National Prosecution Awards honour prosecutors’ role in criminal justice system

2020 award went to the SNC-Lavalin Public Prosecution Service of Canada prosecution team

National Prosecution Awards honour prosecutors’ role in criminal justice system

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee has distinguished the outstanding achievements of Canadian prosecutors through this year’s National Prosecution Awards at a ceremony conducted on Dec. 2.

The Commitment to Justice Award 2020 went to Robert Hubbard and to François Lacasse.

Hubbard, Crown Counsel at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto, has served as a federal and provincial prosecutor for over four decades.

Hubbard is recognized for his work in the areas of search and seizure, electronic surveillance and privilege, on which he has written and co-written books and articles and has lectured to police, counsel and judges. He is also known for his innovation in connection with e-trials, data analytics and institutional modernization.

One of Hubbard’s significant cases is R. v. Garofoli, which articulated a test of whether, based on the information before the issuing judge and as amplified on review, a judge should have issued an authorization for a warrant for search and seizure.

François Lacasse is senior general counsel with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Ottawa, for which he also acts as the Supreme Court of Canada litigation coordinator and as chairman of the National Litigation Committee. He has served as legal counsel, lecturer, trial prosecutor and appellate counsel. In all, he has worked for 35 years in the justice system.

His notable cases include R. v. Barros (1981), which focused on confidential informant privilege; R. v. Mann, which explored search issues; R. v. Ipeelee, which involved Indigenous offenders; and R. v. Craig, which discussed the proceeds of crime and offence-related property.

The Courage and Perseverance Award 2020 was bestowed on David Jardine. Jardine has served as Crown Counsel for the British Columbia Prosecution Service in Vancouver, dealing with cases involving organized crime and serious violence, and as a team leader for the Commercial Crime and Organized and Major Crime Units. He has also acted as prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and as the B.C. Crown Counsel Association’s director and representative on the International Association of Prosecutors’ Forum for Associations of Prosecutors.

Jardine was involved in the case of R. v. Sipes et al., which concerned several murders carried out by a criminal organization. Strict security protocols, including measures to protect prosecutors and their families, were in place during the prosecution and related proceedings.

Leah Fontaine, Crown Counsel for the British Columbia Prosecution Service in Duncan, received the Humanitarian Award 2020. An Ojibwe woman from the Sagkeeng and Brokenhead First Nations, her work has involved Indigenous justice at the local and national levels and efforts to support the recognition and implementation of the Indigenous Justice Framework at the British Columbia Prosecution Service. She has served as a subject matter expert at the Justice Education Society.

Fontaine’s commitments have included assisting in the development of the province’s new Indigenous courts, advancing the Eagle Feather Court House Initiative and designing training programs on the impact of colonization and systemic racism. She is executive secretary of the B.C. Crown Counsel Association and a member of the B.C. Justice Summit working group.

The SNC-Lavalin Public Prosecution Service of Canada prosecution team was the recipient of the new Outstanding Achievement in a Prosecution Award for its work in connection with three prominent bribery and fraud prosecutions, which were almost constantly examined by national media in 2019.

The first prosecution pertained to charges of corruption of a foreign public official and fraud against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and its affiliates SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. and SNC-Lavalin International Inc. in 2015. In December 2019, SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud, while the other charges against the three defendants were stayed.

In the second prosecution, a jury in the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal found Sami Bebawi, former SNC-Lavalin president, guilty of fraud, corruption of a foreign public official, laundering proceeds of crime and two counts of possession of proceeds of crime in December 2019. The third prosecution involved a charge of fraud and corruption of a foreign public official against Stéphane Roy, a former SNC-Lavalin executive, which in February 2019 was stayed because of delay.

The prosecution team included Richard Roy, senior general counsel and legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions and her deputies on matters of national interest; Anne-Marie Manoukian, senior counsel for the Quebec Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and Hans Gervais, counsel in the Quebec Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

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