PPSC Takes Steps to Address Systemic Discrimination by Updating Prosecution Guideline

Ottawa – March 7, 2023 – The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) announced changes to the “Decision to Prosecute” guideline of the PPSC Deskbook.

The PPSC Deskbook sets standards of conduct for federal prosecutors to ensure the objectivity, fairness, transparency, and consistency of prosecutions through a compilation of directives and guidelines.

The update that comes into force today is the result of an ongoing assessment of our policies, practices and procedures. Our aim is to provide clear guidance to prosecutors on how to be more proactive and conscious about recognizing bias, discrimination, and other factors contributing to over-representation.

The changes to guideline 2.3 of the Deskbook are significant. They include:

In a note to staff, the Director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel said: “By applying this guideline, you are contributing to a criminal justice system that truly serves the public interest. When each of us takes part in translating our values into action, we are able to meet our organizational priorities and the goals we set for ourselves in PPSC’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) Action Plan. In turn, this brings us closer to achieving our mission to make Canada a safe and just society.”

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is a national organization responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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