Abstract EN: The 1958 Constitution provided France with a constitutionally based system of justice and although this had been contrary to French traditions — and consequently apprehended at that time — the system has progressively developed and become one of the main elements of the French constitutional regime and at the same time, one of its most dynamic and appreciated components. This article presents the French Constitutional Council: its status, composition and operations. It maps out areas in which this body has had to intervene and, above all, it analyses the jurisprudence of the Council and notes that its most impressive contribution lies in the field of the constitutional review of laws and its main objective, basic personal freedoms. The conclusion of this study is that French constitutional law has undergone radical modifications under this system and that in the future, it has become a fertile ground for comparative studies for the Canadian jurist due to the constitutional review of laws in the name of personal freedoms.
Abstract FR: Bien que la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés ait généré dans un premier temps surtout de la jurisprudence criminelle, il est à prévoir qu'elle exercera aussi une influence considérable sur le droit administratif. Elle ne changera pas beaucoup le droit relatif au contrôle judiciaire de l'Administration, mais par rapport à un droit administratif conçu plus largement il ne fait pas de doute qu'elle va produire des effets substantiels. Le présent article a pour objet principal l'article 8 de la Charte, qui protège contre les fouilles, perquisitions et saisies abusives. Il analyse cette disposition en référant à des situations spécifiques en matière d'impôt, de monopoles, d'immigration, de douanes et d'étiquetage. L'auteur en arrive à la conclusion que la Charte a d'une certaine façon constitutionnalisé la pratique et les procédures administratives. L'administration ne doit désormais exercer que les pouvoirs qui sont absolument nécessaires pour s'acquitter des tâches que lui confie le parlement. Les mécanismes de mise en oeuvre des lois doivent d'autre part être conçus en fonction de situations normales et non pas en fonction des pires hypothèses.
Abstract EN: In Canada on the federal and provincial levels, the Cabinet plays a powerful role as the supreme administrative agency. Unlike its British counterpart, a more conventional body, Canadian cabinets are invested with wide-ranging statutory powers of decision. In this capacity, the Cabinet makes decisions affecting the rights of individuals, groups and corporations. Under the duty to act fairly according to rules developed in British and Canadian caselaw, the Cabinet should, in such circumstances, be required to act quasi judicially. However, as a political entity, the Cabinet can hardly be characterized as a tribunal and the courts hesitate to impose an adversary system upon such an institution. Nevertheless, in several instances, Canadians have had the power to assert that the Cabinet act fairly when dealing with individual rights. The advent of charters of right is another incentive to treat the Cabinet as any agency of the Crown or other public authority bound by the principles of fundamental justice. The authors submit that this legal development may modify cabinets' decision-making powers and make them more open to external representations.
Abstract FR: Cet article expose les transformations qu'a subies en 1984 le système des tribunaux administratifs de la sécurité sociale en Grande-Bretagne. Ce système avait jusqu'alors comme caractéristique principale la répartition du contentieux des prestations de sécurité sociale entre deux réseaux de tribunaux locaux. Les uns étaient chargés d'entendre les appels relatifs aux prestations, pour la plupart contributives, prévues par le Social Security Act 1975, tandis que les autres avaient compétence en matière d'aide sociale (supplementary benefits,). L'élément majeur de la réforme de 1984 est la fusion de ces deux réseaux. Les nouveaux tribunaux locaux de la sécurité sociale se distinguent de leurs prédécesseurs par leur composition : ils seront obligatoirement présidés par un juriste, exerçant cette fonction à temps partiel mais encadré au niveau national et régional par un état-major permanent constitué d'un juge et d'avocats ; les autres membres ne seront plus désignés selon le système paritaire syndicats-patronat qui avait traditionnellement prévalu en matière d'assurances sociales. Le renforcement de la présence des juristes prolonge l'évolution amorcée par les réformes antérieures du régime d'aide sociale. Celles-ci favorisaient à la fois la judiciarisation de la procédure et la réduction du pouvoir discrétionnaire de l'administration par le développement de la réglementation. L'unification des tribunaux administratifs avait également été amorcée dès 1980, par l'attribution aux Social Security Commissioners de la compétence de dernier ressort relativement à la plupart des prestations sociales. L'auteur commente cette réforme en fonction des objectifs qu'elle prétend servir : la qualité des décisions, l'indépendance des juridictions, ïaccessibilité d'une instance d'appel unique, la rapidité des décisions. Il fait observer que la réforme n'a rien fait pour simplifier et assouplir la procédure, ou pour rendre l'aide juridique accessible aux prestataires. Il note que les tribunaux administratifs spécialisés chargés du contentieux médical de la sécurité sociale n'ont pas été visés par la réforme, en dépit de la contestation dont ils font l'objet, et que l'aide au logement échappe également à la compétence des tribunaux de la sécurité sociale. Enfin, il fait valoir que le développement de l'encadrement réglementaire des prestations de sécurité sociale ne garantit en rien ni la rapidité du processus juridictionnel, ni la qualité des rapports entre décideurs et prestataires ; par ailleurs, il accroît le contrôle du gouvernement sur la mise en oeuvre de sa politique sociale.
Abstract EN: The recent Family Law Reform in Quebec makes no mention of non-traditional unions. No formal legal regime regulates the economic responsibility of homosexual partners. The author studies the most flagrant pecuniary consequences of the inability of a homosexual couple to marry and explores the possible effects of such a union on the property rights of the partners. A contractual agreement that does not necessarily off end public order and good morals may appear to be a solution to the aspirations of certain couples.
Abstract EN: In this article, the author discusses the application of sections 45 and 46 of the Quebec Labour Code in the context of the trust deed, at each step of the realization by the trustee of its securitees, namely : the taking of possession of the mortgaged assets and the carrying on of the operations of the debtor company by the trustee, as well as the acquisition or the taking charge of the mortgaged assets by a third party from the trustee. The author's argument or reasoning is based upon the unity of the two prerequisites for the application of section 45, i.e. a change of employer and the alienation or operation by another of the undertaking. On the basis of this reasoning, section 45 applies to the trustee who takes possession only when he deliberately carries on the undertaking of the debtor company, whether it be in whole or in part, or even for a limited time, because only then should the trustee be considered a new employer. The application of section 45 to a third party dealing with the trustee is also certain when such third party carries on the undertaking that the trustee had himself carried on. But the situation is not as certain when the trustee has not himself carried on the undertaking after taking possession, and the author explains the reasons for his doubts. Finally, in view of the current state of the law and jurisprudence, the author suggests alternate ways for the trustee to deal with a third party in order to avoid the application of section 45.
Abstract EN: The recent adoption of An Act respecting the transfer of property in stock has raised once again the controversy on the exact nature of the rights acquired by the holder of a bill of lading and a warehouse receipt. This problem is a familiar one for the specialist in banking law who well knows the endless contradictions concerning the interpretation of article 178 of the Bank Act. In this instance, the provincial legislature wished to give to quasi-banks (credit unions) the same possibility of securing loans as that afforded to banks under federal legislation. By a rather clever set of new rules added to the provincial Bills of Lading Act, this result is attained and is predicated on the idea that the creditor obtains full title of ownership on the goods ceded to him in the contract of loan. However, even in common law jurisdictions, the complete transfer of title is rarely admitted in such transactions and in codifying this dubious interpretation of case law, the legislature is perhaps not simplifying an already muddled area of our private law. Viewed in a historical perspective, Quebec law on this subject tends to reconcile the rights of the endorsee with those of civil law institutions, i.e. pledge. One hundred years of jurisprudence stands to that effect, until the '50s, where common law ideas seem to have taken hold of the courts. The result is of course a little bewildering and the student of our laws must gather together all of his patience in the study of this area already described early in the century by Mignault as being a Chinese brain-teaser.
Abstract EN: Less well known than its predecessor the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter that came into force in October 1965 is no less a fundamental piece of European international law that is of interest to evaluate. Perhaps precisely because of the nature of its object, the Charter, as it would seem, has operational and concrete application difficulties that the Convention does not have.
Abstract EN: The international charter of human freedoms became a legal reality via the coming into force of the following three documents : the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the optional protocol attached to it. The Human Rights Committee was created under the Convention on Civil and Political Rights. In accordance with the controlling machinery set up under the optional protocol, the Committee must examine complaints from individuals who feel that their rights as defined and protected by the Convention, have been violated. Besides Uruguay, Canada is the country that submits the greatest number of complaints to the Human Rights Committee. To this days, six « communications » putting it into question have been at the origin of the adoption of « final views » two of which have demonstrated a violation of rights laid down in the Convention. Yet various improvements have proved to be desirable so as to make resorting to the Committee more efficient. It is even conceivable that making the rule on exhausting internal recourses might allow the Committee to influence Canadian law by inciting Canada to amend its Constitution or to integrate the Convention into its national law so as to be usable before the courts. The Committee has thereby contributed to increasing the basic freedoms of Canadians via the Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Although their accomplishments have been praiseworthy, work done by the Human Rights Committee risks being incomplete if the status quo continues.
Abstract EN: Bill C-24 relating to control of federal Crown corporations or State enterprises is among the best legacies of the Trudeau Administration. Federal State enterprises constitute an important economic empire that have caused some concern to many people over the last ten years. The Auditor General, the Commons Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, the Lambert Commission on financial management and accountability, the Economic Council and other groups or individuals have made studies and proposals for reform. Three bills were introduced: C-29 by the Clark Government in 1979, C-123 in 1982 and C-153 in 1983 by the Trudeau Government ; all of them prior to bill 24 which has been a major innovation in the field of public law as it has introduced into the Financial Administration Act sixty sections dealing with the legal status of that which is so rightfully called the « Sociétés d'État » and with the ever so important question of controls exercised over them by Parliament and Government (Cabinet, Treasury Board, responsible minister and Finance Minister). Bill C-24 regulates over 400 institutions of the public economic sector, directly or indirectly. It is a major step towards the clarification of a branch of public law that has not yet reached a degree of sufficient maturity, coherence and fitness as to the objectives and needs of a political system that remains liberal and of an economy that is really a mixed economy.
Abstract EN: The Inspector General is not obliged to refuse documents that are filed and are not consistent with the law. When statutes are filed by the Inspector General, the search for the proposed corporate name is an accessory act that does not imply any obligation on his part, except that he cannot accept a name that has been reserved by another person. The reservation does not give a universal and exclusive right to its owner : it cannot be invoked against unincorporated enterprises. It cannot either be invoked against federal companies just as federal reservations cannot be invoked against provincial companies. Moreover, the Inspector General may refuse a reserved corporate name when the statutes are filed if it has been formerly taken by an unincorporated or federal company. The errors in the statutes that are not imputable to the Inspector General cannot be corrected with retroactive effect.