Canadian Bijuralism at a Crossroad? Impact of Section 8.1 of the Interpretation Act

Osgoode Hall Law Journal 51:2, Forthcoming

Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4/2014

37 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2014 Last revised: 17 Feb 2014

See all articles by Aline Grenon

Aline Grenon

University of Montreal - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2014

Abstract

Section 8.1 of the Interpretation Act affirms the equal authority of the common law and civil law in the field of property and civil rights and states, subject to two exceptions, that federal enactments based on rules and concepts that are part of the law of property and civil rights are to be interpreted in accordance with these rules and concepts.

Prior to the enactment of this section in 2001, courts had a tendency to opt for a uniform application of federal legislation based on common law concepts, with often negative results for Quebec civil law. Since then, the Supreme Court of Canada has had a number of opportunities to interpret federal legislation in light of section 8.1.

Following an analysis of the court’s decisions, the author emphasizes that section 8.1 has the potential to promote exchanges between Quebec civil law and Canadian common law and submits proposals in this regard.

Keywords: bijuralism, federal legislation, Québec civil law, statutory interpretation

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K12, K13, K29, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Grenon, Aline, Canadian Bijuralism at a Crossroad? Impact of Section 8.1 of the Interpretation Act (January 1, 2014). Osgoode Hall Law Journal 51:2, Forthcoming ; Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2386296

Aline Grenon (Contact Author)

University of Montreal - Faculty of Law ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9
Canada

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