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Programs and Initiatives

The Department of Justice strives to achieve its policy objectives through various means, including a number of ongoing and new program initiatives designed to provide a fair, effective, efficient and accessible justice system. Many of these initiatives are carried out in partnership with federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, international and non-governmental partners, including non-profit and volunteer organizations.

Visit the Programs Branch Web site for more information about specific funding programs administered by the Department. Descriptions of other areas of work within the Department are found in Our Work.

The Aboriginal Justice Strategy (AJS)
The AJS is composed of community-based justice programs that are cost-shared with provincial and territorial governments, and self-government negotiations in the field of administration of justice. Of these components, only the community-based justice programs provide contribution funding to Aboriginal communities.

Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund
The Fund will assist departmental partners in increasing their capacity to develop innovative solutions to emerging justice-related issues associated with access to justice in both official languages. It will raise awareness among the legal community and official language minority communities about exercising their rights and issues related to access to justice in both official languages.

Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program
Since the mid-1980's Canada has undertaken significant measures, both within and outside of its borders to break the cycle of impunity enjoyed by persons who have committed atrocities. On December 12, 2003,Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) Modern War Crimes Program was moved from CIC to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The specialized units deliver, through a coordinated effort, Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program, more commonly known as the War Crimes Program. Each unit is allocated dedicated resources for program development and delivery on an annual basis.

Child-Centred Family Justice Strategy (Parenting After Divorce)
The Strategy aims to minimize the potential negative impact of separation and divorce on children; provide parents with the tools they need to reach parenting arrangements that are in the child's best interests; and ensure that the legal process is less adversarial (only the most difficult cases will go to court). The Strategy includes activities strengthening federal assistance for provincial and territorial enforcement programs to ensure child support obligations are respected.

Child Support
The Federal Child Support Guidelines consist of a set of rules and tables for calculating the amount of support that a paying parent should contribute toward his or her children. The guidelines are designed to make the calculation of child support fair, predictable and consistent for the benefit of the children.

Family Violence Initiative
The Initiative seeks to prevent and respond to violence against women and children in the home. It concentrates on: promoting continued public awareness of the problem as well as public involvement in the response to family violence; strengthening the criminal justice and housing systems' responses to family violence; and undertaking data collection, research and evaluation measures that will enable the identification of effective interventions.

Justice Partnership and Innovation Fund
The Fund is designed to support short-term, innovative projects that improve the justice system and contribute to the development of policy and program initiatives. Current areas of interest include family violence, legal studies for Aboriginal Peoples, public legal education, drug treatment and projects specific to the development of a justice system in Nunavut.

Program of Research Contracts on Canadian Bijuralism
In 2000, the Program of Research Contracts on Canadian Bijuralism was created to assist the Department in its harmonization work resulting from the coexistence of Canada's two private law systems: civil law and common law. This program also promotes the development of expertise in Canadian bijuralism among law students and contributes to the dissemination of knowledge on the subject matter through the publication of legal texts.

Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI)
The PCVI works to increase the confidence of victims of crime in the criminal justice system through raising awareness among victims of crime and their families about their role in the criminal justice system and of services and assistance available to support them. The PCVI also engages in a number of activities to respond to the needs and concerns of victims of crime and to ensure that the perspective of victims is considered as policies, legislation and programs are developed. These activities include consultations, criminal law policy development, research, analysis of proposed legislative reform, development of new legislation and monitoring of existing legislation, public education, project funding and working closely with provincial and territorial counterparts that have responsibility for victim services. The PCVI administers the Victims Fund.

Victims Fund
The overall goal of the Victims of Crime Initiative is to improve the experience of victims of crime in the criminal justice system by ensuring that victims and their families are aware of their role in the system, increasing awareness about the needs of victims of crime, developing and disseminating information to respond to the needs of victims of crime and enhancing departmental capacity to develop policy, legislation and other initiatives. This is achieved through consultation, policy development, research, legislative review and amendments, and project funding.

Section 41 of the Official Languages Act
The Department of Justice is responsible for a wide variety of issues in the overall implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act. In response to the coordination and accountability framework of the federal government action plan for official languages, the mission of the Department of Justice with regards to the community component in the implementation of section 41 is the following: To provide and demonstrate leadership in implementing the commitment specified in section 41 of the Act.

Youth Justice Renewal
The renewal of youth justice proceeds on several fronts: prevention to address the root causes of youth crime; meaningful consequences for youth crime; and rehabilitation to help young people turn away from crime. It is a strategy that includes reform of our youth justice legislation but extends beyond it.

Youth Justice Renewal Fund
The Youth Justice Renewal Fund targets projects that contribute to the achievement of the broad goals of the Youth Justice Renewal Initiative, such as to enable greater citizen/community participation in the youth justice system; to improve public protection by reducing youth crime; reduce the over reliance on custody; and to target measures for violent offenders.

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