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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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 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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Date de parution : 2018-10-01


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

03-03-2017

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says she expects additional cash for her department will be coming in this month's provincial budget. (CBC)

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

 

A lack of resources was behind 15 cases being dropped earlier this week, including the case of an Edmonton parking enforcer who says he was assaulted with a crowbar and a box-cutter.

 

"We are very concerned about this. We take the matter very seriously," said Alberta's Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley on Friday.

 

"We will have more to say about additional resources, both for courts and for Crown prosecutors, after our budgeting process is complete."

 

Ganley says she expects additional cash for her department will be coming in this month's provincial budget. She's not happy that 15 cases had to be dropped, even if that's a fraction of the 32,000 currently in the provincial court system.

 

More charges could soon be stayed

"We never want to see a victim find themselves in a position where they have to go without justice as a result of a procedural requirement and so that's a very big concern for us and we have been working on a number of methods to address it."

 

Still, she's already warning that for a variety of reasons, including unduly long delays in getting some matters to trial, more charges could soon be stayed.

 

Prosecutors have been told to concentrate on cases with a high chance of conviction, matters deemed to be in the public interest and those cases involving violence, she said.

 

Call for 50 more Crown prosecutors

Alberta's Crown prosecutors are optimistic the next budget will include more money for the justice system.

 

"We've mentioned to the minister 50 new positions. We're happy if those are broken up over a gradual time period over the next few years, but a response is needed. We do recognize there's fiscal constraints though and we're trying to operate within that and be fair and reasonable," said Alberta Crown Attorney's Association president James Pickard.

 

Approximately 200 significant criminal cases have been stayed in the last two months due to lack of resources, including impaired driving, assault, fraud, and theft charges, he said.

 

"We're concerned that victims will start to become a bit disillusioned with the justice system and frustrated, which would be understandable. And also the police officers who are working hard, investigating files that are just being abandoned by prosecutors, not because of an issue with the investigation or the case, but simply because of a budgetary constraint."

 

Ganley says she's also working with the federal government to appoint more justices to the Court of Queen's Bench.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/court-cases-dropped-alberta-money-1.4009794