About B.C.'s Prosecution Service
British Columbia’s prosecution service contributes to the protection of society by conducting or supervising prosecutions and appeals in all levels of courts fairly, impartially, effectively and respectfully, on behalf of the whole community.
The Criminal Justice Branch is governed by seven fundamental principles in its exercise of prosecutorial discretion:
- Fairness - We act with fairness and impartiality in our pursuit of justice.
- Independence - We perform our public service without regard to improper influence or interference.
- Rule of Law - We apply the rule of law consistently and diligently.
- Public Safety - We understand the importance of public safety and the need for its continued, informative role in our decision-making.
- Excellence - We achieve excellence by working together and by employing our skills and knowledge in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
- Attitude - We serve the public with courtesy and respect.
- Our People - We are dedicated to effectively supporting Branch staff in pursuit of their professional goals, treating one another with respect, recognizing individual achievement and sharing information, knowledge and resources.
In Canada, the administration of justice, including prosecutions and appeals, is a provincial responsibility, although there are some offences prosecuted by federal prosecutors.
B.C.’s prosecution service was formed in 1974. Provincial legislation governing the prosecution service, the Crown Counsel Act, was passed in June 1991.
There are approximately 460 Crown counsel throughout B.C. The prosecution service is divided into five regions – North, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver and Vancouver Island-Powell River. Provincial headquarters is in Victoria. There are criminal appeals and special prosecutions offices in Vancouver and Victoria.
The assistant deputy attorney general of the Criminal Justice Branch is the head of B.C.’s prosecution service.