Justice, Department of

The Department of Justice was established in 1868 by an Act of Parliament. The department's responsibilities encompass all matters concerned with the administration of justice in Canada (excluding the jurisdiction of the provinces or territories); it also provides legal advice to the governor general, the drafting of legislation, contracts and other legal documents, and ensuring that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law. The minister of justice is traditionally also the attorney general and is responsible for the regulation and conduct of all litigation for or against the Crown or any public department, as well as making legal advisory services available to all federal government departments and agencies.

The department carries out, on behalf of the federal government, the legal functions and services customarily performed by a law firm for its clients. The Tax Court of Canada, the CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION and the SUPREME COURT OF CANADA report to Parliament through the minister.