Crown Attorney Dedicated to Human Trafficking Offences
Senior Crown attorney Josie McKinney will become this province’s first Crown attorney dedicated to the prosecution of human trafficking offences.
“I am delighted that Ms. McKinney was the successful candidate for this very important prosecutorial role,” said Martin Herschorn, director of Public Prosecutions. “Ms. McKinney’s skills as a prosecutor combined with her extensive experience in dealing with vulnerable witnesses and difficult facts make her ideally suited for this new position.”
Ms. McKinney is Mi’kmaq and Maliseet and an alumna of the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative at Dalhousie University in Halifax. After graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 2006, Ms. McKinney articled with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. In 2007 she joined the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic as Coordinator of Aboriginal Legal Services providing legal advice and representation in criminal law and, in certain cases, assisted criminally accused clients in making civil claims for negligent investigation and wrongful arrest. She also represented clients in the Indian Residential School Settlement claims process.
In 2011 Ms. McKinney was appointed a Crown attorney in the Yarmouth office of the Public Prosecution Service, moving to the Halifax office in 2018. Ms. McKinney has prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases including homicides, sexual assaults and cases of child luring. She is a member of the Public Prosecution Service Sexual Assault Working Group and the Equity and Diversity Committee. Ms. McKinney was the primary author of the prosecution service’s recently issued policy, Fair Treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Criminal Prosecutions in Nova Scotia.
She is a frequent presenter at Crown attorney educational conferences and on behalf of the Crown for other organizations.
Ms. McKinney is active in the legal community. She is a Halifax representative on the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Bar Council, which oversees regulation of the legal profession, and co-chair of the society’s Racial Equity Committee. Ms. McKinney is an active volunteer mentor for law students of the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Initiative.
In her new role, Ms. McKinney will focus on human trafficking prosecutions and provide training to Crown attorneys across the province on human trafficking issues. She will work collaboratively with other justice partners in the effort to combat the broader problem of human trafficking.
This new position is part of the province’s $5 million initiative to address human trafficking, which also includes an increased focus on investigating these cases and on providing support to victims and their families.
Ms. McKinney begins her new role on July 14.