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Applying the Jordan framework: Are courts placing too much of the burden on the defence?
Applying the Jordan framework: Are courts placing too much of the burden on the defence?

In R v. Jordan, the Supreme Court put a hard cap on the duration of criminal trials — sending a thrill of panic through the justice system in the process. The ruling is roughly two and a half years old now. Time for the training wheels to come off.Now, that backlog of pre-Jordan charges has been largely cleared — the transitional period is over. But Crown and defence lawyers alike report that trial times aren’t speeding up; statistics cited in a recent Law Times article show that in the Ontario Court of Justice, average times to disposition and the number of court appearances have not diminished since Jordan. If the SCC intended the ruling as a salutary shock to the system, it didn’t work.So what happens now?

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Publication date : 2018-12-18
RCMP’s forensic firearm testing backlog adding delays to justice system

The RCMP’s forensics labs are taking nearly four times longer to analyze firearms than they did just four years ago, adding delays to a criminal justice system under pressure to speed up after a recent Supreme Court decision.

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Publication date : 2018-12-16
Court delays persist, despite Jordan
Court delays persist, despite Jordan

The Supreme Court of Canada decision in Jordanand the problems it tried to address are still top of mind in the criminal courts in Ontario nearly two-and-a-half years after it was released.

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Publication date : 2018-12-03
The performance pay saga reaches a settlement
The performance pay saga reaches a settlement

The issue is the prorating of performance pay in relation to pre-promotion period for the year in which lawyers are promoted. If a lawyer was eligible for performance pay and was promoted during the year, the Employer, rather than pay out a prorated performance pay for the period pre-promotion, paid out nothing at all regardless of your performance rating for the year. The AJC originally filed a grievance in 2011 and in response to that grievance, TB had conceded in the context of the adjudication hearing that pre-promotion service should be recognized. Unfortunately, the adjudicator originally disregarded TB's concession in his decision of 2015, requiring the AJC to file an application for judicial review, which eventually resulted on December 22, 2016 in a remedy limited to the right to pre-promotion performance pay for the year 2010-2011. Thus, the AJC filed another policy grievance on July 27th 2016. The hearing was scheduled for October 2018. We are pleased to announce that we now have a signed Memorandum of Settlement on this matter with TB.  

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Publication date : 2018-10-30
Not all Questions are Good Questions: Avoiding Discriminatory Interview Practices
Not all Questions are Good Questions: Avoiding Discriminatory Interview Practices

Much ink has been spilled over a recent decision by the Commission de la fonction publique (the "Commission") on the topic of discriminatory interview practices. In Association des procureurs aux poursuites criminelles et pénales et Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales[1], the Commission found that the plaintiff had been discriminated against when she was denied a position due to her pregnancy.

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Publication date : 2018-10-11
Federal government facing pushback over bill to transform justice system
Federal government facing pushback over bill to transform justice system

One thing that both the prosecution and the defence seem to agree on is that the federal government’s push to cut preliminary inquiries in most criminal cases will not solve the long-standing problem of delays in the criminal justice system.

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Publication date : 2018-10-01


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Crown attorneys want to form a union, but NDP government presents a hurdle

17-08-2018

James Pickard, president of the Alberta Crown Attorneys' Association

 

The Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association has filed two applications to the Alberta Labour Relations Board, including an application for certification as a bargaining unit.

 

Before it can be certified though, the association is asking the board to declare unconstitutional parts of the Public Service Employee Relations Act that would prevent the association from serving as a collective bargaining unit.

 

Association president James Pickard said the organization had hoped the government would change the legislation so it would not have to launch a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

That didn’t happen, he said in an interview Friday.

 

“We’ve talked to the province about trying to do something co-operatively. I can’t get into details, of course, about what happened and where that went, but obviously we’re making this application, so we weren’t able to do anything co-operatively,” said Pickard.

 

“They’re opposed to the Labour Relations Board application, and that’s all I can say at this point.”

 

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley declined an interview request and the government refused to comment because the matter is before the board.

 

Pickard said a number of factors led members of the Crown attorneys’ association to vote last fall in favour of seeking a collective agreement.

 

Government wage freezes that have hampered recruitment and retention, concerns over prosecutor safety and ongoing staff shortages and delays around court cases influenced the decision and are among the issues that bargaining could help address, he said.

 

“What we’re looking for is fairness, certainty. We want to have a voice in what happens to us. And I think ultimately, we also want to make sure we have a strong prosecution service,” said Pickard.

 

Pickard stressed that the idea isn’t new and that Crown attorneys in most other provinces are able to bargain collectively.

 

The LRB will hold hearings on the applications in December.

 

https://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/crown-attorneys-looking-to-unionize