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Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

The police send a file for prosecution to a Crown Prosecutor. The prosecutor then considers two questions when deciding if a charge should proceed.

First, the prosecutor decides if there is reasonable likelihood of a conviction. The prosecutor studies the evidence from the police to determine what will be admissible and if it is solid enough to get a conviction. The prosecutor must also consider the defence that the accused may use.

Second, the prosecutor decides if it is in the public interest to prosecute. The following factors are considered:

  • seriousness of the offence;
  • mitigating or aggravating circumstances;
  • personal circumstances of the accused;
  • staleness of the alleged offence;
  • prosecution’s effect on public order, morale or public confidence in the administration of justice;
  • availability of alternatives;
  • frequency of the offence in the community;
  • concern in the community over the offence;
  • likely sentence; and
  • attitudes and interests of the victim.

 

The following factors are not considered when deciding whether to proceed:

  • race;
  • national or ethnic origin;
  • colour;
  • religion;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation;
  • political associations, activities or beliefs of the accused, victim or other involved parties; or
  • political advantages or disadvantages to government or political parties.

 

If the matter goes to court, it is the duty of the prosecutor to present the case for the Crown in a fair way and to keep the court fully informed of all information relevant to the issues the judge will have to deal with. Regardless of the result of the trial, a prosecutor is satisfied if the trial has been fair to the public, whose interests the prosecutor represents, and to the accused.



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