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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2019

Legal brief
November - December
Preventive DetentionThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The judge refused to release you after you appeared in court while being held in custody for an offence and you wonder whether the time you spent in custody was properly credited as part of your sentence? more
September - October
What you need to know about online purchasesThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Online shopping is now commonplace. But is it secure? The answer to this question depends on the precautions taken during the purchasing process.
 The first thing to check involves the seller. Some businesses are now well known and make the majority of their sales online. When this is not the case, however, it is important to dig a little deeper. 

If you want to make a purchase after receiving a promotional email, make sure the email really comes from the business you want to buy from. 

Often, a quick look at the sender's email address will allow you to determine whether the transmission is fraudulent. When in doubt, the best safety measure you can take is to not make the purchase. 

If you want to buy from a Quebec business, it's a good idea to check whether the business is registered in the Registre des entreprises (Quebec business register). You can also check whether the business has been the subject of complaints made to the Office de la protection du consommateur (consumer protection office).
 You should also consider checking the comments left by previous purchasers. Use your favourite search engine rather than the comments found on the seller's website. That way, you'll be sure the comments are not fake ones placed there just to put you at ease. 

Also check shipping costs, applicable taxes and any other fees that may be charged to you (e.g., customs duties).

If you are making a purchase from a business located outside of Canada, make sure the amounts are in Canadian dollars to avoid paying much more than you expected. Also remember that some goods may be confiscated at the border (e.g., alcohol).

Before making your payment, make sure you are browsing on a secure website. You can easily do this by looking for the little image of a locked padlock and the name "https: //" at the beginning of the website address.

Of course, you should never disclose information not required for the transaction, such as your social insurance number.

Lastly, you should know that it is possible to request the cancellation of an online purchase and obtain a refund, but only under certain conditions.

Online purchases are governed by the Consumer Protection Act1 ("CPA"), more specifically, sections 54.1 to 54.16. Section 54.4 CPA sets out the specific information that must be disclosed to a consumer before the purchase. This information must also appear in the contract, of which a written copy must be sent to the consumer within 15 days of the purchase (ss. 54.6 and 54.7 CPA). The terms and conditions for cancelling an online purchase and obtaining a refund are set out in sections 54.8 to 54.16 CPA.

For more information, please consult the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur2 or contact a legal aid lawyer.

Don’t hesitate to have your eligibility for legal aid evaluated by making an appointment at the legal aid office nearest you. To find the contact information for your legal aid office, please visit our website at www.csj.qc.ca.


1 CQLR, c. P-40.1
2 https://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/en/consumer/topic/purchase/online-purchase/

Legal brief *
September - October  2019
Number  07
Text prepared by   Me Myriam Bouchard
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
July - August
What is a parenting and mediation information session?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
If you are involved in a family law case that will be heard in Superior Court, your lawyer has most likely informed you of your obligation to participate in a parenting and mediation information session.

Since January 1, 2016, former spouses have the legal obligation to attend a parenting
May - June
Direct deposit mistakenly made by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The use of direct deposits for government benefits has become standard practice, but it may lead to unpleasant consequences for those who do not pay close attention to the deposits they receive. 

Indeed, the increasing types of deposits (parental benefits, employment insurance benefits,
April 2019
Labor standards, the 2018-2019 reformThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In June 2018 and, more recently, January 2019, the Act respecting labour standards, which governs and protects certain Québec workers who are not covered by a collective agreement, was amended and enhanced. It is important to note, however, that certain categories of persons, incl more
My child wants to live with me: ca he choose?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You and the father or mother of your child are separated and you cannot agree on how much time he will spend with each of you.

The courts issue many judgments dealing with this issue, and each decision must be made in the interests of the child and while respecting his rights.

On this
The right to a lawyerThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The presumption of innocence: It is a fundamental principle of the Canadian justice system pursuant to which an accused is presumed innocent until proof to the contrary, that is, until the person admits their guilt or, at trial, the prosecution shows their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Inheritances and last resort financial assistance benefitsThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
“My mother died and left me an inheritance of $100,000 in money and property. Do I have to declare this to my agent? more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017