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

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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Date de parution : 2018-09-11
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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Date de parution : 2018-09-10
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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Date de parution : 2018-08-17
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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Date de parution : 2018-08-09
'Pressure points': Five new provincial court judges hired to help ease backlogs

The province named five judges in northern and central Alberta Tuesday in a move aimed at helping to relieve strain on the court system, says Alberta’s justice minister.

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Date de parution : 2018-07-31
Long waits for RCMP firearms forensics putting prosecutions at risk

Staffing shortages saw routine firearms analysis requests take an average of 238 days in 2017-18.

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Date de parution : 2018-07-26

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)