The Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) is a public organization established by the Act respecting the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions This hyperlink will open in a new window.. It’s entry into force was in 2007.

The objective of this Act is to enhance the constitutional independence safeguards related to the public defender’s responsibilities.

The DPCP provides, on behalf of the state, a service to conduct criminal and penal prosecutions independently of all political considerations, in a way that preserves the integrity of the court process, protects society, serves the interest of justice and the public interest, and ensures respect for the rule of law and the legitimate concerns of victims and witnesses.

Functions of the DPCP


  • authorizes and directs criminal and penal prosecutions before the courts on behalf of the Québec State;
  • takes the required actions during trials and sentencing;
  • institutes appeals before higher courts, if the DPCP deems it appropriate;
  • intervenes in proceedings to which the DPCP is not a party if, in the DPCP’s opinion, it is required in the interests of justice;
  • exercises any other function conferred on the DPCP by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Québec.

This institution helps protect the Québec population and maintain the public’s confidence in the criminal and penal justice system. Its independence enables the population to benefit from a fair and honest justice system. 

The Act respecting the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions provides a framework for the activities of the DPCP.

Applicable legislation in criminal matters

The DPCP authorizes and directs criminal prosecutions instituted under

  • the Criminal Code of Canada, in matters involving murder, sexual or domestic violence, drug trafficking, organized crime, fraud, etc.;
  • the Youth Criminal Justice Act, where the offence is committed by youth aged 12 to 17;
  • any other Canadian legislation under which the Attorney General of Québec authorized the DPCP to act as prosecutor.

Applicable legislation in penal matters

The DPCP may prosecute anyone who committed a penal offence under a Québec or a Canada law, that is, an offence leading to a sentence, such as a fine or imprisonment.

Laws with penal offences deal with several aspects of life in society, including

  • highway safety;
  • consumer protection;
  • environmental protection;
  • labour relations;
  • animal welfare;
  • food;
  • public health and many other fields.

See the laws dealt with by the DPCP in penal matters (in French only)


The DPCP is an independent institution that is recognized for its focus on victims, witnesses and their families. It enjoys public trust and is able to adapt to current issues in society and emerging criminal behaviour.


In implementing its vision, the DPCP upholds the values of:


We stand behind our decisions, which can be difficult and even unpopular, while ensuring that they are based on respect for the rule of law, the public interest and the quest for justice. We defend our beliefs and face adversity with determination.


We act with honesty, objectivity, impartiality and loyalty. We do not allow any bias or personal interest to influence the performance of our duties.


We have a strong attachment to public service, the mission of our institution within society, and our organizational values. We focus on seeking justice, protecting society and maintaining the ongoing trust of victims and members of the public in the criminal and penal justice system.


We promote a working environment that supports skills development, consideration for others and inclusion. We perform our duties with rigour, diligence and compassion. We show respect for colleagues, victims, other individuals involved in the court process, our partners and members of the public.