Prosecutorial Services in Canada

Detailed information for 2002-2003




Every 2 years

Record number:


The primary objective of this survey is to provide information on the human resources and costs associated with the delivery of criminal prosecutions services in Canada.

Data release - November 23, 2004


The primary objective of this survey is to provide information on the human resources and costs associated with the delivery of criminal prosecutions services in Canada.

The survey collects aggregate person year and expenditure information for criminal prosecutions services.

Information is collected on salaries and benefits paid to employees working on criminal prosecutions as well as operating expenditures such as the cost of contracts for private practice lawyers, and other operating costs. The survey also collects data on the number of persons employed in this area. This information is collected from all jurisdictions expending resources on criminal prosecutions (Justice Canada and all ten provinces).

This information assists the partners in the National Justice Statistics Initiative in addressing their policy and management agendas.

Statistical activity

The survey is currently administered as part of the National Justice Statistics Initiative (NJSI). Since 1981, the federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers responsible for the administration of justice in Canada, with the Chief Statistician, have been working together in an enterprise known as the NJSI. The mandate of the NJSI is to provide information to the justice community as well as the public on criminal and civil justice in Canada. Although this responsibility is shared among federal, provincial and territorial departments, the lead responsibility for the development of Canada's statistical system remains with Statistics Canada.

The survey is currently administered as part of the Courts Program. The objective of the Courts Program is to collect and disseminate information on the operation of the court system in Canada.

Reference period: Fiscal year

Collection period: Questionnaires are mailed out in late May of the fiscal year following the reference period. A returned questionnaire is requested by late June.


  • Crime and justice
  • Criminal courts
  • Justice system spending

Data sources and methodology

Target population

This survey is a census of all criminal prosecutions branches in all provincial jurisdictions and of Justice Canada, which has responsibility for prosecutions services in the territories as well as prosecutions under federal statutes.

Instrument design

The survey questionnaire was designed and tested in collaboration with federal, provincial and territorial officials involved in the delivery of prosecutorial services. It is a respondent completed paper and pencil questionnaire, and contains only closed questions.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2003-06-13 to 2003-12-12

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data collection is administered through a survey questionnaire sent to each provincial and territorial justice department involved in the delivery of prosecutorial services. Follow-up is done through phone calls to respondents after the survey questionnaire is returned.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data from the survey questionnaire are entered manually into electronic spreadsheets. Error detection is conducted through extensive data table analysis, and data verification reviews with respondents. Large year-over-year changes, outliers and missing data are noted and discussed during follow-up with jurisdictional representatives.


This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Prior to publication, respondents review and verify their data for accuracy.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Individual respondents to this survey (federal, provincial and territorial justice departments) have agreed to the publication of their data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

The survey collects high level administrative data from jurisdictional justice departments. In the case of Quebec, data on the delivery of prosecutions services are not available for municipal courts. Based upon estimates from the Adult Criminal Court Survey (ACCS, Survey ID 3312), 25% of federal statute offences cases in Quebec are heard in municipal courts. Because the information obtained by the survey is produced by respondents in the course of administering their programs, it is generally very accurate. However, where information is missing or incomplete, the attached document notes the nature of the problem, and to the extent possible, quantifies its magnitude.

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