Past Events

BLG Conferences in Private and Comparative Law

2018 : Access to Land and Social Issues

On March 16, 2018, the Crépeau Centre organized an international and interdisciplinary conference where researchers explored issues relating to access to land, drawing from the disciplines of anthropology, criminology, gender studies, geography, law and urban studies. Land issues involve processes of accession, exclusion or control. These practices establish which individuals own different rights and how rights function. Beyond the legal framework of access to land, many normative orders might also come into conflict. The conference addressed first, how certain factors, such as gender and the marginalization of minority groups, influence access to land and, second, how access to land provides a new way of understanding these social issues. What tensions exist between rights holders and non-rights holders? How do these encounters and frictions inform, protect or limit access to land or territory? The conference attempted to answer these complex questions through a series of three panels.

In the first one, Professor Nicholas Blomley (Simon Fraser University), Professor Béatrice Kan-Balivet (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3) and Professor Bipasha Baruah (Western University) discussed accessin the context of land precarity. Professor Kirsten Anker (Université McGill), Professor Kerry Sloan (Université McGill) and Professor Soth Sang Bonn (Royal University of Law and Economics) then spoke on access to land and identity. Finally, the third panel raised issues of access to justice and territoriality, as explored by Professor Sabrina Doyon (Université Laval), Professor Hélène Bélanger (UQAM) and Professor Idil Atak (Ryerson University).

2017 : Rethinking Paradigms : What Future for the Transsystemic Approach to Law?

On May 1st, 2017, the Centre held a colloquim on the transsystemic approach and its future. The event sought to punctuate the reflection on the transsystemic approach, ongoing at the Faculty since the beginning of the B.C.L./LL.B. program. Many professors took the opportunity given by the colloquium to rethink transsystemic teaching in the context where jurisdictional boundaries seem to have lost their importance. The audience, formed by around seventy professors and practicionners, held the following speakers:

  • Professor Pascal Ancel, Université du Luxembourg
  • Professor Mark Antaki, McGill University
  • The Honorable Jeffrey Edwards, Court of Quebec
  • Professor Hadley Friedland, University of Alberta
  • Professor Pascale Fournier, University of d'Ottawa
  • Professor Richard Janda, McGill University
  • Professor Rosalie Jukier, McGill University
  • Professor Daniel Jutras, McGill University
  • Professor Giorgio Resta, Roma Tre University
  • Professor Shauna Van Praagh, McGill University
  • Professor Frédéric Zénati-Castaing, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3

2016 : 40th Anniversary of the Crépeau Centre

The Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law hosted a colloquium celebrating the Centre's 40th anniversary on Friday February 12, 2016 from 1pm to 5:30pm, which was followed by a cocktail reception at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. 

The event brought together the following speakers from each faculty of Quebec civil law on the theme of “The Responsibility of Doctrine”:

  • Aurore Benadiba, Université Laval: Une responsabilité réflexive de la doctrine
  • Élise Charpentier, Université de Montréal: De la nécessaire impunité de la doctrine
  • Vincent Forray, McGill University: La responsabilité du fait politique de la doctrine
  • Sébastien Grammond, University of Ottawa: La doctrine, une obligation ?
  • Derek McKee, Université de Sherbrooke: The Positivization of a Corrective Justice Approach to Tort Law
  • Anne Saris, UQAM: Les doctrinaires en prise avec le droit vivant : quelles responsabilités ?

Program and abstacts are available here: PDF icon programme et titres

For this occasion, we launched a scientific poster competition open to law students of the six Quebec civil law faculties. The terms of the contest are indicated in the attached document:PDF icon concours

Other Events

2018 : The Quest for Truth in Law

By virtue of their duty to advise, notaries must be able to give the best information to parties in the context of a given transaction; the professional responsibilities to inform and to provide impartial advice naturally weigh heavy. The recent case of Ostiguy c. Allie (2017 CSC 22), in opposing the presumption of the existence of rights registered in the registers to the acquisitive prescription, illustrates the tensions likely to emerge between the notarial duty to inform and notaries’ quests for truth. Some recent practices also testify to the fact that notaries increasingly take on the role of the guarantor of truth, a burden not required of other professionals. While we like to reiterate and teach, rightly so, that notaries are not judges and cannot decide litigious disputes or questions of law, why do we ask of them to be guarantors of truth, as if they are judges rendering a decision? Is it because notaries and judges alike produce authentic documents (article 2814 C.C.Q.)? Is it due to the notary’s role as public officer and the impartiality required therein? This also raises issues regarding the exercise of the notarial function today. In highlighting the issue of truth in the context of notarial law, the author intends to open up a wider discussion of the difficulties associated with the search from truth for legal professionals at large.

This conference was organized in collaboration with la Chaire du notariat de l'Université de Montréal and the Groupe de recherche en droit privé de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.

2017 : Round Table “Perspectives sur le droit de la famille contemporain” and launch of the Private Law Dictionary and Bilingual Lexicons — Family

On February 13, 2017, the Crépeau Centre organized, in collaboration with the Chaire du notariat de l’Université de Montréal, a panel entitled “Perspectives sur le droit de la famille contemporain”.

It was the occasion to discuss our Family Law, its situation and evolution, in an appropriate context considering the recent report of the Comité consultatif sur le droit de la famille.


  • Mtre Brigitte Binette, lawyer and family mediator, Binette Carignan, avocats
  • The Honourable Eva Petras, Superior Court of Québec
  • Mtre Régine Tremblay, lawyer and J.S.D. candidate (University of Toronto)
  • Mtre Maryse Messier, notary and mediator

Mtre Audrée Sirois, notary and research associate, Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law

The panel was followed by the launch of two new publications : Dictionnaire de droit privé et lexiques bilingues – Les familles / Private Law Dictionary and Bilingual Lexicons – Family and Robert Leckey (dir.), Marital Rights (Routledge, 2017).

2016 : Discussion on the Japanese Property Law

11:00-12:30, Stephen Scott Seminar Room (room 16), Chancellor Day Hall

On November 18, 2016, the Crépeau Centre organized a conference entitled “Échanges sur le droit des biens japonais”.

Naoya Katayama, Dean of Keio University Law School, Professor Naoki Kanayama (Keio University Law School), and Professor Hidenari Kou (Kanazawa University) discussed the notions of “thing” and “property”, the notion of possession, and the question of administration of property and its legal regime under Japanese law.


2016 : Things, Rights and Animals: La situation juridique de l'animal au Québec

Tuesday, March 8 2016, 5:00pm-6:30pm

Faculty of Law, McGill University (Maxwell-Cohen Moot Court, room 100)

In collaboration with the Notarial Chair of the University of Montreal and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of McGill University, The Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law held a panel entitled Things, Rights and Animals: La situation juridique de l’animal au Québec.

Following the adoption last December of Bill 54 on the reform of the legal status of the animal, it seemed imperative to evaluate the true scope of the change in status of animals and its impact on the internal coherence of the Civil Code.

This event brought together three panelists: Gaële Gidrol-Mistral (UQAM), Alexandra Popovici (Crépeau Centre)and Lionel Smith (McGill), with Daniel Weinstock (McGill) as moderator. There was time for discussion with the audience. 

The event was followed by a reception in the Atrium.

The event was accredited for mandatory continuing education from the Chambre des notaires and the Barreau du Québec.

2015 : Fourth Worldwide Congress of the WSMJJ: “The Scholar, Teacher, Judge, and Jurist in a Mixed Jurisdiction”

June 24-26, 2015

Faculty of Law, McGill University

The World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists held a Fourth Worldwide Congress at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) for an opening evening reception and lecture from June 24, 2015 to June 26, 2015.

The theme of the Congress was “The Scholar, Teacher, Judge and Jurist in a Mixed Jurisdiction.”

See the programme here:  PDF icon WSMJJ 4th Worldwide Congress Programme

Mixed Jurisdictions, as they are traditionally understood, stand at the crossroads of the Common law and Civil law. They also frequently encompass other ethnic and religious laws. Rich in legal history and complex pluralism, they are often seen as natural laboratories of comparative law.

The laws, methods, and institutions of mixed jurisdictions are inevitably affected by the influence and presence of different traditions vying for supremacy or requiring reconciliation. Their added complexity places special demands upon the training of judges and jurists, the staffing of courts, the teaching of private law, the research of scholars, and the task of law reform. To what extent have these challenges been met by the actors and institutions of mixed jurisdictions? We propose to investigate these issues.

The conference was organized by the World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists, McGill's Faculty of Law, and the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law. This event was a Borden Ladner Gervais Conference in Private and Comparative Law.

2012 : Stateless Law

On 28-29 September 2012, the Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and the Faculty of Law hosted an international conference entitled Stateless Law? The Future of the Discipline

This proved an exciting intellectual event, and was a precious opportunity to reflect on issues of fundamental importance to all of us. You can read about the conference and see photos in Focus online's October 2012 edition, and see the proceedings of the conference, which have since been published. See the programme here: File Stateless Law_EN

2010 : The Worlds of the Trust

The Worlds of the Trust

The Worlds of the Trust

The Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law (now known as the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law) hosted a conference entitled The Worlds of the Trust/La fiducie dans tous ses États, from the 23rd to the 25th of September 2010, at McGill University's Faculty of Law.

Until recently, the trust was often described as foreign to the logic of the law of property in the civilian tradition. This assertion is increasingly untenable, as the profile of the trust in legal systems with a civilian law of property continues to develop and expand. The conference sought to explore the multiple ways in which civilian and mixed legal systems have embraced the trust, with the goal of allowing jurists from different jurisdictions to better understand their different approaches to this increasingly important legal institution.

This conference aimed to be a new point of departure in the comparative study of trust law. Twenty papers were presented which examine issues relating to the nature and operation of trusts in civilian and mixed legal systems. Commentary on the papers was provided by commentators with expertise in the common law trust. The conference proceedings will soon be published

View the full program: Program - The Worlds of the Trust [pdf].

The Centre has recently published The Worlds of the Trust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) to commemorate the conference.

Conference speakers included:

  • François Barrière, Université Paris-II (Panthéon-Assas);
  • Alexandra Braun, Oxford University;
  • François du Toit, University of the Western Cape, Republic of South Africa;
  • Thomas Gallanis, University of Iowa;
  • George Gretton, University of Edinburgh;
  • Lusina Ho, University of Hong Kong;
  • M. le juge Nicholas Kasirer, Quebec Court of Appeal;
  • Paul Matthews, King's College London.

Commentators included:

  • Gregory Alexander, Cornell Law School;
  • Aline Grenon, University of Ottawa;
  • John Langbein, Yale Law School;
  • Ben McFarlane, Oxford University;
  • Tina Piper, McGill University;
  • Lionel Smith, McGill University;
  • Donovan Waters, University of Victoria (Emeritus).

The Centre acknowledges with gratitude the financial support that it received from the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation, from Quebec’s Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation, and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

2009 : Myths and Metaphors

The Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law (now known as the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law) was pleased to present three Intellectual Property and Private Law seminars entitled the "Myths and Metaphors". For more information please visit the Myths and Metaphors website. See the programme here: File Myths and Metaphors

2006 : Terminology and Property Models in the 21st Century

Workshop speakers in the Common Room
The Centre held a workshop entitled “Terminology and Property Models in the 21st Century”, over the 21st and 22nd of September, 2006. The concept of Property was explored from jurilinguistic and comparative perspectives.

The main objective of the workshop was to raise and examine terminological and linguistic questions pertaining to the idea of property in the 21st century. It was part of an on-going collaboration with the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.-C.E.C.O.J.I., Paris).

The workshop also sought to stimulate reflection on the future of Canadian private law as it continues to develop in a bilingual and bijuridical setting, within its larger global context.

Download the File Conference Programme

The paper produced from this workshop will appear in a special issue of the Revue générale du droit close to the end of 2008.

2005 : 30th Anniversary Conference

Programme: Cross-examining Private Law [pdf]
22-23 September, 2005

2005 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law (now known as the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law). On this occasion, the Centre held a conference on the topic with which it established its reputation: private law.

Teams pairing a Centre researcher with an invited senior scholar scrutinized one of the chosen topics: extra-patrimonial rights, patrimonies by appropriation, intimate relationships, rights in the property of others, and private international law.

The decision to organize research along teams bringing together two different generations of jurists was in keeping with the spirit of openness and collegiality that pemeates the Centre. This dialogical methodology not only provided a great setting for reflection upon private law, but it also enabled researchers to employ diverse analytical practices.

The emergence of a university community with multiple intellectual orientations is one of the most valuable achievements of the past thirty years. This new scholarship, if we may call it that, did not appear out of nowhere, as a break from past generations. On the contrary, while a distinct occurrence in its own right, it stems from a movement impelled by these senior legal scholars. It thus stands alongside reforms and recodifications of private law, as well as the harmonizing links forged between private law and federal law.

In his keynote address, Christian Atias, from Aix-en-Provence, closed the conference in reflection upon civilian scholarship and its evolution over the course of the past thirty years. Paul-André Crépeau, emeritus professor and founder of the Centre, also participated and shared his thoughts on the legislative definition of contract (art. 1378 par. 1 C.C.Q.). Nicholas Kasirer spoke about the terminology pertaining to the civilian notion of delict.

The Centre has recently published a book flowing from the conference, entitled Thirtieth Anniversary Conference 1975-2005 Cross-Examining Private Law / Colloque du Trentenaire 1975-2005 Regards croisés sur le droit privé (Cowansville: Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc., 2008) to commemorate the conference.

The Crépeau Centre thanks the Chambre des notaires du Québec and the Department of Justice Canada for their financial support.



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