market Enforcement Teams Reserve Fund (IMET), Special Advocates Program, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit), Hague Conference on Private International Law, and Justice Partnership and Innovation Program (JPIP) which includes funding to enhance the justice system response to family violence through the Family Violence Initiative.

SSP 1.1.2.2 - Victims of Crime

The Department, through grant and contribution funding, aims to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. 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 program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Victims Fund.

SSP 1.1.2.3 - Youth Justice

The Department, through contribution and grant funding, supports fair and effective programming for youth aged 12 to 17 involved in the criminal justice system. The Department directs resources towards the federal youth justice priorities of holding youth accountable through measures that are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and degree of responsibility of the young person, promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of young persons who have committed offences, and supporting the prevention of crime by referring young persons to programs or agencies in the community, while also assisting the provinces and territories in their responsibility of administering the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A portion of discretionary funding also exists which allows the Department to encourage innovation around emerging youth justice issues (e.g., rehabilitation, treatment, reintegration, programming, etc.) This program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Youth Justice Fund, Youth Justice Services, and Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision.

SSP 1.1.2.4 - Family Justice

The Department, through contribution and grant 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 program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Supporting Families Fund.

SSP 1.1.2.5 - Aboriginal and Northern Justice

The Department, through grant and contribution funding, supports the development and delivery of justice services that are sensitive to and reflective of Aboriginal culture and allows flexible delivery of justice services for persons living in the territories. The Department collaborates with the provinces and territories in developing community capacity to assist Aboriginal people and Northern residents navigate the mainstream justice system, and in providing culturally-relevant justice alternatives. This program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Aboriginal Justice Strategy, Aboriginal Courtwork Program and Access to Justice Services in the Territories.

SSP 1.1.2.6 - Justice in Official Languages

The Department, through grant and contribution 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 implements the Department's duty to take 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 to enable the provinces and municipalities to implement the Contraventions Act on behalf of the federal government in a manner consistent with the applicable constitutional and legislative 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 program uses funding from the following transfer payments: Access to Justice in Both Officials 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 (OFOVC) 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 amongst 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 promoting the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime; identifies and reviews emerging 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 drafting and reviewing all government regulations prior to registration to ensure conformity with the Statutory Instruments Act and all government bills prior to tabling in Parliament to ensure that the bills are not 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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