To carry out the mission it was entrusted with, Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes works in partnership with a number of provincial and municipal government authorities.
When Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes has concluded an investigation, it submits its report to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales. The DPCP analyzes the report and determines whether charges will be laid against the police officers involved in the event under investigation. It has the sole authority to act as prosecutor in matters arising from the application of the Criminal Code. In some cases, in seeking to decide whether to lay charges, the DPCP may request that BEI conduct further investigations and provide a supplementary investigation report if the first report appears incomplete.
BEI investigators are required to cooperate with the DPCP’s prosecutors and may be called upon as witnesses if prosecution is initiated.
For the sake of transparency, on December 11, 2015, the DPCP adopted guidelines to authorize and govern publication of the reasons in support of its decision to not lay charges in certain cases under its jurisdiction, particularly those pertaining to independent investigations.
To find out whether or not charges have been laid by the DPCP at the end of a BEI investigation, go to the Investigation section and the investigation information sheet (in French).
Once the investigation of an event where someone has died is complete, BEI must also submit its investigation report to the Bureau du coroner. The coroner is a public officer (doctor, lawyer, or notary) appointed by the government and placed under the authority of the Chief Coroner. The Chief Coroner intervenes in all cases of suspicious death, particularly in the following situations:
The Bureau du coroner can, in the event of a death, conduct an investigation or public inquiry.
Québec’s Laboratoire des sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (LSJML) is an independent service unit that offers scientific expertise through its professionals and technicians in various disciplines, particularly ballistics, forensic chemistry, biology, document examination and authentication, imaging, explosives, fire, toxicology, and forensic medicine. LSJML is also responsible for providing assistance to police forces on the scenes of events.
BEI can call on LSJML’s neutral and impartial expertise depending on the nature and needs of its investigations.
To fulfill its mission and further to the Police Act, Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes has established a partnership and assistance process with level 4, 5, and 6 police forces to ensure it functions efficiently and effectively. They include Service de police de la Ville de Québec (level 4), Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (level 5), and Sûreté du Québec (level 6). The police chief of any police force providing these levels of service must make available to BEI the backup services and police officers required by the BEI director or any BEI member that he/she appoints. In this regard, the chief of police and any member or employee of such police force must cooperate with BEI (section 289.20 of the Police Act).
BEI uses these various police departments mainly because they have cutting-edge expertise (provided by forensic identification specialists, collision reconstruction specialists, etc.) to support BEI investigators in their work.
BEI is required to go to any part of Québec in the performance of its mission. This makes investigations more complex and lengthens response times, as its team is based in Longueuil. BEI may therefore call on a backup police department, which can deploy a team of police officers to secure the scene of an event until the BEI investigators arrive.