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The Department

The people of the Department of Justice work to ensure that Canadians enjoy a justice system that is fair, accessible and efficient. We help the federal government to develop policy and to make and reform laws as needed. At the same time, we serve Canadians by acting as the Government's law firm. Our responsibilities reflect the double role of the Minister of Justice, who is also the Attorney General of Canada: while the Minister is concerned with questions of policy and their relation to the justice system, the Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Crown.

The department of Justice is headquartered in Ottawa, and comprises over 4500 employees. Many of our lawyers work on-site in some 30 other federal departments and agencies. Other Justice employees work in our 13 regional offices and sub-offices across the country, enabling the Department to respond effectively to regional issues. Roughly half of the Department's staff is made up of lawyers; the other half includes experts in fields such as research, social sciences, and communications, as well as paralegals and support staff.

Our regional staff provides legal advice to federal departments and agencies outside Ottawa, and is responsible for most of the Government's litigation work in the provinces. The Department's offices in the territories also deal with some responsibilities normally carried out by provincial governments, such as Criminal Code prosecutions and property law transactions. No matter where we're located, Justice employees play a central role in drafting bills for Parliament, whether they originate with the Department of Justice or with another department.

The Department of Justice strives for excellence in the practice of law. It is a leader in Canada and internationally and at the forefront of legal issues that are relevant to the daily lives of Canadians - issues such as human rights, public security, electronic government and bio-technology.

Our commitment is to reach Canadians directly and ensure that your values are reflected in the work we do. To this end, we are:

  • improving our Internet site;
  • pursuing pilot projects to draft legislation in more straightforward, accessible legal language;
  • reviewing the legal aid program; and
  • developing stronger communications and public legal education programs.

The Department is implementing a revitalized public consultation and engagement strategy that includes a new policy and guidelines, training for officials and resources for innovative pilot projects in citizen engagement. We will also establish mechanisms to ensure that the public interest, the bijural nature of the legal system and the cultural diversity of Canada are taken into account when legal services are provided and laws are developed. These measures help us to remain connected to and relevant to the lives of individual Canadians.


The Mission of the Department of Justice is to:

  • support the Minister of Justice in working to ensure that Canada is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, efficient and fair system of justice;
  • provide high-quality legal services and counsel to the government and to client departments and agencies; and
  • promote respect for rights and freedoms, the law and the Constitution.


The Department's strength comes from all members of the organization, who are committed to working together on the basis of mutual trust, support and respect.

Integrity and fairness
As public servants supporting the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, we are committed to respecting and obeying the law and upholding the highest standards of integrity and fairness.

We aim for excellence and constructive contributions in serving our Minister, the government and our clients.


Canada's Department of Justice (PDFPDF Help) (Pamphlet)
Department of Justice - Sustainable Development Strategy
Overview of Activities and Departmental Achievements (2003)
Ministers of Justice (1867-2004) | Poster PDF Help
Overview of Funding Grant and Contribution Programs, 1999-2000
Justice On-Line (JOL)


 Justice Canada, a quarterly publication, includes examples of DOJ leadership in emerging legal areas, features on selected cases and court decisions, as well as profiles of DOJ employees.



Last Updated: 2004-12-16 Back to Top Important Notices