“There is a longstanding practice in Alberta for police officers to act as prosecutors at bail hearings before justices of the peace … the Attorney General … has applied … for a declaration that police officers have the legal authority to do so under the Criminal Code, so that this practice may continue.”
Held: Declaration that police officers do not have authority to appear as prosecutors for bail.
The delegation of the role of prosecutor to police is not permitted by the Criminal Code. Unlike s. 785 CC which expressly permits non-lawyers to appear on summary conviction matters, Part 16 of the Code, read as a whole, dictates that “Parliament chose to assign the task of showing cause at bail hearings to a prosecutor only … Parliament intended for legally-trained persons to act in the prosecutorial role for indictable offences.” Timing of the declaration suspended for 6 months given public safety and administration of justice concerns.
D. Hatch – for CTLA and CDLA