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 ensures accountability of criminal and penal prosecutions to seek justice and respect for public interest and the rule of law, on behalf of the State.

  • The DPCP is independent and free of political, police, or media pressure.
  • The DPCP ensures the protection of society and the legitimate interests of victims, their relatives, and witnesses. 

Functions of the DPCP

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 or 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.

Consulting service for police officers and other peace officers

The DPCP may advise peace officers (including police officers) and the persons responsible for the application of the law on every aspect of an investigation or a criminal or penal offence.

The DPCP answers their questions outside regular business hours via the DPCP’s Bureau de service-conseil (in French only).

Vision

To be an independent institution recognized for its care for victims and witnesses, able to adapt to new realities and to foster the confidence of the public.

Values

In order to achieve its vision, the DPCP relies on the following values:

Competence

All staff members carry out their tasks with judgment, professionalism, thoroughness and effectiveness.

They use their knowledge, skills and experience in the performance of their duties.

They are responsible for their decisions and actions, which they assume fully. They see to their professional development and use the technological and informational resources available to them in their work.

Respect

When interacting with someone in the performance of their duties, staff members are considerate, courteous, respectful and discreet.

They exercise diligence at all times and avoid all forms of discrimination.

Integrity

All staff members act with honesty, impartiality and loyalty. They are free from all influences and interests that may hinder the performance of their duties.

Undertaking

All staff members undertake to help the body fulfil its mission, in keeping with their responsibilities and in support of the justice system.

That undertaking is also reflected in the quality of the services provided and the activities carried out.