Family Outside the Book on the Family

Canadian Bar Review, Vol. 88, pp. 545-78, 2009

34 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2009 Last revised: 29 Sep 2010

See all articles by Robert Leckey

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 3, 2009


The orthodox view of the Civil Code of Québec’s book on the family as an exhaustive enumeration of legal family relations, and of the legislature as sole law reformer, requires revision. Recent cases in which orders justified by children’s best interests have acknowledged other family forms show the judges to be adapting the Civil Code’s resources to the situations before them. The creativity of some Quebec judges, balanced by the constraints perceived by common-law judges, confirms that, in family matters, the caricatures of the rule-bound civilian judge and the unconstrained common-law judge obscure more than they illuminate.

Keywords: Quebec civil law, family law, comparative family law, law reform, functional family, lesbian parents, unmarried couples, matrimonial home, family residence

JEL Classification: K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Leckey, Robert, Family Outside the Book on the Family (December 3, 2009). Canadian Bar Review, Vol. 88, pp. 545-78, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
514-398-4148 (Phone)
514-398-4659 (Fax)

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