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Bijuralism and Harmonization: Genesis


A Word from the Minister
The launch in 1997 of the first collection of studies, The Harmonization of Federal Legislation with Quebec Civil Law and Canadian Bijuralism, aroused keen interest in the legal community across Canada and even beyond our borders. That first publication, written by university professors and other experts in civil law, laidthe groundwork for an indepth reflection on the special nature of Canadian bijuralism and the relationship between civil law and federal legislation. Since then, within the Department of Justice, some excellent studies have resulted from the harmonization of federal legislation with Quebec civil law. The purpose of this publication is to share some of these studies. It is divided into nine bookletsdealing with the background of the harmonization initiative and various aspects of the harmonization initiative. Also included is a text that presents a portrait of a legal harmonizer. Other publications will be added as the harmonization program progresses in order to ensure that knowledge related to legal harmonization is continually shared. I would like to thank my officials at the Departmentof Justice who strive to ensure each day that all Canadians have access to legislation that respects the traditions of common law and civil law . In January 2001, the Department of Justice launched its five-year Strategic Plan (2001-2005), which identifies the extension of the Harmonization program to the drafting of all federal legislation as a key part of our commitment to serving Canadians bymaking the justice system relevant and accessible. The Government of Canada’s commitment is reflected in Bill S-4, A First Act to harmonize federal law with the civil law of the Province of Quebec. Bill S-4 is a totally unique effort and concretely acknowledges the existence of the two great legal systems of our nation in a way that has not been done before in Canada or indeed anywhere in the world.It also supports Canada’s leading role in an increasingly globalized world. I sincerely hope that this work will be welcomed enthusiastically and that it will serve to highlight what we are : a bijural nation that is proud of the harmonious coexistence of common law and civil law.

A. Anne McLellan Minister of Justice Canada


Bijuralism and Harmonization: Genesis

Iwish to express my gratitude to all the authors who contributed to this publication. I would also like to thank those who participated in the translation, the transcription, the proofreading of texts, the review of texts and the presentation details of the booklet case and, namely, the editing service of the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada, for the page layout ofthe publication. Finally, I wish to thank particularly Louise Maguire Wellington, Mel Sater and Lina Tommasel, lawyers at the Civil Code Section, whose constant and attentive cooperation has brought this enterprise to a successful conclusion.

Mario Dion Associate Deputy Minister Civil Law and Corporate Management Sector Department of Justice Canada

Bijuralism and Harmonization: Genesis

Mario Dion, Associate Deputy Minister, Civil Law and Corporate Management, Department of Justice Canada As Associate Deputy Minister responsible for civil law, I am pleased to be associated with the publication of this collection and to have the privilege of writing its preface. In describing the background to this compilation, I propose to outline the history of the federalgovernment's harmonization effort and the present harmonization program as well as summarize this second publication intended to share our knowledge, its purpose and content. First of all, I should note that Canada is the only G-8 nation where bijuralism is being achieved through a formal program organized by the national government. According to available sources, it would also appear to be the only...
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