MANITOBA INTRODUCES AMENDMENTS THAT WOULD PROTECT CROWN ATTORNEYS FROM INAPPROPRIATE LAWSUITS
The Manitoba government has introduced an amendment that would protect Crown attorneys from inappropriate or frivolous lawsuits connected to their work, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Manitoba’s Crown attorneys are an integral part of our criminal justice system,” said Stefanson. “This change would protect them on an individual basis from the stress and unnecessary burden of being named in a lawsuit, just for doing their jobs on behalf of all Manitobans.”
The Department of Justice Amendment Act would prevent people who have been prosecuted from naming individual Crown attorneys in a civil lawsuit. Instead, only the title of attorney general could be named as a defendant, ensuring Crowns would not be named personally for carrying out their duties on behalf of the province.
The minister noted Crown attorneys have consistently been named in inappropriate lawsuits in Manitoba, which are ultimately dismissed by the court but not until months have passed. In the interim, the Crown’s name is attached to an allegation of professional misconduct, which can affect the individual’s credit score or cause unnecessary stress.
The change was recommended by the Manitoba Association of Crown Attorneys (MACA), which represents approximately 230 lawyers employed by the province.
“Our Crown attorneys work hard on the front lines of justice in this province and are pleased with the protection this sound piece of legislation would provide to them,” said Keith Eyrikson, president, MACA.
Similar protective legislation for Crown attorneys is in place in Ontario, the minister noted.