About the Centre

Our Mandate: Fundamental Legal Research

Founded in 1975 by Professor Paul-André Crépeau, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law (formerly the Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law) endeavours to promote the civilian tradition in Canada and develop it through a philosophy of openness to the lessons to be learned from other legal traditions.

The Crépeau Centre brings together legal scholars and academics from Quebec and abroad with a view to renewing the theoretical investigations of Quebec’s fundamental private law institutions.

As a civil law system evolving in an environment otherwise largely grounded in the common law, Quebec’s private law provides a living model for the fruitful coexistence of two historically distinct legal traditions. The importance of this model in our increasingly interconnected world is underlined by the fundamentally bilingual nature of Quebec’s civil law.

The ambitious research program of the Crépeau Centre comprises many different axes of research, all of which pursue a dialogical understanding of local law set against the world’s great legal traditions.

From the Treatise of Civil Law to historical and critical editions of the Québec Civil Code, from legal terminology projects, like the Private Law Dictionaries and Bilingual Lexicons, to transsystemic legal education, the Crépeau Centre aims to develop new theoretical understandings of private law.

Following the death in 2011 of Professor Crépeau, the Centre was renamed in March 2012 as the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law.

See a biography of Professor Paul-André Crépeau on the Wainwright Fund website.

A commemorative mosaic of photos of Prof. Paul-André Crépeau.

Bronze plaque: À la mémoire du professeur Paul-André Crépeau (1926-2011). A beloved teacher and scholar of the civil law.

We are pleased to announce that a commemorative plaque in honour of the late Professor Emeritus Paul-André Crépeau can now be found outside of Old Chancellor Day Hall. La plaque se trouve au pied de l’arbre qui a été dédié à la mémoire du Professeur Crépeau le printemps dernier, lors d’une cérémonie intime tenue par le doyen Leckey avec la famille du défunt et des membres du Centre Crépeau.

A professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill for more than 50 years, Professor Crépeau was the founder of what is today known as the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law. Paul-André Crépeau a dévoué sa vie à l’avancement du savoir en droit privé, et a marqué la société québécoise en présidant les travaux titanesques de l’Office de révision du Code civil du Québec de 1956 à 1977, qui a tracé la voie du nouveau Code Civil du Québec, entré en vigueur en 1994.

To learn more about the life of this great figure of Quebec's history, you can read the homage written at the time of his passing by then Dean of Law Daniel Jutras.