Foundations in Judicial Competencies: Certificate Program
Session 8: Exploring Unconscious Bias, Raising Awareness and Cultural Sensitivity

Jun. 2, 2021

OBA PROGRAM | 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (ET)

This program is the last program that make up the Foundations in Judicial Competencies Certificate Program.

The eighth session of the OBA’s Foundations in Judicial Competencies Certificate Program, explores unconscious bias, raising awareness and cultural sensitivity.

Every human being has unconscious biases. It is imperative that we all try to raise our own awareness of these lenses through which we see the world, and work at establishing internal check points and guidelines for ourselves to better navigate our realties. Judges are faced with finding ways to rule with compassion and sensitivity and without bias. Working actively and purposefully to raising our awareness and understanding of these biases can help to prevent re-victimize the victim.

Laura Rees, Assistant Professor at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, will set the stage by reviewing some of the often-unconscious processes that influence how we perceive and react to others. She will draw on her own and other well-established research on emotions and related cognitive and interpersonal influences that often arise spontaneously and without much conscious thought, but profoundly shape decision-making.

Our distinguished panel will share their experiences and views of what techniques and processes they employ in their own court rooms and in decision making, to help alleviate this potential negative impact of an unconscious bias. They will also provide their unique perspective on particular challenges they face in their respective roles.

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Ranjan Agarwal, 2nd Vice-President, Ontario Bar Association and Partner, Bennett Jones LLP

Program Speakers

The Honourable Justice Sandra Nishikawa, Superior Court of Justice
The Honourable Justice Cynthia Petersen, Superior Court of Justice
Dr. Laura Rees, Assistant Professor, Smith School of Business at Queen's University


Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Program (ET)


CBA Member: $75* | Non-Member: $145*

*plus applicable taxes


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