Summer Seminars

Each summer, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law organizes a series of seminars to promote research of students from McGill and elsewhere.  

Attendance is open to all. For more information, please contact the Crépeau Centre: centre.crepeau [at] (subject: Summer%20seminars)

See our past seminars here.

2021 Summer Seminars

Poster showing event titles, time and date (also visible on page)Netukulimk : Le système de savoirs mi’kmaw pour une cogestion durable des ressources halieutiques

20 August 2021, 9:30-11:00, on Zoom

Speaker: Camille Boulianne (McGill University)

Le principe "netukulimk", sous-tendant le système de pensées et le droit mi'kmaq, signifie "éviter de ne pas en avoir assez". Cette présentation vise à mettre en valeur ce système de savoirs traditionnel, ainsi que l'utilité et la légitimité du droit mi'kmaw dans la gestion des ressources halieutiques dans les provinces bordant l'Atlantique au Canada. L'auteure dresse la possibilité d'une cogestion durable des ressources halieutiques entre l'État et les communautés mi'kmaq. Cette cogestion profiterait à toutes les parties prenantes, permettant de respecter les droits issus de traités des Mi'kmaq, ainsi que de gérer les ressources de manière mieux adaptée aux besoins changeants des espèces marines.

De manière plus générale, son projet de recherche vise à démontrer la légitimité du savoir et du droit mi'kmaq au sein du constitutionnalisme canadien. Pour ce faire, trois fronts sont entrepris:

  1. l'étude du concept netukulimk et ses vertus dans la gestion des ressources halieutiques;
  2. l'étude des traités de paix et d'amitié ayant permis la cohabitation paisible entre colons et peuples autochtones au 18e siècle, et finalement;
  3. le constitutionnalisme canadien, qui peut, et doit selon l'auteure, être utilisé comme vecteur de légitimation du droit autochtone au Canada.

Poster showing event titles, time and date (also visible on page)Kinship, Friendship, Contract: A Survey of Impossibilité Morale’s Application in Québec Between 1994 and 2018

20 August 2021, 11:30-11:00, on Zoom

Speaker: Philippe April (McGill University)

Ask the person nearest to you the following question: if a close family member loaned you a sum of money, would you ask them to sign a contract to that effect? Their response should seem nearly automatic, “of course I wouldn’t.” This intuitive answer to a seemingly basic question has ramifications if the relationship ever sours, and either party seeks recourse in Québec’s civil courts.

The civil law evidentiary system puts primacy on documentary evidence as the best possible means of proof in civil litigation. The civilian requirement for documents to prove the existence of a contractual obligation gives pause for a notable issue, how can you produce documents for a contract validly formed without written proof? This presentation attempts to tackle these questions in three parts.

  • First, the presentation tracks the doctrinal origins of “impossibilité morale” from the French “droit ancient,” the French Code Civil, and impossibilité morale’s presence prior to the Québec Civil Code’s revision in 1994.
  • Second, legislative and doctrinal developments in Québec are analyzed, as well as the scope of the application in Quebec Civil Law by reviewing 46 cases where CCQ 2861 was argued since 1991. In doing so, impossibilité morale is found to apply in three circumstances: family, de facto relationships, and personal relationships approaching the quality of familial relationships.
  • Finally, impossibilité morale is viewed from a macro perspective, determining that the expanded application of impossibilité morale is both a sociological phenomenon, and a pragmatic decision on the part of the legislator. The aim of the article is to clarify the exception’s parameters for more uniform application, and for parties to understand when they might be able to avail themselves of the exception.
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