Translating the Untranslatable: Historical Aspects of the Protection of Honour, Bodily Integrity, and Other Extrapatrimonial Interests in Quebec Civil Law

Friday, January 20, 2012 12:30to14:00
Chancellor Day Hall 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

This event has been accredited by the Barreau du Québec for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education. Activity no. 10042865.


This workshop is a historical look at the slow development of extrapatrimonial personality rights in Quebec law, from the later 19th century to the Civil Code of Quebec. With its stated aim to affirm and protect the dignity of the human person, the later 20th-century recodification of private law brought personality rights into the civil code for the first time. Long before this, however, litigants attempted to use the law and the courts to protect intangible and abstract human qualities like honour, bodily integrity, and familial affection. Their attempts – creative and often sophisticated, if not always successful – illustrate some of the obstacles to and conceptual changes behind the development of extrapatrimonial rights in Quebec civil law.

About the speaker

Eric H. Reiter is assistant professor in the Department of History at Concordia University, where he also developed and supervises the law and society program. He holds law degrees (B.C.L., LL.B., LL.M.) from McGill, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Toronto. His recent publications have appeared (or will soon appear) in the Canadian Bar Review, the Indigenous Law Journal, and Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals. Currently he is writing a book on historical developments in the law of persons in Quebec.

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