An efficient system of justice is an essential basis for economic and social advancement, and the justice sector is increasingly seen as a crucial component of any modernization effort. As a result, foreign countries often turn to Canada to assist in developing reform programs in this area.
The Department of Justice has, over the past twenty years, carried out assistance activities of various scope in several countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Mexico and Jamaica.
The enhancement of justice usually involves two main initiatives: the improvement of the laws themselves and the strengthening of law-related institutions. With its wide-ranging experience and extensive contacts in the broader legal community, the Department of Justice can provide support for reforms in both these areas.
More specifically, the Department has over the years developed and implemented initiatives on subject such as:
- criminal legislation;
- Civil Code reform;
- the functioning of the criminal prosecution function;
- legislative drafting;
- the prevention of government corruption;
- the organization of a ministry of justice;
- the structure and functioning of a specialized law reform agency;
- regulation of the legal profession; and
- the system for appointing judges.
The Department does not provide technical assistance out of its own resources. Its projects are undertaken at the request, and with the financial support, of the Canadian International Development Agency or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The Department’s aid activities are carried out by a specialized unit comprised of lawyers and other professionals who work full-time in this field. When appropriate, that unit invites experts from other federal departments, the provinces, universities and the private sector to participate in its projects.
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