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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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NDP's rural crime fighting plan gets mixed reviews

12-03-2018

Alberta RCMP Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean announces a seven-point plan to help reduce rural crime in the province, in Edmonton, on March 9, 2018. ED KAISER / POSTMEDIA

 

Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley said Friday the money will pay for 39 new RCMP officer positions focused on rural crime reduction, 40 civilian staff, 10 Crown prosecutors and new “bait” programs, including for farm equipment.  

 

It is in response to what some residents have described as a spike in rural property crime.

 

The issue has grown more heated since the acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley for the killing of Colten Boushie, with some rural residents suggesting it is legal to shoot someone to defend property.  

 

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law welcomed news of the funding, but said Sunday she hopes it comes through “sooner than later” to help deal with the dramatic rise in property crimes plaguing her constituents.

 

“The rural way of life, where you left your keys in the vehicle or the neighbour wanted to stop in and borrow a tractor or a piece of equipment … it’s gone,” she said.

 

Law said that in meetings with Mounties from the five detachments that serve the central Alberta county, police said they are struggling to keep up. Lacombe and Red Deer County have committed to funding two new investigators for the Blackfalds detachment, but those positions have yet to be filled.

 

The reeve said they’ve also been pushing funding to rural crime watch groups, and holding information sessions about “environmental design” changes to make properties less vulnerable to would-be thieves. 

 

At the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties convention this spring, Law said the county plans to bring forward a resolution to lobby the provincial and federal governments for further support in tackling property crime, including sentencing reforms that would impose tougher penalties on repeat perpetrators.

 

Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association president James Pickard said Sunday members are happy the government is taking action to address prosecutor shortages, but added it will continue to be difficult to recruit and retain rural prosecutors because of high caseloads and a government salary freeze. 

 

Around 20 prosecutors have left rural offices in the last 12 months, the association said, and while many of those positions have since been filled, it’s usually with less experienced people.  

 

However, there are concerns adding more police officers to do more investigations “will inevitably mean more files and more prosecutions,” potentially further burdening rural prosecutors. 

 

“We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out in terms of these new prosecutors. Will they be able to lessen the load on the regional Crowns in a notable way, or is it just addressing the new files being opened by the police with these new crime reduction units?”  

 

United Conservative Party house leader Jason Nixon, who lives in Sundre, said Friday he’s pleased the government is taking action on rural crime months after his party called for an emergency debate on the subject. 

 

“The announcement is a start but not enough,” he said. 

 

“I’m concerned the government only appears to think of this as a money issue. I think that is a product of the fact they’re not going out and talking to our communities.”

 

The “No. 1” thing the province can do to lessen the burden carried by local detachments is to improve the system for backfilling positions for officers on leave, he said. 

He was also critical of the government’s “triage” approach to cases.

 

“No matter how much money and capacity we put into the system, if our criminal justice system won’t take property crime seriously and continues to put these people back into our system without dealing with the issue that had them there in the first place, this is going to keep going on forever,” he said. 

 

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/crime/ndps-rural-crime-fighting-plan-gets-mixed-reviews