Kaufman Recommendations To Be Implemented

Department of Justice

November 4, 1999 12:16 PM

Justice Minister Michael Baker took the first steps in
implementing the Kaufman Report in bringing forward amendments to
the Public Prosecutions Act today.

Retired justice Fred Kaufman submitted his report dealing with
the operations and accountability of the Public Prosecution
Service in June of this year.

The legislation is being amended to allow the director to exceed
the annual budget of the service by five per cent in the event of
an unexpected, major prosecution. It also means that government
can appoint an outside and impartial individual to review the
expenditure.

"We are not giving the service a blank cheque," said Mr. Baker.
"We are eliminating the need for prosecutors to go hat in hand to
government for financial resources when faced with an
extraordinary prosecution."

Additional amendments require at least 12 meetings a year between
the attorney general and the director of the Public Prosecution
Service.

"We are simply formalizing what is currently in practice, as
recommended by Mr. Kaufman," said Mr. Baker.

Another amendment will ensure that if the attorney general
exercises his authority under Section 6 of the act -- relating to
a consent to a prosecution, preferring an indictment or issuing a
stay of proceedings -- notice must be provided in writing and
published in the Royal Gazette. This amendment is in keeping with
the practice that is required regarding any directive issued by
the attorney general.

The minister also advised that an announcement will be made
within two weeks regarding the appointment of a permanent
director.

On the issue of wages, he has asked the Department of Human
Resources to explore with the Public Prosecution Service whether
the Ontario model, which offers negotiation and binding
arbitration, could be put into practice here.     

"I do not believe it is in anyone's best interest to force a
solution on the Crowns," said Mr. Baker. "I am hopeful we can
agree upon an approach so that we may finally, and fairly, put
this issue to rest."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia's Public Prosecution Service is in for some

changes.

     Justice Minister Michael Baker introduced amendments

to the legislation today based on recommendations made last June

in the Kaufman Report.

     The amendments include allowing the director to exceed the

annual budget in the event of an unexpected, major prosecution.

     It also means that government can appoint an outside and

impartial individual to review the expenditure.

     Another amendment dictates there be at least 12 meetings a

year between the attorney general and the director of the Public

Prosecution Service.

     Meanwhile, Baker says a permanent director will be named

within two weeks.


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Contact: Michele McKinnon
         Department of Justice
         902-424-6811
         E-mail: mckinngm@gov.ns.ca


kjd                      November 4, 1999     12:16 p.m.