[<< wikibooks] Canadian Criminal Procedure and Practice/Role of the Crown and Defence
== Role of the Crown ==
The Crown Attorney is invested with the authority to conduct prosecutions on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions for the province or Federal government.


=== Purpose of Prosecution ===
The role of the crown is not to secure convictions, it's role is to present to a trier of fact evidence that is considered credible and relevant to the alleged offence. It is to "promote the cause of justice" and not to persuade a trier of fact "to convict other than by reason". The Crown's job includes seeking the truth. However, it does not mean seeking justice for a complainant.
The Crown is expected to "present, fully and diligently, all the material facts that have evidentiary value, as well as all the proper inferences that may reasonably be drawn from those facts." The use of rhetorical techniques to distort the evidence or to present misleading and highly prejudicial statements are inappropriate.The prosecution of offences is not a contest between the crown and the accused. It is an investigation to determine the truth. It should be done without any feelings of animus.The decision to prosecute is solely in the authority of the crown and should only be reviewable in the clearest of cases.It is not necessary for the Crown to personally believe in a person's guilt to proceed on charges.It is possible for the Crown to avoid a subpoena to provide evidence justifying the basis for exercising their discretion, such as in a corner's inquest. However, a subpoena to attend a commission inquiry to explain their actions will be enforceable.The Crown's advice on the form charges cannot be reviewable except as a possible abuse of process.


=== Discretion of Crown ===
The prosecution is empowered with discretionary authority over many decisions that have limited ability to be reviewed. 
Core matters of prosecutorial discretion cannot be reviewed except for abuse of process. 
Matters that have been found to be part of the core function of the Crown and so subject to prosecutorial discretion include:
the decision to prosecute
the stay of a charge
the withdrawal of a charge
the acceptance of a lesser charge
the Crown election
taking control of a private prosecution
the decision to appeal
the decision to consent to an adjournment 
consenting or refusal to consent to re-election
notice to seek increased penalty


=== Relationship with Police ===
The Crown and police are to consult with each other but the "maintenance of a distinct line between these two functions is essential to the proper administration of justice."The Crown can be liable for their part in giving advice to police during an investigation.While it is acceptable, the Crown should not try to be involved in interviews with parties prior to charges being laid.
R. v. Regan, 2002 SCC 12, [2002] 1 SCR 297 at 61-70


=== Malicious Prosecution ===
To establish malicious prosecution the plaintiff must prove the following:
Initiated by the defendant;
Terminated in favour of the plaintiff;
Undertaking without reasonable and probable cause; and
Motivated by malice or a primary purpose other than carrying the law into effect.The crown must remain separate from the police. 


=== Judge Shopping ===
Judge shopping is where counsel attempts to influence which judge will hear a particular matter. Judge shopping by crown counsel is not acceptable as it suggests that the system is partial.


=== Crown Undertakings ===
Agreements made by a Crown Attorney is binding upon the Attorney General. Their word is to be relied upon. Thus, if a subsequent Crown were to repudiate an agreement could be an abuse of process.


== Role of the Defence ==
A lawyer representing an accused must have undivided loyalty to their client. Loyalty is a fundamental principle of the solicitor-client relationship and is essential to the integrity of system and the public's confidence in it.This requires that there be no conflict of interest with the lawyer. A conflict of interest is where there is "a substantial risk that the lawyer’s representation of the client would be materially and adversely affected by the lawyer’s own interests or by the lawyer’s duties to another current client, a former client, or third person."


== Conflict of Interest ==
Issues of conflict of interest of trial counsel can be raised at any point including on appeal after trial.
The party alleging the conflict must demonstrate that:
an actual conflict of interest exists
there is “some impairment of counsel’s ability to represent effectively the interests” fo the accused
the accused has been “denied the right to make full answer and defence” and “a miscarriage of justice has occurred.”The applicant does not need to establish that he verdict would have been different but for the conflict. 


=== Representing Co-accused ===
A co-accused's counsel may be enjoined from switching clients and representing an accused regardless of the consent of the accused.


== See Also ==
BC Crown Policy Manual