Max Planck Lecture Series

Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 14:00

“The procedural implications of Quebec’s hybrid legal system”

Prof. Geneviève Saumier
(MC Gill University)

Professor Geneviève Saumier is the Peter M. Laing Chair at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, where she has been a member of faculty since 1996. She holds degrees in management, civil law and common law from McGill University and a Ph.D. in law from the University of Cambridge.

A recognized expert in private international law, Professor Saumier’s research focuses on the resolution of international disputes, consumer law and cross-border class actions. Her papers on private international law and on consumer arbitration have been cited many times by the Supreme Court of Canada. Beyond these subjects, Professor Saumier also teaches civil procedure, mediation and civil liability.

She was a member of the Working Group for the Hague Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts and is currently Co-rapporteur for the Judgments à Project at the Hague Conference on Private International Law. An elected Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and of the American Association of Private International Law, she is also a member of the board of Quebec’s Office de la protection du consommateur.

Geneviève Saumier was awarded the Paul-André-Crépeau Medal by the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Branch, in November 2016, for her distinguished contributions to legal science.

Preview of the Lecture

Quebec is often referred to as a mixed jurisdiction in terms of substantive law, pairing private law in the civilian tradition with public law of English origin. But this hybridity also exists along the substantive/procedural axis, with a judicial system modeled on common law called on to resolve private claims under civil law. Understanding this particular configuration explains the long history of class actions in the province (the first in Canada) as well as the co-existence of codified international jurisdictional rules and the doctrine of forum non conveniens. It also reveals that it would be misguided to look at Quebec as a laboratory for the transplantation of common law procedural mechanisms in a civil law jurisdiction.

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