Strategy 18
Track 1

Increasing Indigenous Representation in the BC Prosecution Service

Illustration from Ocean Hyland

Ensuring Indigenous people can take on influential leadership and decision-making roles in the prosecution service.

The Challenge:

The BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) and Crown Counsel play a critical role in the criminal justice system. BCPS is the provincial prosecution service in BC responsible for promoting public safety, justice, and respect for the rule of law. It does this by conducting or supervising prosecutions and appeals in all levels of courts fairly and effectively, on behalf of the whole community. BCPS acts independently of police and government when making prosecutorial decisions.

Crown Counsel are lawyers, who act as prosecutors on behalf of society as a whole. They are appointed and assigned to cases by the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General. Crown Counsel are responsible for representing the prosecution side of the matter. This means they exercise significant power and discretion at key points in the criminal justice process: they can require witnesses to testify in court, present evidence, and explain to the judge and jury the details of the alleged crime. It is important that Indigenous people are represented in the BCPS and as Crown Prosecutors.

The Solution

For a fair and impartial justice system to work and uphold the Indigenous values, it is essential that Indigenous people are represented throughout the justice system, including in roles that exercise significant executive and prosecutorial powers. BCFNJC will work with BCPS and other justice partners to implement a recruitment strategy that will aim to increase the representation of Indigenous people in BCPS and as Crown Counsel.

Line of Action

Set a target of 6% Indigenous people within BCPS and Crown Counsel
Status in-progress