The Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law attaches great importance to developing a network for the exchange and dissemination of foundational research in private law.

To this end, it brings together scholars from near and far to participate in activities such as its continuing series of workshops, as well as conferences and colloquia.

FALL 2017

Patrick Forget, Université du Québec à Montréal - "L’atteinte : donation à charge (ou cadeau empoisonné) du droit public au droit commun de la responsabilité civile"

6 October 2017, 13:00-14:30, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall

(In French onlyJusqu'à l’insertion de la Charte canadienne dans la Constitution, la Charte québécoise, pour l’ambitieux catalogue de droits qu'elle est, se faisait remarquer pour l'économie de ses effets.

L’arrivée de la Charte canadienne et ses suites jurisprudentielles ont été un don de transfiguration pour la Charte québécoise, qui, comme vivifiée par ce souffle primordial, a imposé, si ce n'est peut-être pas l'entièreté de son régime, au moins sa présence et ses concepts, notamment le concept d'atteinte, au droit commun de la responsabilité civile.  

Dans cette conférence, nous tenterons de montrer que ce don du droit public n’est pas gratuit. L’intégration raisonnée du concept d’atteinte dans la responsabilité civile exige un travail de définition du concept d’atteinte lui-même ainsi qu’un travail de recensement des bouleversements que le concept d’atteinte engendre (ou est susceptible d’engendrer) dans l’architecture du régime de responsabilité civile.

Nombreux sont les juristes qui ont contribué jusqu’à présent à cette réflexion. Si nous leur sommes infiniment redevable, nous pensons que notre apport se démarque fondamentalement par la grande méfiance (mêlée tout de même de fascination) que nous inspire le concept d’atteinte.    


John Borrows, University of Victoria - "Using Private Law Models to Revitalize Indigenous Law: Anishinaabe Law and Dispute Resolution - A Proposal"

19 January 2018, 13:00-14:30, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall

In some jurisdictions, private arbitration processes allow parties to resolve disputes by constructing their own choice of forum and guiding laws. This paper will consider how Indigenous peoples might revitalize their own legal traditions through voluntary fora where Indigenous processes and principles guide dispute resolution. 







Vanja Hamzić, SOAS, University of London - ‘A Renaissance Interrupted? Personhood, “Sodomy” and the Public in Twelfth-Century Christian and Islamic Civil Law’

16 February 2018, 13:00-14:30, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall

The eventful twelfth century was, in many ways, a veritable paradox. On the one hand, it saw a sudden surge in academic works and universities in Western and Southern Europe that sought to bridge the worlds previously thought entirely incommensurable and usher in an age of scholasticism that would eventually lead to the fourteenth- to seventeenth-century Renaissance. For this reason, it has been a staple of mediaevalist scholarship for quite some time now to describe those thorough-going changes as the ‘renaissance of the twelfth century’. On the other hand, the same century also reads as a striking catalogue of most violent acts and disasters: from the rise of inquisition and merciless Christian infighting, over the first expulsions of Jews and the intensification of the Reconquista on Muslim Spain to the blood and gore of the Second, Third and German Crusades. Might it not be more appropriate, then, to characterise this period as an age of profound crisis, in which the true contours of a ‘persecuting society’ were drawn?

This talk seeks to make a modest contribution to that debate, by guiding the audience’s attention to a tell-tale public aspect of high mediaeval life—that of sexual and gender diversity—and by expanding the view over the twelfth century so as to include the affairs in the Great Seljuk Empire (1037–1194), a vast Turko-Persianate Sunnī Muslim state that originated in Anatolia but quickly came to rule over much of the then Islamicate world. The talk considers, in particular, an unlikely rise of neo-Roman European civil law and Seljuk proto-civil legality and its formidable effect on two paradigmatic twelfth-century intellectual debates on the public, legal and theological standing of ‘sodomy’ (peccatum sodomiticum, liwāṭ): one in amongst prominent Benedictines and the other between the leading Ḥanafī scholars. It is argued that these debates, led in the distinct spirit of concordia discors (discordant harmony) or ikhtilāf (permissible scholarly disagreement), are indispensable for our understanding of legal and social aspects of sexual and gender diversity in the twelfth century and, in turn, the way in which certain rapturous pluralities were continued and ruptured—concomitantly.


Celia Fassberg, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - "The Public in Private International Law"

2 March 2018, 13:00-14:30, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall

The vindication of private rights in a cross-border situation introduces a series of questions that have to be considered in addition to the traditional private law analysis familiar from domestic situations. Who can sue and who can be sued in a local court, and for what? Should local or foreign law apply? What assistance should a local court give a foreign court? What is the local significance of a foreign judicial decision?  These questions are quite distinct from the private law analysis and they inevitably touch - directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly - on public interests of both local and foreign sovereigns. It is then not surprising that while designed to facilitate the enforcement of private rights, private international law demonstrates a preoccupation with the appropriate weight to be attached to local and foreign public interests and the appropriate way in which to express them. It should be no more surprising that the sense of what is appropriate should fluctuate with changes in the relationship between public and private law and changes in the relationship between states. The presentation will explore different manifestations of this preoccupation with the “public” in each area of private international law (jurisdiction, choice of law, foreign judgments, and legal assistance to foreign courts), drawing on methodological and doctrinal examples of attempts to assert or to suppress local public concerns, to repel or to admit foreign public intrusions.



Richard Janda, McGill University

23 March 2018, 13:00-14:30, room 202, New Chancellor Day Hall