Reform of Civil Procedure
The Code of Civil procedure sets out the rules which determine how proceedings are to be conducted before the courts. Since most of these rules have not been revised since 1965, the Minister of Justice in June 1998 created a committee to look into the matter of reforming civil procedure.
In July 2001, after three years of studies and consultation, the committee made up of representatives from the Bar, the Ministère de la Justice, the judiciary and the academic world handed in its final report. Entitled La révision de la procédure civile - Une nouvelle culture judiciaire, the report recommends that a comprehensive reform of civil procedure be undertaken, targeting the following objectives: respect of human rights, empowerment of parties, increased intervention of judges, proportionality of proceedings, and openness to information technologies.
In the wake of the report, the Minister of Justice introduced a bill to reform the Code of Civil Procedure which was passed into law by the National Assembly in June 2002. The legislation makes changes in such areas as the institution of proceedings, proceedings in appeal, recovery of small claims, and class action suits. Certain amendments came into force on the date of assent to the Act, others on January 1, 2003.
In the context of a continuing reform of civil procedure, the Committee on Institutions, the parliamentary committee responsible for justice-related matters, held public hearings on August 27, 2002 on the departmental proposals outlined in the document entitled Mesures visant à instituer un nouveau Code de procédure civile et comportant une proposition quant aux deux premiers livres de ce code.
For more information (in French)
Comité de révision de la procédure civile
Consultation document on the new Code of Civil Procedure presented to the National Assembly on June 13, 2002 by the Minister of Justice, Paul Bégin
Speech to the Congrès du Barreau by Jean-K. Samson, associate deputy minister, criminal and penal affaires, on June 6, 1998
Press release of March 13, 2000 by the Comité de révision de la procédure civile presenting an overview of the reform of civil procedure
Press release of March 13, 2000 by the Comité de révision de la procédure civile announcing the draft report on the reform of civil procedure
Press release of June 4, 1998 by Serge Ménard, Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Minister responsible for the administration of legislation respecting the professions, announcing the launching of the reform of civil procedure.
Code of Civil procedure
Act to reform the Code of Civil procedure