The Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms at 40: éléments de perspective et de prospective


Chancellor Day Hall Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

This year, we have the honour of welcoming Jacques Frémont for the René Cassin Lecture.


Forty years ago, the Quebec National Assembly adopted the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What have been the main achievements of this quasi-constitutional instrument and what lessons can be drawn concerning, among other things, the judicial approach to protecting human rights? In an increasingly diverse and connected society, are we still willing to renew our commitment in pursuing the human rights agenda? Could the Charter be updated and adjusted to incorporate international norms relating to human rights? At 40, the consensus in Quebec concerning human rights appears fragile in some quarters. Public concerns regarding what we thought was the general acceptance of the human right paradigm are increasingly present. In this context, the main challenges ahead have to do with a cultural re-appropriation of the human rights paradigm within the Quebec population.

About the speaker

Professor emeritus at the University of Montreal, Mr. Frémont was named President of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission in 2013. Before this appointment, he was Director of the International Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations in New York.

During his career at the University of Montreal, Mr. Frémont has acted as Dean of the Law school as well as Provost and vice-rector Academic affairs until 2010. Mr. Fremont is author of numerous books, articles and chapter of books in constitutional law as well as in public law. As President of the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission, Mr. Frémont has a unique perspective on the Charter, the battles won and those that remain, and the change-makers – past, present, and future.  He will discuss changing attitudes and changing lives and the future of Human Right in Quebec.

The event was accredited for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education with the Barreau du Québec (no. 10104747).

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