Law:Department of Justice Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. J-2

An Act respecting the Department of Justice


Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Department of Justice Act.

R.S., c. J-2, s. 1.

Establishment Of The Department; Attorney General

Department established

2. (1) There is hereby established a department of the Government of Canada called the Department of Justice over which the Minister of Justice appointed by commission under the Great Seal shall preside.

Minister and Attorney General

(2) The Minister is ex officio Her Majesty’s Attorney General of Canada, holds office during pleasure and has the management and direction of the Department.

R.S., c. J-2, s. 2.

Deputy head

3. (1) The Governor in Council may appoint an officer called the Deputy Minister of Justice to hold office during pleasure and to be the deputy head of the Department.

Deputy Attorney General

(2) The Deputy Minister is ex officio the Deputy Attorney General except in respect of the powers, duties and functions that the Director of Public Prosecutions is authorized to exercise or perform under subsection 3(3) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.

Associate Deputy Ministers

(3) The Governor in Council may appoint two Associate Deputy Ministers of Justice, each of whom shall have the rank and status of a deputy head of a department and as such shall under the Deputy Minister exercise and perform such powers, duties and functions as deputies of the Minister and otherwise as the Minister may specify.

R.S., 1985, c. J-2, s. 3; 2006, c. 9, s. 137.

Previous Version

Powers, Duties And Functions Of The Minister

Powers, duties and functions of Minister

4. The Minister is the official legal adviser of the Governor General and the legal member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and shall

(a) see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law;

(b) have the superintendence of all matters connected with the administration of justice in Canada, not within the jurisdiction of the governments of the provinces;

(c) advise on the legislative Acts and proceedings of each of the legislatures of the provinces, and generally advise the Crown on all matters of law referred to the Minister by the Crown; and

(d) carry out such other duties as are assigned by the Governor in Council to the Minister.

R.S., c. J-2, s. 4.

Examination of Bills and regulations

4.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister shall, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor in Council, examine every regulation transmitted to the Clerk of the Privy Council for registration pursuant to the Statutory Instruments Act and every Bill introduced in or presented to the House of Commons by a minister of the Crown, in order to ascertain whether any of the provisions thereof are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Minister shall report any such inconsistency to the House of Commons at the first convenient opportunity.


(2) A regulation need not be examined in accordance with subsection (1) if prior to being made it was examined as a proposed regulation in accordance with section 3 of the Statutory Instruments Act to ensure that it was not inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 93; 1992, c. 1, s. 144(F).

Powers, Duties And Functions Of The Attorney General

Powers, duties and functions of Attorney General

5. The Attorney General of Canada

(a) is entrusted with the powers and charged with the duties that belong to the office of the Attorney General of England by law or usage, in so far as those powers and duties are applicable to Canada, and also with the powers and duties that, by the laws of the several provinces, belonged to the office of attorney general of each province up to the time when the Constitution Act, 1867, came into effect, in so far as those laws under the provisions of the said Act are to be administered and carried into effect by the Government of Canada;

(b) shall advise the heads of the several departments of the Government on all matters of law connected with such departments;

(c) is charged with the settlement and approval of all instruments issued under the Great Seal;

(d) shall have the regulation and conduct of all litigation for or against the Crown or any department, in respect of any subject within the authority or jurisdiction of Canada; and

(e) shall carry out such other duties as are assigned by the Governor in Council to the Attorney General of Canada.

R.S., c. J-2, s. 5.

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