Public Prosecutions Division
The lawyers in this division, known as Crown Prosecutors, prosecute offences primarily under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act in all Saskatchewan courts and in the Supreme Court of Canada. Crown Prosecutors provide legal advice to the RCMP in its provincial policing role and to municipal forces in matters under investigation.
Over 100 lawyers are employed with Public Prosecutions Division. They are located at the Prosecutions head office in Regina and at 10 regional offices in Regina, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, La Ronge, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Yorkton, Melfort and Meadow Lake.
Articling students work with experienced Crown Prosecutors conducting prosecutions in Court of Queen's Bench and in Provincial Court. Students can independently conduct summary conviction trials in Provincial Court and Traffic Safety Court. A student working in Public Prosecutions Division will gain:
- practical knowledge and extensive court experience;
- an understanding of the wide discretionary powers vested in agents of the Attorney General and the appropriate exercise of these powers in the public interest;
- experience researching and writing legal opinions on matters such as evidence, criminal procedure and statutory interpretation; and
- an understanding of the complexity of dealing with victims and other members of the public.
Legal Services Division
The Legal Services Division provides general legal services to government ministries and agencies. Approximately 50 Crown Counsel lawyers work in this division in seven general areas.
(i) Litigation: Counsel represent the government in a large range of civil litigation matters, appearing before all levels of court and before regulatory boards and tribunals. The types of cases range from personal injury claims to tax matters, class actions and administrative law.
(ii) General Counsel: General Counsel lawyers provide a wide variety of legal services to approximately 20 ministries and agencies of the government. These lawyers provide advice in the areas of health, energy and mines, municipal law, environmental law, administrative law, family law, financial and commercial law, agriculture, education and transportation law, among others.
- prepare contracts and other legal documents;
- assist in the development of legislation, regulations and Orders in Council;
- counsel government officials with respect to legal requirements and procedures;
- provide interpretations of provincial and federal statutes;
- conduct legal research and work on policy projects;
- assist government ministries and agencies with negotiations;
- handle child protection and maintenance enforcement matters; and
- provide general legal advice.
(iii) Constitutional Law: Constitutional lawyers provide legal advice to the government on constitutional matters involving division of powers and the Charter of Rights. They also advise on human rights, aboriginal law, and trade law. They handle litigation files that raise constitutional issues and represent the Attorney General in interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada. These lawyers may also provide advice or representation on Charter issues raised in prosecutions.
(iv) Office of Public Registry Administration: Lawyers provide legal and policy advice to the government on the operation of the Land Registry, Land Survey Directory, Corporate Registry and Personal Property Registry. They provide service directly to the public on complex public registry applications; review and authorize payment for claims under the land titles assurance provisions and compensation provisions for the public registries; and respond to inquiries relating to condominiums.
(v) Legislative Drafting: Lawyers draft all government Bills and Regulations with officials from other government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations. Drafting involves an analysis of the proposed policy to be implemented in legislation, a review of comparable legislation within Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions and putting the proposed policy into proper legislative language.
The Lawyers also oversee the preparation of bilingual legislation and the printing of government Bills for introduction in the Assembly. They serve as adviser to the Legislation and Regulation Review Committee of Cabinet and to the Red-Tape Reduction Committee. As well, the Branch drafts proposed Uniform Acts for the Uniform Law Conference of Canada and works with the courts in drafting their rules of court.
(vi) Legislative Services: Lawyers co-ordinate the development of consultations on, and implementation of, all Acts and Regulations for Saskatchewan Justice. This includes guiding the bills through the legislative process in the Legislative Assembly. Lawyers provide legal advice to Executive Council and the Government House Leader. They provide legal and policy advice to other ministries, agencies and Crown Corporations in the preparation of their Acts, Regulations, and Orders in Council. Lawyers participate in public and legal education respecting the legislative process and new legislation and they provide policy advice on consumer issues and financial institutions regulation.
(vii) Family Law: Lawyers provide solicitor and litigation expertise for maintenance enforcement and child protection proceedings.
The Innovation Division provides services in the areas of dispute resolution, policy development, and the Public Guardian and Trustee.
(i) Dispute Resolution: Lawyers and mediators in the Dispute Resolution Office provide mediation services and training, including court-ordered mediation. They also operate the High Conflict Family Mediation Program.
(ii) Policy Development: Lawyers work on civil law policy development and implementation, including access to justice initiatives and online justice solutions. Crown Counsel provide legal analysis and leadership on federal legislation and initiatives, such as cannabis reform, and promote Saskatchewan's provincial interest. They also work on a wide variety of justice initiatives, such as domestic violence, family law training, and access to justice.
(iii) Public Guardian and Trustee: The Public Guardian and Trustee is an administrator of last resort to protect the property rights of children and adults who are incapable of managing their own financial affairs. This office also includes the Counsel for Children and Youth program.