The Manitoba Prosecution Service deals with the following areas, described below:
Manitoba Prosecution Service is responsible for the prosecuting most offences in Manitoba. These offences are identified in provincial statutes, the federal Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Crown attorneys are prosecutors. In Canadian criminal law, the accused is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to convict, there must be evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed to offence. The Crown attorney is responsible for presenting evidence before the court for a fair and just determination of the case.
When a matter goes to trial, the crown attorney's role is to present the evidence fairly. Before that can happen, the Crown attorney, based on the evidence, must consider two important factors: whether there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction and, whether the prosecution is in the public interest. If a Crown attorney does not believe the evidence supports a conviction, he or she will not prosecute. The Crown attorney is not the victim's lawyer nor is he or she the lawyer for the police or complainants. Rather, a Crown attorney's duty is to ensure that justice is served by presenting all available legal proof of the facts to the court.
The Crown attorney's responsibilities to victims of crime
Crown attorneys have a responsibility to treat victims of crime with compassion and respect. As much as is practicable, Crown attorneys strive to be mindful and sensitive to the needs and wishes of victims. For example,
Often, Crown attorneys call upon Victims' Services staff of Manitoba Justice to explain the prosecution process to the victim. These staff members prepare victims for court appearances and keep them informed of progress on their case. For more information on the rights of victims and The Victims' Bill of Rights which creates a broad and enforceable set of rights for victims of selected criminal and provincial statute offences click here.
Sometimes a verdict, sentence or order made by a judge will be appealed by either the Crown or the accused. An appeal is a request to a higher court to change a decision made by a lower court.
The Crown may appeal a not guilty verdict, or a sentence, if it believes the judge made an error in applying the law. Similarly, the defence may appeal a guilty verdict or a sentence it believes is too harsh.