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Canada compensating former employees for damages caused by Phoenix pay system

The Government remains determined to address the impacts that the implementation of the Phoenix pay system has had on public servants. 

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Publication date : 2019-11-30
Prosecutors question impact of UCP plan to double articling program
Prosecutors question impact of UCP plan to double articling program

A day after the province announced the doubling of its articling program for Crown prosecutors, the association overseeing them questioned the value of the plan.

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Publication date : 2019-11-26
Crown attorneys association urges province to address staffing shortage in northern courts
Crown attorneys association urges province to address staffing shortage in northern courts

Manitoba prosecutors are calling on the provincial government to do something about a "crushing workload" in northern courts, which they say is putting a strain on the province's entire criminal justice system.

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Publication date : 2019-11-26
‘Something has to give’: Alberta justice system braces for budget cuts
‘Something has to give’: Alberta justice system braces for budget cuts

Crown attorneys, clerks and others in the Alberta justice system are warning provincial budget cuts risk adding more backlogs to an already strained system.

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Publication date : 2019-11-21
Undervalued and stressed: Morale low in Manitoba’s justice department, staff survey says
Undervalued and stressed: Morale low in Manitoba’s justice department, staff survey says

'They don't feel that they're being valued at work,' MGEU president says following staff engagement survey

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Publication date : 2019-11-21
LARRY HAIVEN: Government’s offer to prosecutors amounts to wage cut
LARRY HAIVEN: Government’s offer to prosecutors amounts to wage cut

The recent Crown attorneys dispute is a conflict on several fronts. The battlefield is public opinion. It’s a war of words. 

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Publication date : 2019-11-02

Judgment, Identity, and Independence

Cassandra Burke Robertson*

      Whenever a new corporate or governmental scandal erupts, onlookers ask “Where were the lawyers?” Why would attorneys not have advised their clients of the risks posed by conduct that, from an outsider’s perspective, appears indefensible?  When numerous red flags have gone unheeded, people often conclude that the lawyers’ failure to sound the alarm must be caused by greed, incompetence, or both.  A few scholars have suggested that unconscious cognitive bias may better explain such lapses in judgment, but they have not explained why particular situations are more likely than others to encourage such bias.  This article seeks to fill that gap.  Drawing on research from behavioral and social psychology, it suggests that lawyers’ apparent lapses in judgment may be caused by cognitive biases arising from partisan kinship between lawyer and client.  The article uses identity theory to distinguish particular situations in which attorney judgment is likely to be compromised, and it recommends strategies to enhance attorney independence and minimize judgment errors. 

Full text (PDF file)