There are various types of incapacity in the civil law of Québec. The provisions of the Civil Code concerning the interdiction of incapable persons are now supplemented by various statutes. In all cases, a curator — and generally the public curator — is appointed to accept or refuse treatment for an incapable person. Except in cases of serious emergency, it is clearly established that any treatment, whether medical or psychiatric, must be preceeded by the patient's informed consent. While some recourses already exist to protect the rights of an incapable patient for whom a curator has been appointed, this is not the case for psychiatric patients who are of legal age and legally competent, but who refuse treatment. In these cases, it is suggested that the decisions of Québec courts that have recognized a « defacto incapacity » and, consequently, forcible treatment on the basis of the « parens patriae » doctrine, may be ill-founded. This opinion is based on the application of the principles of self-determination and the inviolability of the human person, and by establishing a parallel with constitutional rights recognized by American courts which are now echoed in the new Canadian Charter of Rights. The author suggests that all recourses involving refusal of treatment be referred to a centralized administrative tribunal, in the light of the reform of the Civil Code.
L'article 23 de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion prévoit que le gouverneur en conseil peut annuler ou renvoyer au Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes, pour un nouvel examen ou une nouvelle audition, l’attribution, la modification ou le renouvellement de toute licence de radiodiffusion. Cette disposition manque de précision et la procédure suivie par le Cabinet reste obscure. En effet l'on ne sait trop si des parties intéressées peuvent s'adresser au Cabinet, ou si leur demande l'atteindra effectivement.
Cet article analyse la législation pertinente, les situations dans lesquelles le Cabinet est intervenu (quelques-unes dans lesquelles il s'est abstenu), et les mécanismes de la procédure. Cette dernière partie est basée sur des interviews menées auprès de personnes participant à cette procédure, et elle en démontre le caractère possiblement inéquitable.
L'auteur conclut que le pouvoir de révision du Cabinet devrait être maintenu mais que sa mise en oeuvre devrait être orientée par des normes.
This article outlines the difficulties which were felt to exist in the prerogative orders of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition in the United Kingdom, despite important developments which had taken place in their use. It describes in detail the recommendations of the Law Commission and the changes introduced both by Rules of Court and legislation. The former procedures are replaced by an application for judicial review, though the basis upon which relief is granted remains substantially the same. Recent cases show the way in which the new procedure has developed. Distinctions are drawn between the test to be applied on the application for leave and on the final hearing, and between the proceeding by way of judicial review to challenge the acts of public authorities and actions where purely private rights are claimed. This article shows the way in which the possibility of exceptions to this latter distinction has been established and suggests that the ambit of the new procedure is still in course of development.
Devant la reconnaissance judiciaire accrue des clauses d'exonération clairement rédigées, il est devenu pratiquement impossible d'écarter l’application de telles clauses aux litiges en responsabilité. L'auteur affirme que le monde commercial a besoin de ces clauses, mais souligne qu'il faut également protéger la bonne foi entre les co-contractants afin d'assurer des normes minimales de rendement dans l'exécution des contrats. A cet égard, l'auteur pose le problème suivant : supposons que le demandeur engage une compagnie de sécurité pour protéger son usine contre les risques de vol et de feu. Une clause d'exonération parfaitement rédigée protège la défenderesse, la compagnie de sécurité, contre la responsabilité qu'elle pourrait encourir par sa négligence ou celle de ses préposés dans la garde des lieux. Un gardien de sécurité met feu intentionnellement à l'usine. Est-ce que la compagnie de sécurité est protégée par la clause ? Selon la jurisprudence des provinces canadiennes de common law et celle d'Angleterre, la réponse est affirmative, l'arrêt de principe (Photo Productions v. Securicor) est étudié à cet égard. Au Québec, selon l'auteur, la réponse serait négative : la responsabilité de la compagnie de sécurité serait engagée.
L'auteur prétend que cette différence substantielle s'explique par l'histoire et les conceptions théoriques de base qui ont donné lieu aux deux systèmes de droit. L'auteur examine la division retrouvée en common law entre le droit délictuel (tort) et contractuel (contract) par rapport à l'unité théorique de « responsabilité civile » du droit civil québécois. Il constate ensuite que les clauses d'exonération ont été facilement acceptées dans le droit des « contracts » de la common law mais qu'elles ont été jugées sévèrement en droit civil québécois en utilisant la notion de bonnes moeurs et d'ordre public.
Malgré les différences entre la common law et le droit civil québécois, les deux systèmes reconnaissent aujourd'hui les clauses de non-responsabilité. L'auteur soumet, cependant, que le droit civil québécois offre la meilleure réponse au problème exprimé ci-haut. Selon lui, lorsque l'exécution négligente d'une obligation contractuelle équivaut à un manque de bonne foi, elle doit donner lieu à la responsabilité civile malgré la clause d'exonération, vu la notion de « faute lourde » développée par la jurisprudence québécoise. Cette notion est comparée favorablement aux notions de fundamental breach de la common law et celle de l'obligation essentielle du droit civil.
Après avoir examiné et discuté de la notion de « faute lourde » en étudiant les arrêts québécois avec référence particulière aux contrats de sécurité/surveillance, l'auteur termine son étude en proposant que la common law a besoin de ce genre d'analyse pour redresser le problème des clauses de non-responsabilité parfaitement rédigées en évoluant vers une théorie générale des obligations et de la responsabilité civile.
The problem of non payment of maintenance orders has been widely recognized in many jurisdictions. It has attracted a considerable body of applied research and programm development. After reviewing, with statistical data, the ineffectiviness of Court enforcement procedures, the author analyzes the reasons for non enforcement and the remedies which have been adopted in the Province of Quebec. The author distinguishes between what she calls preventive remedies, collecting and penalties. Lastly, she concludes that the problem goes far beyond the law and that a re-thinking of the issues involved, particularly at the economic level, remains a necessity.
Enforcement of court judgments against government and public authorities at all levels has never been studied. It raises two main concerns. First, what is the legal regime for compulsory execution of judgments ? A distinction must be made between situations where the legality of an act or omission is challenged with success by a citizen and situations where the Administration is held to pay a sum of money in civil matters (tort, contract, property).
Second, when government officials and administrators agree to comply with court judgments, is their willingness to comply genuinely effective ? Are there means of nullifying the real impact of judgments ?
To measure how effective the decisions of criminal courts really are, the author identifies the various factors interfering with the application of judicial decisions. Are the decisions of foreign jurisdictions binding before the Canadian authorities for extradition purposes ? Moreover, within Canada, what factors might affect the execution of a jail sentence, a fine, or even the suspension of a driving permit ? It will be seen that some of the factors identified interfere only marginally with the decisions while others contribute significantly in modifying the decisions as pronounced by the criminal courts.
The conclusion of this paper is that the effectiveness of criminal court decisions is quite relative. It follows that the imposition of a penalty upon those who fail to obey a civil judgment should not be considered as a means of ensuring the effectiveness of that judgment.
In practice, no question ever arises respecting the effectiveness of judicial decisions in matters of public law. Whether or not a judgment is technically executory is of no importance. There is such a high degree of respect for the decisions of the courts, specially those of the Supreme Court of Canada, that public authorities practically never feel free to seek a way out of compliance with a judicial pronouncement.
Remedial powers of the courts are entrenched under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Constitution is declared to be the supreme law of Canada. There is thus very limited scope for governmental action in defiance of court orders. The only specific provision for such action appears to be a section of the Extradition Act authorizing the Minister of Justice to refuse to surrender a fugitive if he determines that the latter's offence is of a political character.
After describing the evolution of the Quebec private international law rules concerning the execution of foreign judgments (Section I), this paper outlines the current procedures of recognition (Section II).
Section III explains the statutory provisions designed to facilitate recognition and execution of foreign judgments or to prevent it. In particular, the paper focusses on recent efforts in Quebec towards international cooperation.
Professional secrecy is expressly defined in section 9 of the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Hence, the substance of this section acquires major importance and an analysis of it must precede any other procedure. Professional secrecy as described therein is a right vested in the person and as such, is an obligation that all professionals governed by the law must respect. This right originates in the professional relationship and only concerns the confidential content of information disclosed at that time. Lastly, the professional's duty to discretion may be suspended by a specific statutory provision without there being an express need to derogate therefrom in the Charter of Rights.
The question of the law applicable to the protection of incapable foreign domiciliaries has generated much controversy in private international law. Arguments have favoured application either of the law of the foreign domicile or of the local law, yet neither solution has been consistently adopted. The author is of the view that such controversy amongst proponents of competing yet justifiable solutions is immanent in law and that both solutions must be seen as representing the private international law of incapable persons. He therefore argues in favour of a disjunctive reference of such questions to one or the other of the two laws in conflict, depending on which best serves the objective of protection of the incapable. Such a solution is incompatible with the unilateral application of the law of the forum, and notions of governmental interest or laws of « immediate application » are therefore inapplicable.
The general theory of contracts, as uniformly expressed by leading scholars in Quebec civil law, suffers from dogmatism. It rests on an individualistic and atomized notion of contract which is largely superceeded by the most significant forms of contemporary contractual practice. By focusing on the traditional rules of the Quebec Civil Code at the expense of more recent statutory law, the systematization it offers no longer corresponds to the state of the law of contracts. Refining the methods of the legal analysis, constructing typologies of contracts more sensitive to contractual practices, renewing dialogue with other disciplines such as history, economics and sociology would contribute, the author suggests, to stem the tide in authoritative writings away from its present dogmatism.
Considerations on the nature, role and influence of authoritative writings or doctrine in Québec labour law.
Authoritative writings or « doctrine » may be defined as follows : « the aggregate of writings that constitute a source of law inasmuch as they may affect law through the actions of the courts or the legislator ». The following hypothesis may then be formulated : although everything points towards an increased development of such writings or doctrine in labour law, several factors have retarded this development. The needs for such research is illustrated via various examples. These needs can be felt in legislative circles, for instance, concerning questions raised over the present consultative committee on labour created by the Québec government for revising the Labour Code. The same applies to the courts in, for example, recent decisions on basic principles applying to collective labour relationships. The article also summarily describes various obstacles hindering the development of authoritative writings which may be divided into objective ones (i.e., recent law, uneven development viz-à-viz North American laws, widespread jurisdictions, lack of researchers, constraints on the university milieu) and subjective ones (i.e., lack of openness in the labour relations milieu, an idealized conception of what doctrine is all about and the knack researchers have for taking on activities linked to practice). Lastly, several desirable orientations for research are mapped out: the penetration of law in labour relations (« juridicisation ») and the invasion of adjudication (« judiciarisation »), the empirical effects of labour law and an integrated and comparative history of Québec labour laws.
In view of the increasingly divergent tendencies in legal scholarship, many authors are reconsidering whether « la doctrine » can really serve as a formal source of law. Since university professors are primarly responsible for producing this scholarly commentary, at least in the field of administrative law, it is worth asking two related questions : first, does university scholarship in law have a specific purpose or logic ? and second, does the nature of administrative law require that this scholarship have a particular direction ?
In this essay, both questions are answered in the affirmative : University legal scholarship has a synthetic function not shared by ordinary legal writing, and given the case law foundations of the administrative law, this scholarship must also reveal the underlying conceptual structure of the subject.