General Guidelines Concerning Interpretation

In the Manual, the following general guidelines apply:

  1. a word importing a masculine gender includes the feminine gender, and a word importing a feminine gender includes the masculine gender
  2. a word in the singular includes the plural, and a word in the plural includes the singular
  3. where a word is defined, other parts of speech and tenses of the same word have corresponding meaning

Specific Definitions

In the Manual, except where the context requires otherwise, each of the following words and phrases has the corresponding meaning that is set out below:

“accused” refers to a person charged with an offence and alleged to have committed an offence

“approval” means receiving prior permission, absent exceptional circumstances

“Attorney General” means the principal law officer of “the Prosecution service”; the Minister of the provincial government responsible for the administration of justice

“Crown Attorney” means the Crown Attorney of a particular jurisdiction

“Director” means the Director of Crown Operations of a particular region, the Director of the Crown Law Office – Criminal or the Director of Guns and Gangs

“designate” means the approval function has been delegated to experienced counsel who were selected and approved by the appropriate supervisor

“exceptional circumstances” are those where public safety including that of specific victims or overall public interest is better served by departing from the recommended course of action and includes unusual or unique situations arising in criminal prosecutions, many of them unforeseeable; issues relating to expediency or complexity do not constitute exceptional circumstances

“may” indicates that there is an issue that must be considered or a discretion to exercise, and that decision or action may, or may not, be taken

“must” indicates a mandatory direction made by the Attorney General

“must, absent exceptional circumstances” means that the Attorney General’s policy strongly leans toward the suggested course of action, but takes into account the unique situations that arise in criminal prosecutions

“must obtain approval from…” signifies an action or decision that requires supervisory permission received prior to the action or decision being made, absent exceptional circumstances

“offender” means a person who has been determined by a court to be guilty of an offence, whether on acceptance of a plea of guilty or on a finding of guilt

“Prosecutor” means counsel responsible for criminal and quasi-criminal prosecutions and related matters on behalf of the Attorney General, and includes outside prosecutors and per diem prosecutors

“shall” reflects a legal requirement relating to a statutory obligation

“should” indicates that there is an expectation that a task will be carried out, but recognizes that it may not always be possible or desirable to do so in the particular circumstance