Objectives
Standardisation of French Common-Law Vocabulary:
   - Approach and Structure (coming soon)
   - Analysis
    - Law of Trusts
  - Law of Contracts
  - Law of Torts
  - Documents dealing with both Law of Contrats & Law of Torts
Publications
  - Canadian Common Law Dictionary - Law of Property and Estates
- Law of Trust Glossary (document available in .pdf format)

Jurilinguistic Training and Documentation

Original mission of PAJLO: cornerstone of an expanded initiative

Developing specialized documentary, training and terminology solutions for stakeholders in the Canadian justice system is, today, one of three key components of PAJLO, along with consultation mechanisms and a financing process for associations and high-potential projects. The strategy for improving access to justice in both official languages dates back to the early 1980s and is what led to the creation of the National Program for the Integration of Both Official Languages in the Administration of Justice (or PAJLO). However, the acronym for this program has, since 2003, taken on broader meaning, now encompassing all of the Department of Justice’s various activities to promote access to justice in both official languages.

Decades of productive, focused efforts

Following a number of judicial decisions concerning language rights by various courts in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it became clear that French-speaking lawyers did not have the necessary tools in common law to do their legal work in their official language. In collaboration with various federal and provincial partners, the Government of Canada set about remedying this problem with a series of innovative measures that have yielded eloquent results. For example:

The creation of four jurilinguistics centres, all affiliated with a university or university college:

  • Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques at Université de Moncton
  • Centre for Legal Translation and Documentation at the University of Ottawa
  • Institut Joseph-Dubuc, which is affiliated with the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface
  • Quebec Research Centre for Private and Comparative Law at McGill University in Montreal.

The creation of associations of French-speaking lawyers in seven common law provinces and at the national level.

The development of common law tools in French and civil law tools in English as well as judicial information and education tools to make it possible to teach and practise both systems of law in official language minority situations.

The creation and standardization of French common law vocabulary, which led to publication of the Canadian Common Law Dictionary - Law of Property and Estates. The content of such works, which expressly reflect the bilingual and bijural nature of Canada, is increasingly finding its way into legislative texts as well as numerous translations intended for students, professors and practitioners, among others.

The production and distribution of reference and awareness documents concerning access to justice in both of Canada’s official languages.

Expanded initiative, ongoing collaboration

In its 1995 report, the Commissioner of Official Languages pointed out that, apart from legislative recognition of the right to access the justice system in both official languages, it is important to recognize the role played by judges, lawyers and all judicial personnel in implementing this right. Moreover, according to the results of the Canada-wide study commisioned by the Department of Justice in 2002, entitled Environmental Scan: Access to Justice in Both Official Languages, the key stakeholders in our legal system do not yet have all the necessary resources to meet the needs of official language minority communities.

This is why jurilinguistic training and documentation have remained a central part of PAJLO activities and why related initiatives are greeted with particular interest by those responsible for the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund. Furthermore, the members of the Advisory Sub-Committee on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Task Force on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages are also actively participating in an ongoing process of reflection on the new tools Canada can provide the legal community to help achieve the major objectives of PAJLO.

To learn more about this vital component of PAJLO, or even suggest a project, go to www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps or www.pajlo.org

PAJLO Contacts

Ms. Andrée Duchesne
Senior Counsel and Manager
Justice Canada
Justice in Official Languages
275 Sparks Street
St-Andrew’s Tower, room 5020
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Telephone: (613) 954-7233
Fax: (613) 946-3106
E-mail: andree.duchesne@justice.gc.ca

Ms. Danielle Houle
Assistant, Justice in Official Laguages Unit
Justice Canada
Justice in Official Languages
275 Sparks Street
St-Andrew’s Tower, room 5018
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Telephone: (613) 957-4621
Fax: (613) 946-3106
E-mail: dhoule@justice.gc.ca

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