Department of Justice, Central Registry : Indexes and registers

Available reels: 46

Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Justice.
Department of Justice, Central Registry : Indexes and registers
RG 13 A 1
Law and Justice
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
At the time of Confederation, the province of Canada had two Crown Law Departments, one for Canada West (now Ontario) and one for Canada East (now Quebec). At Confederation, the Crown Law Department, Canada West began to act as the new Department of Justice, reporting to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald (1815 -1891), who was also Minister of Justice and Attorney General. The Department of Justice came into being officially in May 1868, when the Department of Justice Act was passed by Parliament. The Act formally recognized the informal structure that was already in place. The Act also laid out the distinct roles of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General: the Minister was a partisan political adviser to the Crown, while the Attorney General provided legal services. However, the Minister of Justice has traditionally also been the Attorney General. The department's responsibilities encompass all matters concerned with the administration of justice in Canada (excluding the jurisdiction of the provinces or territories); it also provides legal advice to the governor general, the drafting of legislation, contracts and other legal documents, and ensuring that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law.
This collection contains bound registers and indexes for the years 1859 to 1934. An index exists for every year from 1861 to 1909, but not for the years 1859 to 1860 and 1868. After 1909, the indexes were grouped together for the periods 1910-1919, 1920-1929, and 1930-1934. The indexes are arranged alphabetically by the names of individuals, by the names of Canadian government departments (e.g. Agriculture, Interior, Marine and Fisheries, Trade and Commerce, etc.) and by subject (e.g. Dominion Police, Extradition, Judges, Legislation, Water Lots). Most entries include a brief summary of the document's contents plus a reference to the docket (file) number in the register for that year.