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BILL NO. 20

                                                  Private Member's Bill

       
                                                                         
                  3rd Session, 56th General Assembly
                              Nova Scotia
                         44 Elizabeth II, 1995

       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                      An Act to Amend Chapter 21
                         of the Acts of 1990,
                   the Public Prosecutions Act, and
              Chapter 164 of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
                      the Fatality Inquiries Act










       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                          Alexa A. McDonough
                           Halifax Fairview


       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                       
       
                                                                         
                                Halifax
              Printed by Queen's Printer for Nova Scotia



                                   
                                   
                           Explanatory Notes




         Clause 1 enables the Director of Public Prosecutions to represent the Attorney General
in inquiries held pursuant to the Fatality Inquiries Act and in proceedings before the Mental
Disorder Review Board.




         Subsection 2(1) adds to the appointment process a requirement that the Director of Public
Prosecutions be appointed upon an open public search.



         Subclause 2(2)

            (a) removes a provision that permits the Governor in Council to remove the
         Director of Public Prosecutions only when the House of Assembly is sitting and replaces
         it with a provision that permits the Governor in Council to do so at any time;

            (b) expands the circumstances under which the Governor in Council may remove
         the Director of Public Prosecutions from when the Director fails to be of good behaviour
         or is unable to act, which is now the case, to also include when the Director resigns; and

            (c) removes the present provision that states that an Acting Director of Public
         Prosecutions ceases to hold office on the fifteenth sitting day after the House of Assembly
         is next sitting or until the Governor in Council rescinds the appointment and replaces it
         with a provision that permits the Acting Director to continue to hold office until a new
         Director is appointed or the Governor in Council rescinds the appointment.

         Clause 3

            (a) establishes a Committee of the House of Assembly to be known as the Public
         Prosecution Budget Committee; and

            (b) sets out the administrative powers and duties of the Director of Public
         Prosecutions.


         Clause 5 enables the Minister of Justice to issue instructions or guidelines respecting
relations between the public prosecutions service and solicitors in the Department of Justice.




         Clause 6 requires the Director to include in the annual report a report on the general
administration of the public prosecution service .  At present, the report is a report on
prosecutions only.  This Clause also provides that the annual report of the Director of Public
Prosecutions be delivered to the Minister of Justice, released to the public and tabled in the
House of Assembly.






         Clause 7 transfers the power to direct an inquest by the Provincial Court from prosecuting
officers to the Director of Public Prosecutions or a crown attorney acting under the direction of
the Director.



         Clause 8 transfers the right to attend inquests and examine witnesses called at the inquest
from prosecuting officers or counsel appointed by the Attorney General to act for the Crown to
the Director of Public Prosecutions or a crown attorney acting under the direction of the
Director.




                       An Act to Amend Chapter 21
                          of the Acts of 1990,
                    the Public Prosecutions Act, and
               Chapter 164 of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
                       the Fatality Inquiries Act



         Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


         1  Section 4 of Chapter 21 of the Acts of 1990, the Public Prosecutions Act, is amended
by adding immediately after clause (b) the following clauses:

            (ba)    may represent the Attorney General in fatality inquiries held pursuant to the
         Fatality Inquiries Act;

            (bb)    may represent the Attorney General in proceedings before the Mental
         Disorder Review Board under Part XX.1 of the Criminal Code (Canada);


         2  (1) Subsection 5(1) of Chapter 21 is amended by

                (a) relettering clause (a) as (aa); and

                (b) adding immediately before clause (aa) the following clause:

                    (a) shall be appointed upon an open public search;

            (2) Subsection 5(3) of Chapter 21 is amended by

                (a) striking out ", while the Assembly is not sitting," in the first line;

                (b) adding "resigns," immediately after "Prosecutions" in the second line;
            and

                (c) striking out "fifteen sitting days after the Assembly is next sitting" in the
            sixth and seventh lines and substituting "a new Director is appointed".


         3    Chapter 21 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 5 the following
Sections:

              5A   (1)  There is hereby established a committee of the Assembly to be known
         as the Public Prosecution Budget Committee consisting of

                        (a)  the Speaker of the Assembly;

                        (b)  the Minister of Finance;

                        (c)  the Minister of Justice;

                        (d)  the Leader of the Opposition; and

                        (e)  the leader of each party that is a recognized party as defined in
                   the House of Assembly Act.

                   (2)  The Speaker of the Assembly is the Chair of the Committee but, if the
         Speaker is absent or unable to act as a member or as the Chair, then the Deputy Speaker
         is a member of the Committee and is its chair.

                   (3)  The Public Prosecution Budget Committee shall review the budget
         estimates of the public prosecution service and make recommendations to the Governor
         in Council concerning the budget and the operations of the public prosecutions service.

              5B   The Director of Public Prosecutions

                   (a)  is responsible for the financial management of the public prosecution
              service;

                   (b)  shall prepare annually the budget estimates for the public prosecution
              service and annually submit them to the Public Prosecution Budget Committee;

                   (c)  may exceed the established budget for the public prosecution service
              by reasonable amounts in the case of extraordinary prosecutions, if the Director
              presents details of the excess expenditures to the Public Prosecution Budget
              Committee within three months of incurring them;

                   (d)  may, in consultation with the Department of Human Resources,

                        (i)  establish the number of full-time and part-time positions required
                   to carry out the functions of the public prosecution service within its allotted
                   budget,

                        (ii) recruit qualified persons for the public prosecution service and
                   establish lists of persons eligible for appointment,

                        (iii)     evaluate and classify each position in the public prosecution
                   service and determine the qualifications therefor,

                        (iv) assign and appoint persons to positions in the public prosecution
                   service and specify the status and salary payable upon appointment,

                        (v)  maintain such records as are necessary for the proper exercise
                   of the management functions of the Director,

                        (vi) report to the Public Prosecution Budget Committee on activities
                   of the Director pursuant to this clause;

                   (e)  may hire an administrator and other support staff necessary to assist
              the Director in attending to budgetary, financial, personnel, purchasing and other
              general administrative matters, which staff shall be under the immediate direction
              of the Director;

                   (f)  shall establish the head offices of the public prosecution service in
              premises other than those that house the main offices of the Department of Justice,
              and shall designate the offices with a sign that reads "D.P.P. -- Public Prosecution
              Service"; and

                   (g)  shall establish a central reserve filing system for the public prosecution
              service separate from that of the Department of Justice.


         5    Clause 6(b) of Chapter 21 is amended by adding "or in respect of the relations
between the public prosecution service and the solicitors in the Department of Justice in the
elaboration and implementation of public policy that may involve but transcend the functions of
the service" immediately after "prosecution" in the third line.


         6    Section 13 of Chapter 21 is amended by

              (a)  adding "(1)" immediately after the Section number;

              (b)  adding "and the general administration of the public prosecution service,
         including its budget and finances" immediately after "prosecutions" in the last line; and

              (c)  adding the following subsections:

                   (2)  The Director of Public Prosecutions shall deliver to the Minister of
              Justice a copy of each report made pursuant to subsection (1) and at the same time
              release the report to the public.

                   (3)  The Minister of Justice shall lay each report, delivered to the Minister
              pursuant to subsection (2), before the Assembly if it is sitting or, if it is not sitting,
              at the next ensuing sitting.


         7    Section 10 of Chapter 164 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Fatality Inquiries Act,
is amended by striking out "prosecuting officer of the county in which the report is filed" in the
fifth and sixth lines and substituting "Director of Public Prosecutions or a crown attorney under
the direction of the Director".


         8    Subsection 13(1) of Chapter 164 is amended by striking out "Any prosecuting officer
or any counsel appointed by the Attorney General to act for the Crown" in the first and second
lines and substituting "The Director of Public Prosecutions or a crown attorney acting under the
direction of the Director".