Institute of Jurilinguistics

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For the 14th annual Institute of Jurilinguistics, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and the three other Canadian centres of jurilinguistics — the Centre for Legal Translation and Documentation (Ottawa), the Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques (Moncton) and the Centre de ressources en français juridique (Saint-Boniface) — will join the McGill School of Continuing Studies to host the event, Realities of Jurilinguistics in Canada.

This bilingual event will explore the daily realities of balancing language and law in Canada, with sessions offered by professionals from diverse sectors related to jurilinguistics.

From Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, our guest speakers will each have five minutes to describe a specific aspect of jurilinguistics, highlighting the geographical, professional and institutional diversity of a field where a wide range of issues tend to intertwine, intersect and overlap.

We will shine the spotlight on the many realities and nuances of jurilinguistics in Canada, from bilingualism in Canadian territories to access to legal information, along with various issues concerning Indigenous languages, language policy, court interpreting, technology and more.

Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)







1:00 p.m.

Opening remarks



Étienne Cossette-Lefebvre


Marie-Hélène Girard

Paul‑André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University


Legal Translation graduate program, School of Continuing Studies, McGill University

1:10 p.m.

Terminology and jurilinguistic tools

What are the issues surrounding English civil law dictionaries?


Étienne Cossette-Lefebvre

Paul‑André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law

What are the issues surrounding the conservation of outdated dictionaries?


François Blais, retired lawyer

Centre for Legal Translation and Documentation (CLTD)

What are the issues surrounding French terminology?


Guy Jourdain, executive director

Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba (AJEFM)

What are the issues surrounding legal language processing technology?

Private sector

Michel Bergeron, partner and director

MT>Version, McCarthy Tétrault

1:50 p.m.

Recruitment and training

What are the issues surrounding the recruitment of jurilinguists?

New Brunswick

Serge Rousselle, full professor, lawyer and director

Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques (CTTJ)

What are the issues surrounding the training of jurists in French?


Caroline Thibault, director of Justice

Réseau national de formation en justice

2:10 p.m.

Language rights

What are the issues surrounding the protection and recognition of Indigenous languages?

Nunavut and Quebec

David O. Johnston, Commissioner’s representative, Quebec and Nunavut region

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Government of Canada

What are the issues surrounding Indigenous languages in courts in Canada? Quebec Donald Nicholls, director Cree Nation Government Department of Justice and Correctional Services

What are the issues surrounding legal interpretation in non‑official languages?

British Columbia

Karin Reinhold, certified translator & interpreter

Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC)

What are the constitutional issues facing official language minority communities?

Private sector

Darius Bossé, lawyer

Juristes Power Law

2:40 p.m.


2:50 p.m.

Access to justice

What are the issues surrounding access to legal information in English in a French province?


Jennifer Drouin, plain language specialist - translator


What are the issues surrounding access to legal information in French in a unilingual English province?

Newfoundland and Labrador

Étienne Vuillaume, coordinator

Francophone Justice Network of Newfoundland and Labrador

What are the issues surrounding bilingualism in the territories?


André Bourcier, director

French Language Services Directorate, Government of Yukon

3:20 p.m.

Bilingualism and bijuralism in federal institutions

What are the issues of bilingualism and bijuralism surrounding the drafting of judgments at the Supreme Court?


Christian C. Després, chief jurilinguist

Reports Branch, Supreme Court of Canada

What are the issues of bilingualism and bijuralism surrounding the drafting of legislation in Canada?


Jean-Paul Chapdelaine, senior legislative counsel

Justice Canada, Bijuralism and Advisory Services Section

What are the issues surrounding the practice of jurilinguistics in the Treaty Law Division?


Aleksandra Koziorowska, jurilinguist

Global Affairs Canada, Treaty Law Division

3:50 p.m.

Closing remarks


François Blais

François Blais was at the helm of the Centre for Legal Translation and Documentation (CLTD) at University of Ottawa until he retired in September 2011. From 1979 to 1998, he was with the Translation Bureau, where he worked as a writer, translator and reviser specialized in legal and judicial translation and also did quality control and assurance. He is a member of the Quebec bar, the Corporation of Translators and Interpreters of New Brunswick and ISO’s technical committee 37. He taught legal translation at University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation, and he was also the coordinator for the legal translation master’s program.

Guy Jourdain

Guy Jourdain holds a bachelor’s degree in civil law from Université de Montréal and a bachelor’s degree in common law from University of Manitoba. He is also a member of the bar in both Quebec and Manitoba. Most of his work has been in areas that combine law and language. He has worked as a legal translator, served as director at Institut Joseph-Dubuc, practiced as a lawyer, taught translation and acted as the coordinator for the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba (AJEFM).

From 2001 to 2012, he was the executive director for the Francophone Affairs Secretariat and advised the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

Michel Bergeron

Michel Bergeron is a partner and Head of MT>Version, the legal translation division of McCarthy Tétrault. He is the firm’s lawyer-reviser. He reviews legal translations with respect to a wide range of documents relating to business law and securities issues.

He is a certified translator, former member of the board of directors and member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ), member of the Canadian Association of Legal Translators (CALT) and the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and permanent member of the Québec Writers Union (Union des écrivaines et écrivains du Québec).

He is the author of the Practical Legal Lexicon in Business Law, published by Gaudet Éditeur, and has been a teacher (lecturer) of legal translation (for the bachelor's degree in translation) at the Université de Montréal and visiting professor (master's degree in legal translation) at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of numerous articles on legal translation and acts regularly as a speaker and resource person for the specialized press.

He is also the author of four novels, published by Éditions du Boréal, Éditions JCL and Leméac Éditeur, and numerous short stories (published notably by Éditions XYZ, Stop and Bénévent).

He received his LLL from Université Laval in 1980. He was called to the Québec bar in 1981.

Serge Rousselle

Serge Rousselle is a political science graduate of the University of Ottawa (summa cum laude) and a law graduate of the University of Ottawa. He also has a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge and a doctoral degree in law from McGill University.

He is currently a professor at the Université de Moncton’s Law Faculty and has held that position since 1992. Over the years, he has served as Vice Dean and Dean of the Université de Moncton’s Law Faculty, been a visiting professor at several European universities and served as Director of the Centre international de la common law en français, as well as the Bureau des Amériques de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie. He has published extensively and given conferences all over the world in the fields of language, aboriginal and environmental law.

He has been a member of the Law Society of New Brunswick since 1995 and has been involved in several constitutional law cases, particularly those relating to linguistic rights. A notable example is the Reference Re Senate Reform, a case in which he argued before the Court of Appeal for Québec and the Supreme Court of Canada. During his time as a member of New Brunswick’s Legislative Assembly, Mr. Rousselle held several cabinet positions, including the position of Attorney General of New Brunswick, from 2014 to 2018.

Caroline Thibault

Caroline Thibault is the director of the Réseau national de formation en justice (RNFJ). She has over twenty years of experience as a lawyer with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. Before joining the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC), she was a Senior Assistant Crown Counsel, and she is also an officially bilingual counsel. In addition to having prosecuted a large number of complex criminal cases, including many jury trials, she was renowned within the ministry for her in-depth knowledge of mental health and language rights issues.

Since 2006, she has been the director and coordinator for the French Language Institute for Professional Development (FLIPD), which organizes every year a week of intensive legal training in French for over a hundred attendees (Crown counsel, police officers, legal aid lawyers and court staff). Since 2006, she has also been a course lecturer at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where she has led the courses Crown Attorney Assignment and Crown Attorney’s Internship for over 15 years, as well as Advanced Criminal Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication (1994) and a bachelor of laws (LLB) from the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program (1997). She has been a member of the Bar of Ontario since February 1, 1999.

David O. Johnston

David Johnston is the Quebec and Nunavut Regional Representative of federal Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge. Born and raised in Montreal of immigrant parents from Northern Ireland, he joined the Office of the Commissioner 2014 after 33 years as a journalist at the Montreal Gazette, where his last job was editorial-page editor.

Donald Nicholls

Donald Nicholls is the Director of the Cree Nation Government Department of Justice and Correctional Services since 2009.

Prior to becoming Director, Mr. Nicholls was the Interim Director where he assisted with preparatory work for the establishment of the Department, and was an inaugural Member of the Cree-Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee when established in 2007. Mr. Nicholls stepped down from the Committee to become Director, and instead work closely with the Committee and CNG. Previously, from 2005-2009, Mr. Nicholls worked as Political Attaché with the Executive Office of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government.

Karin Reinhold

Born and raised in Germany, Karin Reinhold is a dedicated language professional with over 20 years of experience in the legal, medical, technical and commercial field. She earned a B.A. in Translation in Germany and a Master’s degree in Education (ESL and Curriculum Design) from Simon Fraser University. She is dedicated to the professional training and development of interpreters and translators and has worked as the Program Coordinator of the Interpreting Certificate Programs at Vancouver Community College.

As an advocate for the advancement of the translation and interpreting profession in Canada, she served as President of the Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia, and as Registrar and Director-at-Large chairing the Education and Certification Committees. For many years, she was also on the Board of Directors of Critical Link International, an international non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the field of community interpreting in the social, legal and health care sectors.

Darius Bossé

New Brunswick native Darius Bossé is now based in Ottawa, where his passion for public law and politics has only grown. His main areas of interest are constitutional law, administrative law and parliamentary and governmental affairs. In addition to practicing in public law, he has extensive experience in civil litigation, including judicial reviews and appeals. He has represented clients before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, and in courts in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and New Brunswick. He draws on his experience at the intersection of law and politics to support his clients in developing laws and policies, particularly for Parliamentary Committees. He is also experienced in interpreting, negotiating and implementing intergovernmental agreements.

Jennifer Drouin

Jennifer Drouin is a lawyer with Éducaloi, an organization that uses plain language to improve Quebecers’ legal literacy.

As a plain language specialist and translator, Jennifer creates and develops legal content and information tools for Quebec’s English-speaking communities, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.

Before becoming a lawyer, Jennifer was an associate professor of English literature. Her experience as a university professor is a great asset in her Éducaloi workshops for English-speaking communities across Quebec, from Outaouais to Côte-Nord.

Étienne Vuillaume

Étienne Vuillaume holds a degree from the École supérieure de journalisme de Lille, in France, and two master’s degrees, one in physics and one in French as a foreign language. Since 2015, he has lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he teaches the province’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges and coordinates the Réseau Justice en français de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. He is not a lawyer, but rather a journalist and teacher by training, and he fights for legal access from the angles of general public access to information and knowledge to ensure quality legal information services for Newfoundland and Labrador Francophones.

André Bourcier

André Bourcier has been the director of Yukon’s French Language Services Directorate since January 2020. He joined the Directorate in 2018, as language assessment and training manager. He worked for the Yukon Native Language Centre, first as a linguist and then as the organization’s director, between 2015 and 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Université Laval in Quebec.

Christian C. Després

Christian C.‑Després is the Chief of Jurilinguistic Services at the Supreme Court of Canada, where he has worked since 1995. Before that, he worked as a translator and reviser for both public and private organizations. He has taught courses and workshops in legal and paralegal translation for over 30 years, including at University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal, and he is also an instructor with Magistrad, a continuous training school for translators. For many years, he was also very involved with the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec and the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council.

Jean-Paul Chapdelaine

Jean-Paul Chapdelaine is a jurist-expert with the Canadian Department of Justice. He acts as an advisor on the preparation of laws and their orders and regulations. He also offers training courses on legislative drafting, for a wide range of audiences.

Aleksandra Koziorowska

Aleksandra Koziorowska holds a bachelor’s degree in law and a translation certificate from Université de Montréal. Before joining Global Affairs Canada in 2009, she specialized in legal translation and revision in the translation departments of the Canada Revenue Agency and the Courts Administration Service (1999–2009).


The Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law would like to thank the Department of Justice Canada for its financial support under the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund.


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