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Plea Negotiations

Plea negotiations or resolution discussions are governed by policy guidelines for Crown counsel.

Such resolution discussions are essential to the proper functioning of the justice system and Crown counsel are encouraged to initiate such discussions. A resolution of criminal charges reduces stress and inconvenience to victims and witnesses and results in a more efficient justice system by avoiding trials that are not necessary. However, in attempting to resolve cases without the requirement of trial, Crown counsel must act in the public interest to ensure that the integrity of the criminal justice system is protected and nothing is done to bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

In cases that involve serious injury or severe psychological harm, where it is practicable, Crown counsel should inform the victim or victim’s family of the proposed resolution and provide an opportunity for any concerns to be expressed to Crown counsel. The victim or the victim’s family can request that the proposed resolution be reviewed by senior management of the Criminal Justice Branch.

If a victim was not consulted prior to the conclusion of the resolution discussions, the victim or victim’s family may request the reasons for the decision.

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