Although litigation is frequently characterized as adversarial, some of the realities in the criminal justice system are slightly more nuanced. Crown counsel represent the public’s interest, and not that of a victim or complainant. Obviously the public has an interest on those impacted by a crime, but Crown counsel do not directly represent those parties or those interests.
In 1954, Justice Rand explained this in the Supreme Court of Canada decision, Boucher v. The Queen, 1954 CanLII 3 (SCC), as follows,
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It cannot be over-emphasized that the purpose of a criminal prosecution is not to obtain a conviction,