The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service was established in 1990 as the first statutorily-based independent prosecution service in Canada.
All prosecutions within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of Nova Scotia are the responsibility of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Crown Attorneys, responsible to the Director of Public Prosecutions, conduct prosecutions independently of the Attorney General.
The only limitation on the operational independence of the Director of Public Prosecutions permitted by the Public Prosecutions Act arises when the Attorney General issues written instructions to the Director of Public Prosecutions. These instructions are binding and must be made public. This procedure preserves the ultimate prosecutorial authority of the Attorney General. This is a means of ensuring accountability to the electorate for the manner in which public prosecutions are conducted.