Jurists Dissatisfied with Work – Why?

A recent survey shows that within the state apparatus, two jurists out of three are dissatisfied at work and that if they could they would resign. Focus on a major issue.

The survey conducted by the Association des notaires et avocats du Québec (ANEQ) in February 2018 shows a certain mood of gloom, a few weeks after the use of a special law forcing jurists on strike to return to work.

Thus, 70% of respondents say that do not see a possibility of advancing their career in the current context, and half of them consider their work environment to be unpleasant. Visibly, the conflict with the government, which was the longest in the history of the Canadian public service, has left some gaping scars.

The new president of the ANEQ, Marc Dion, is also one of these former public service jurists, who worked for much of his career within the Agence du revenu du Québec. He speaks of a scorned profession and, especially for civil law jurists, a lack of recognition. “Our survey shows that these state jurists are still passionate about their profession and that most of them are satisfied with their working relationships,” he says. “But they feel that their employer, who has chosen not to treat civil jurists on an equal footing with criminal law jurists, does not respect their integrity.”

Crown prosecutors and other lawyers under the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) have seen their independence recognized by the government, a privilege that has not been granted to other state jurists.

“Civil law lawyers have the impression of being considered by their employer as second-class lawyers,” Marc Dion says. “However, working as a jurist for the public service is a noble choice, a mission of public service for which all state jurists dedicate themselves with the same rigour. There is no reason to create an unequal system between the Crown and civil jurists.”

The Ministry of Justice, which employs some of these jurists, has come to similar conclusions after a survey on organizational climate conducted with its employees. This survey testifies to the fact that employees of the Direction générale des affaires juridiques et législatives (DGAJL) believe that they receive less recognition than the Ministry’s other employees.

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