Page 1 of 51996 Ottawa, ON
Civil Section Documents - Foreign Judgments - Quebec Law
Having had the opportunity to read a preliminary version of the excellent report by our colleagues V. Black and J. Blom, we decided to make it easier for the Department of Justice to co-ordinate the research of the two teams by adopting the outline of our colleagues' report in our own and referring to their report in our own where necessary, inter alia, to state our point of view on its recommendations.
We will begin by briefly noting the objectives that modern legislation on this subject should in our opinion fulfil:
- Respect for the sovereignty of foreign states (internationalist perspective, based in theory on the comity of nations, or in practical terms on Canada's need for openness) and
- (counterpart of the first) Recognition abroad of Quebec or Canadian judgments rendered in compliance with those conditions (interests of the administration of justice and of individuals).
- Respect for the expectations of individuals in international trade matters, except where there is a policy to protect a weak party (perspective of individuals). This objective also includes the need to avoid miscarriages of justice.
- Recognition of a principle against multiple proceedings and adoption of measures to effectively discourage this practice (perspective of individuals and more effective administration of justice in the forum state). This implies a sub-objective of ensuring that there is a real and substantial connection between the court and the jurisdictional facts (interprovincial and international perspective, but also the final interest of individuals, which is to avoid forum shopping). It also implies that due to the excessive uncertainty concerning our rules of indirect jurisdiction, it is necessary to ensure that defendants domiciled in Quebec (or another province) will not be required to go abroad to defend themselves or to institute proceedings as quickly as possible in the court of the forum state.
- Respect for needs related to the federal nature of Canada. This means facilitating the circulation of judgments in Canada. According to the interpretation taken from the cases (Hunt), it could mean a constitutional duty to adopt (or comply with) a principle equivalent to full faith and credit.
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