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'A very big concern,' says Alberta justice minister of stayed charges due to staff shortage

The provincial government intends to pump more money into the justice system to ensure long-delayed court cases do not continue to be dropped. Call for 50 more Crown prosecutors.

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Date de parution : 2017-03-03
Alberta prosecutors at 'breaking point' as abandoned cases pile up

Alberta prosecutors say they are at a “breaking point” and have abandoned many more serious criminal cases than the public knows. James Pickard, president of the Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association, says they have stayed criminal charges against 200 people – including 18 accused of impaired driving – in the past two months because of a shortage of prosecutors.

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Date de parution : 2017-03-02
La SQ du côté des juristes

Selon Me Luc Bruno, le négociateur des juristes, ce n'est qu'une question de temps avant que les procureurs de la Couronne imitent les policiers de la SQ et s'adressent aux tribunaux pour obtenir l'arbitrage au lieu de simples recommandations. Les propos de Me Bruno trouvent écho au sein de l'Association canadienne des juristes de l'État, présidée par un avocat d'Halifax, Me Rick Woodburn.

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Date de parution : 2017-03-01
Alberta's justice system has reached 'breaking point,' say prosecutors

The justice system in Alberta is facing a crisis. Criminal charges are being abandoned because of a shortage of prosecutors, claims Crown Attorneys' Association. James Pickard said "years of neglect," along with the current provincial hiring freeze, are to blame. 

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Date de parution : 2017-03-01
Alberta drops 15 criminal cases in resources crunch

A senior prosecutor in Alberta stayed 15 criminal cases on Tuesday, saying in Provincial Court that the justice system simply does not have enough resources to prosecute them…. “This is one of the symptoms of a failing justice system, when charges – and we believe they are serious charges – are stayed for lack of resources,” Rick Woodburn, president of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel, who practises in Halifax, said in an interview.

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Date de parution : 2017-03-01
Québec oblige ses juristes à rentrer au travail mercredi matin

Québec a adopté mardi la loi spéciale qui met un terme à la grève des 1100 juristes de l’État qui durait depuis 19 semaines. Ils devront rentrer au boulot à 8 h 30 mercredi matin. Le projet de loi 127 a été adopté après 20 heures de procédures parlementaires qui se sont étirées dans la nuit de lundi à mardi, malgré l’unanimité des partis d’opposition contre cette mesure bâillon. Les juristes prévoient déjà contester la loi devant les tribunaux, jusqu’en Cour suprême.

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Date de parution : 2017-02-28

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. 

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