Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quebec Bar Association Report Card on Democracy and Rule of Law

For the second year in a row, the Quebec Bar Association has written an evaluation of the state of democracy and the rule of law in the province of Quebec and in Canada.

Overall, the Quebec Bar concludes that the impartiality and independence of the justice system in Quebec and Canada are enviable. However, the association notes the existence of a number of trends that show that the rule of law is a fragile thing.

These trends include:
  • the abusive and repeated use of omnibus bills as a way around democratic debates and the normal legislative process ("Le recours abusif et répété à des projets de loi omnibus afin de modifier de façon significative des orientations législatives, et contourner les débats démocratiques et le processus législatif habituel")
  • fraud and corruption in construction and public contract tendering in Quebec
  • access to justice, which is increasingly unaffordable for many citizens
To evaluate the degree which a society respects the rule of law, the Association based itself on four internationally recognized criteria:
  1. government and its officials are subject to the law. All are equal before the law and courts/tribunals are impartial and independent
  2. the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms is guaranteed
  3. the law is predictable (laws are clear and public)
  4. the justice system is accessible

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 10:13 pm

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