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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
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Hosts International Conference of Prosecutors Focusing on Prose
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Hosts International Conference of Prosecutors Focusing on Prose

More than 400 senior prosecutors, including heads of prosecuting agencies from 83 countries, have descended in Johannesburg to attend the 23rd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) at the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), from 9 – 13 September 2018. The conference, hosted under the leadership of acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Silas Ramaite SC will be opened with a keynote address by the Minister of Justice & Correctional Services, Michael Masutha on Monday 10 September.

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Publication date : 2018-09-11
South Africa hosts The International Association of Prosecutors’ Conference, 9-14 September 2018
South Africa hosts The International Association of Prosecutors’ Conference, 9-14 September 2018

South Africa will from 9 – 14 September 2018 host the annual International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg under the theme: “Prosecutorial Independence – the Cornerstone of Justice to Society”.

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Publication date : 2018-09-10
Crown attorneys want to form a union, but NDP government presents a hurdle
Crown attorneys want to form a union, but NDP government presents a hurdle

Alberta’s Crown prosecutors want to unionize, but face hurdles to their bid, including the wording of provincial legislation and opposition from the NDP government.

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Publication date : 2018-08-17
Ford opposes handgun ban as he pledges funds to fight gun violence
Ford opposes handgun ban as he pledges funds to fight gun violence

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he opposes a handgun ban in Toronto because it would penalize legal gun owners, but vowed to help tackle gun violence in the city by pledging $25-million over four years for police and the courts.

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Publication date : 2018-08-09


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Trial delay crisis just getting worse

27-10-2016

Courts left scrambling under new rules to limit trial delays, Oct. 17

 

Defence counsel Daniel Brown hit the nail on the head when talking about the causes of trial delay: a shortage of judges and crowns, lack of court space and delayed disclosure.

 

We have been raising the alarm on the under-resourcing of the crown’s offices for many years. It has long been apparent that a crisis was inevitable. Anyone working in the criminal justice system could see “Jordan” coming and yet the government did nothing with respect to this key reasons behind it. In fact, they’ve done quite the opposite.

 

In the last few years, the government has effectively reduced the number of assistant crown attorneys in trial offices across the province. We estimate that there are at least 6,000 cases in Ontario that sit at the Supreme Court’s benchmark of 18 months. In trial offices across the province there are hundreds of matters set for trial that sit unassigned because there are no available prosecutors.

 

This is truly a crisis and yet there has been no meaningful response from the government. The attorney general’s most recent mandate letter doesn’t even address it. It is also critical for the public to understand that the problems run much deeper than trial delay.

 

They are also related to the ability to assess, prepare and prosecute cases properly. It is about full and fair service to victims, to accused persons, their counsel, the courts, police and the public. All deserve our full time and attention.

 

The criminal prosecutors of this province are extremely dedicated public servants, deeply committed to the principles of public safety and the proper administration of criminal justice. But there are not enough of us.

 

Criminal prosecutions have become increasingly complex and take much longer to prosecute. Yet the numbers of prosecutors in the trial offices has decreased. Increasingly we are concerned that we will be unable to comply with our professional obligations and duties to the public we serve.

 

The Ministry of the Attorney General spokesperson says they are taking several steps to reduce delay. Certainly, where effective efficiencies can properly be made, we welcome them.

 

However, those steps will be mere band-aids if the government does not take meaningful, significant and immediate steps to increase the number of assistant crown attorneys in Ontario.

 

Kate Matthews, president, Ontario Crown Attorneys Association

 

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2016/10/27/trial-delay-crisis-just-getting-worse.html