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Canada, Attorney General, Criminal Code, Division of Powers, Administration of Justice, British North America Act


In 1969, as a result of the redefinition of Attorney-General” in section 2 of the Criminal Code, the federal Attorney-General assumed an increased role in criminal prosecutions within the provinces. This new role has resulted in various challenges to the constitutional validity of the amendment — the provinces claim that the new definition is an encroachment upon the administration of justice power given to them by section 92(14) of the British North America Act while the federal government relies on its criminal law power to justify the amendment. The author examines the 1969 amendment in light of sections 91(27) and 92(14) and analyzes the various approaches which Canadian courts have taken in their attempts to deal with the problems created by section 2.