Mediation and Participative Justice: Perspectives from the Field

On April 11th 2016, the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law hosted an enriching discussion on mediation and participative justice in Québec and Canada. Me Claudia P. Prémont, Bâtonnière of Québec, and the Honorable Justice Marc E. De Wever of the Québec Superior Court, had the opportunity to share their visions of the justice system and their respective experiences from the field.

As the Journal du Barreau du Québec put forward in December 2009: “[…] ‘tailored’ justice is not only applying legal rules, but also conducting the case in a way that ensures the citizen’s greater participation and allows her to take a free and informed decision with regards to the methods she wants to use to reach her personal justice objectives”1 [our translation]. During the April 11th discussion, Me Prémont and Mr. Justice De Wever were invited to comment on the move by the Québec justice system towards increased participation by litigants.

An experienced administrator, Me Prémont was elected Bâtonnière of Québec in September 2015. She was a member of the Conseil général de l’Ordre from 2001 to 2008 and Bâtonnière of Québec City in 2007-2008. Me Prémont has worked since the beginning of her practice in family, persons and successions law. She is trained in collaborative law and is an accredited mediator. Me Prémont has authored multiple texts in family law and has coauthored publications on procedure in matrimonial matters and on family patrimony.

Mr. Justice De Wever has been a judge at the Québec Superior Court since November 2001. At the time of his appointment, he was practising with Gowling Lafleur Henderson (now Gowling WLG), working primarily in civil litigation, insurance law and commercial arbitration and mediation. A former Bencher of the Bar of Quebec, he has been a frequent presenter in the area of insurance law and commercial mediation matters.

1 Philippe Samson, “La résolution des conflits du XXIe siècle”, Journal du Barreau du Québec, 41 : 12 (December 2009) 3 at page 3, online: http://www.barreau.qc.ca/pdf/journal/vol41/200912_01.pdf.