The Department of Justice is responsible for the dual offices of:
The Attorney General, who is responsible for:
The Minister of Justice, who is responsible for:
The mandate of the Department of Justice derives primarily from the Executive Council Act. This mandate reflects the dual responsibilities of its Minister as both Minister of Justice and the Attorney General for Newfoundland and Labrador. While several other Canadian jurisdictions have separate ministries for Justice and Attorney General, the structure is consolidated in Newfoundland and Labrador. Justice includes responsibility for administering the Province’s legal system. The principal components include administration of the courts, policing, adult corrections, secure youth justice services and victim services.
Reflecting the role and authority of the Attorney General, the Department of Justice provides legal services to the Crown including legal advice to departments, litigation, prosecution and legislative drafting services. Within this role, the Department’s central agency function requires it to provide ongoing policy advice and direction. This occurs within the Department as well as throughout government and its agencies on matters on public interest and concern.
While the Executive Council Act is the primary legislative authority for the Department of Justice mandate, the policies, services and programs are also governed by 96 pieces of legislation which the Department is responsible for administering.
A justice system that is accessible and understood, and which plays a key role in creating a fair, equitable and safe society where all people can pursue their lawful rights and freedoms.
By 2011, the Department of Justice will have enhanced services and responses in the provincial justice system to improve public access to and confidence in the system.
In fulfilling its mandate, the Department of Justice operates in several overall broad capacities:
The responsibilities of the Department are represented throughout the following distinct lines of business:
The Department employs approximately 1537 staff including the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC). Additionally, pursuant to the Provincial Policing Services Agreement between the Province and the Federal Government, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) employs approximately 435 RCMP officers to provide frontline policing services in over 50 locations throughout the Province.
The overall gender breakdown for staffing in the Department is approximately 47% female and 53% male.
At the broadest level, the general public is the largest client group for the Department of Justice. The general public relies on the effectiveness and efficiency of the justice system to protect people’s fundamental rights, liberties and freedoms. This occurs through the full range of services and interventions available through all lines of business. Sometimes this may involve direct interventions and services to particular individuals or groups of individuals, while at other times it may mean broad ranging legal protections that serve to support a free, stable and democratic society.
Government itself is a significant Department of Justice client. Civil law services are provided to government departments and agencies in the form of legal advice as well as representation in litigation. Legislative drafting services are provided by the Office of the Legislative Counsel.
At the individual level, those who are accused or convicted of criminal offenses are clearly identified recipients of Department of Justice services and interventions. Victims of criminal offenses are also receiving increased attention and expanded service within the justice system. Victims and/or offenders may require the intervention of police, court services, prosecutions, legal aid, victim services or corrections at various times throughout the justice process. Clients of Support Enforcement rely on this program to enforce court support orders and to ensure timely disbursement of amounts owing to them through these orders.