Senior Legal Advisor
42, Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 2C9
1 613 562 3790
The Senior Legal Advisor is a magistrate. In France, a magistrate is either prosecutor (prosecuting) or Judge, and most often deriving from the École Nationale de la Magistrature. The status of the magistrate also allows for the possibility of a magistrate to be placed in a position at the ministry (French Minister of Justice (in French only), French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs).
The Senior Legal Advisor is placed in a position by the French Ministry of Justice to serve in a Ministry of Justice in a foreign country.
She/He is assigned the task of facilitating the relations between the Ministries of Justice, and the judicial authorities of the two countries concerned. The specificity of the Senior Legal Advisor is to be placed at the heart of the Ministry of Justice of the welcoming country.
The first Senior Legal Advisor was named in 1993, in Rome, with the essential assignment of facilitating the judicial co-operation in criminal matters.
The European Union adopted a common position in order to incite the member states to designate senior legal advisors, but France also designated senior legal advisors in non-European Union countries.
Today, 12 French magistrates are carrying out their duties in Rome, the Hague, Madrid, Berlin, Washington, Rabat, Ottawa, Moscow, Beijing and Zagreb. 7 magistrates, or legal jurist are welcomed at the heart of the French Ministry of Justice, the Service for European and International Affairs. They originate from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain,
and the United States. Since September 2003, from Canada.
The position of Senior Legal Advisor in Ottawa was created in September 2002, with the following main objectives :
- Facilitate the judicial co-operation in criminal law, and in private law.
- Improve the knowledge of the two judicial systems, and follow the evolution of positive law in the whole of Canada.
- Facilitate the exchanges between French and Canadian legal communities.
Beyond though, the mission of the Senior Legal Advisor is also defined according to the needs expressed by the Ministry of Justice, and the legal community of the welcoming country. It is therefore susceptible to evolution.