Patrick Michel named new head of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions

The Quebec Superior Court is seen in Montreal, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Quebec has a new director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly appointed Patrick Michel to a seven-year term.

Michel succeeds Annick Murphy, who retired on Feb. 2. Before being named to the job, Michel served as chief prosecutor in the DPCP's Office of Legal Services.

He will begin his new job on April 23.

Michel's named was put forward by Premier Francois Legault “after consultation with the opposition parties.”

The motion was approved by at least two-thirds of the National Assembly members, though independent MNAs Guy Ouellette and Catherine Fournier abstained.

“I would like to thank the members of the National Assembly of Quebec for the trust they place in me and of which I hope to be worthy,” Michel said in a press release. “Today, I pledge to work tirelessly in the search for justice and the protection of the population, especially in respect to the interests of victims.”

“I am also committed to working on a better understanding of the role and decisions of the DPCP to ensure public confidence in it,” he added.

On March 23, the Association of Criminal and Penal Prosecutors asked the government to hurry in naming a replacement for Murphy, saying it was urgent to solve “serious internal problems, which have major impacts on the work and well-being of prosecutors.”

Michel was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2000 and began his career at the Justice Ministry's Theft and Proceeds of Crime Bureau.

From 2007 to 2013 he acted as legal advisor to the Justice Minister for guidance and policy development.

He joined the DPCP in 2013 as chief prosecutor of the Office of Legal Services. He represented the organization in various parliamentary committees and commissions of inquiry.

He has also served as a member of the Bar's Standing Committee on Criminal Law since 2005.