L’AFFIRMATION DU RÔLE CENTRAL DES INSTITUTIONS DES RAPPORTS COLLECTIFS DU TRAVAIL DANS UN ENVIRONNEMENT JURIDIQUE MODIFIÉ : L’APPORT DU JUGE LEBEL AU DÉVELOPPEMENT DU DROIT DU TRAVAIL
Keywords: Supreme Court, Louis LeBel, Justice LeBel, Seminar in tribute to the Hon. Louis LeBel, Supreme Court of Canada, Collective Relations, Collective Bargaining, Freedom of association, Hierarchy of Louis LeBel sources
AbstractJustice LeBel’s contribution to the development of labour law can be appreciated at the end of his term on the Supreme Court, which spanned a pivotal period for Canadian and Quebec labour law (2000–2015). A key actor in the constitutional debate about extending the protection of freedom of association to collective bargaining, Justice LeBel reaffirmed the importance of collective bargaining as a fundamental freedom, and proposed delivering it from the constraints of a specific labour relations legislative model in order to maintain the fundamental conditions of a fair debate between employer and employees regarding the determination of working conditions. To the argument of the autonomy of collective labour relations, which the majority rely on in the Isidore Garon decision (2006), Justice LeBel was able to successfully argue an approach favouring the harmonization, directly within collective relations, of labour standards derived from various sources based on their hierarchy in the legal system. Overseeing the transition from the Fordist era to the “new economy,” more than a dozen decisions bearing Justice LeBel’s signature thus reaffirmed the role and importance of collective bargaining, while setting it in a significantly altered legal framework.
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