Letterbooks of the Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice

Available reels: 194

Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Justice.
Letterbooks of the Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice
Livres de copies de lettres du bureau du sous-ministre de la Justice
RG 13
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 consists of indexed letterbooks, arranged in chronological order, containing copies of outgoing correspondence from the office of the Deputy Minister of Justice.