LA CONTRIBUTION DU JUGE LEBEL AU DROIT JUDICIAIRE ET À LA TRADITION CIVILISTE
Keywords: Civil Procedure, Supreme Court, Louis LeBel, Justice LeBel, Seminar in tribute to the Hon. Louis LeBel, Supreme Court of Canada, Quebec procedural law, Civil law tradition, Dual system, Legal methodology
AbstractJustice LeBel bequeathed us an invaluable legacy in terms of Quebec procedural law. Analyzing that legacy, the author uses a thematic and transverse approach focusing on a few landmark decisions by Justice LeBel in this realm of the law. The study gives us insight into his unique judicial methodology which reflected the dual origins of Quebec civil procedure. The selected decisions explore the dilemma faced by judges who must interpret and apply Quebec procedural law where the provisions or problems in issue stem from common law, and the role that should be assigned to common law precedents and principles in that interpretation. In the decisions addressing subjects inherited from common law, such as examination for discovery, the privilege covering journalistic sources, and the class action, Justice LeBel teaches us that a systematic application of common law must be rejected in favour of a coherent autonomous interpretation based on the civil law tradition, namely a civil law analytical grid. However, even by invoking the distinct identity of Quebec procedural law, his approach is never closeminded. He admits that with prudence and proper adaptation, common law can sometimes play a complementary role.
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