The adversarial process is an accepted tool in our search for truth. The Crown must act as a strong advocate within this process, and it is both permissible and desirable that it vigorously pursue a legitimate result to the best of its ability.
A Crown attorney’s role is not to secure a conviction but to fairly present to the trier of fact credible evidence of an alleged crime. They do so as advocates and they fail in their duty when they do not do their utmost to present as strong a case as possible. The execution of this duty includes cross-examinations that highlights for the trier of fact the weaknesses in the accused’s exculpatory evidence. Where a Crown attorney leaves unchallenged what should be challenged, he or she breaches a public obligation to ensure that a clear picture of the evidence is presented to the court. In short, a Crown attorney must vigorously present a case without fear or favour in order for our justice system to function.*
William Poulos, Barrister
* This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require legal advice a lawyer should be consulted to advise on the specific circumstances of your case.