With 150 years of history, the Saint-François Bar is one of the oldest associations of lawyers in Quebec. Active and innovative since its earliest beginnings – one owes it in particular the report opposing the compulsory mediation in family matter -, the circle of professionals of the law still refuses today to remain coi. " The debates going and gets involved ," joked proudly Bâtonnièrepresent, e  Danielle Houle .

No question, therefore, to watch the train pass. " When I see what is happening elsewhere in the province: the judges who miss, the unacceptable delays with which people are taken, I see how much we are pampered in our section, and it gives me even more the taste to work for things to change. "

The batoniere of Saint-François, Danielle Houle 
The batoniere of Saint-François, Danielle Houle

The section of Saint-François does indeed look good in terms of judicial functioning. With 10 justices in the Court of Québec and six judges in the Superior Court, plus two supernumerary judges, the section manages to succeed. " The Sherbrooke courthouse works very well. of court time, the time of hearing is not ideal, of course, but it does not have anything to do with what can be lived elsewhere in the province ", notes the representative of the lawyers of Saint-François.

Even the sharing judges in place with sections of Arthabaska and Bedford, in particular, does not seem to cause serious problems, the M words e  Houle. " I know that sharing judges disgusts a lot of lawyers who practice elsewhere, but sincerely, in our section, the thing is pretty good.It must be said that we have a very good chance to have resident judges. Listening to the stories my colleagues tell me, I see that it changes everything. "

Waiting list

A shadow on the board? The long wait times that persist in civil law. " For a long-term civil case in the Superior Court, waiting times can easily be three or four years, which is obviously unacceptable, we have been lobbying politically and we hope to obtain the confirmation of a judge's position. We have every reason to believe that it is coming, and we have already been loaned a judge from Montreal to try to alleviate the problem, "says the bartender.

Keep an eye

If things are going relatively well, the representatives of Saint-François remain however on their guard. In fact, in order to avoid minor problems, the section relies on various watch committees. " We have a family room committee, another that deals with civil affairs, one for the Youth Chamber and one for criminal and penal matters," says Danielle Houle.For each of these areas, specialist lawyers have agreed to sit on a voluntary basis. They see good management with the coordinating judges. They work to improve things and find solutions when even small irritants occur in one area or the other. It helps to ensure the quality of the services offered to litigants. And it works, because, so far, we have a good ear among the coordinating judges. "

Have a voice

Not only do the members of the various committees take an interest in the local functioning of the judicial system, but they also pay particular attention to the legislation adopted by both levels of government. The analyzes carried out are used to feed the consultations conducted by the Barreau du Québec. "When the Law Society asks us about our position or our reactions to this or that bill, we are ready, we have an opinion and we can influence the debate," says the bâtonnière.

Take his place at the Barreau du Québec

Better still, the representative of Saint-François lawyers does not hide the fact that she strongly encourages the participation of lawyers from her territory to the various bodies of the Barreau du Québec. "We are present in different committees, and I think it's very important, if we want things to change, we can not stand idly by, we have to be active, it's a tradition in our section. , to take part in the debate, and I am glad to see it continue. "

According to Danielle Houle, the issue of continuing education and judicial fees are the two most important issues of the day. The issues she intends to follow closely.In the context of the commitment so valued is the desire, stronger than anything, to see the lawyers " perform " and represent their profession worthily. To support the professional development of its members, the section places a great deal of emphasis on continuing education. Each year, a large number of courses are offered on the territory. " Since always , explains Danielle Houle,we have strived for excellence in our lawyers. We want lawyers who serve their clients well, who are proud of their work, who want to improve and go further. It serves everyone, starting with the litigants. "


We should be interested, as a modern society of law, in thinking about access to justice in its broader concept, which includes access to the justice system ."

The e President of the Legal Services Board (LSB), M e  Denis Roy , intends to place his five-year term under the sign of a concept of access to justice that goes beyond the strict framework of system access judicial. In an interview with Journal du Barreau, M e  Roy said his views on the subject.

Knowledge as a quasi-panacea

Just as relevant information to promote healthy eating and lifestyle can reduce the number of hospital visits, it is believed, he argues, that better knowledge of laws, rights and responsibilities would make people less likely to access the justice system.

 M <sup> e </ sup> Denis Roy, Chair of the Commission des services juridiques
e  Denis Roy, President of the Legal Services Commission

For this purpose, the president wishes to put the expertise of the legal aid network at the service of this problem. The implementation of such a conception, based on information and education work, would probably have consequences, he foresees, a reduction of the pressure on the judicial system, in addition to generating savings in terms of costs.

Motus on the eligibility thresholds

The Commission des services juridiques did not submit a brief to the working group to study the operation of the legal aid system. However, to feed into the work of this committee, chaired by the Member for Marguerite D'Youville, M e  Pierre Moreau , the Justice Department has regularly appealed to the agency for information and statistics, among other resources .

Called in interviews to clarify its views on the debate concerning the eligibility thresholds for legal aid, M e  Roy agreed that it should review these rising. In the legal community, he pointed out, the consensus is clear on this point.

But Denis Roy did not want to comment on the details, for example, whether the increase in the thresholds should be uniform, or targeted for certain groups in particular.

Once the report made public by the Minister of Justice, M e  Roy will make public his comments if seeking it, he said.

Become known

In addition to the vision of access to justice that he wishes to put forward, the President's other priorities are to maintain and increase the quality of services offered to clients and partners in private practice. improve the public's knowledge of the network and the legal aid system. In addition, he indicated that he favored the creation of alliances, particularly with the Barreau du Québec, with which, he observes, the Commission shares many objectives.

Special projects

Parallel to pursuing these goals, the organization M e  Roy will continue over the next few years to invest in the realization of a number of special projects involving young offenders, indigenous and people experiencing mental health problems.


The students Kings Bar School, central Quebec, will participate in April, the Jean-Pictet Competition in Collonges-la-Rouge, near Nimes, France.


Vincent de l'Etoile, Marie-Helene Dufour, Philippe Vaillancourt 
Vincent de l'Etoile, Marie-Helene Dufour, Philippe Vaillancourt

Vincent de l'Étoile, Marie-Hélène Dufour and Philippe Vaillancourt form one of the 18 French-speaking teams selected for this competition, which focuses on learning international humanitarian law through role-plays. (To these French-speaking teams of the 2005 edition are added 30 English-speaking teams from all over the world.)

Too general

The three students, accustomed to the moot court competitions, become familiar with international humanitarian law through numerous readings before facing their rivals in April.

This is a subject that we do not have the opportunity to be introduced to the baccalaureate, explains Vincent de l'Étoile.We have a course of international law which is very general.It touches all the aspects, as much the war than the more commercial aspects . "

Although Canada is not affected by conflicts on its soil, the Pictéistes de Québec say they are concerned by this aspect of the law that is valued by the Jean-Pictet Competition.

On the road to emulation

The event, which has existed since 1989, was named in honor of Jean Pictet, Doctor of Laws at the University of Geneva . The latter has worked in the International Committee of the Red Cross and is the author of the Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

Wanted boost

Vincent de l'Etoile and Philippe Vaillancourt move towards business law. As for Marie-Hélène Dufour, she wants to focus her practice on administrative law. These three " bearers of words " are seeking financial support for their mission.