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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 2020

Legal brief
Writing your advance medical directivesThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
What do we really mean by advance medical directives? more
The Régie du logement becomes the Tribunal administratif du logement. Besides the name change, what does this mean? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
On August 31, 2020, the Régie du logement became the Tribunal administratif du logement.

Beyond a simple name change, have there been any changes to the way the Tribunal operates?
August - September
Sentencing, aboriginal offenders and Gladue reportsThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Criminal law is based on the premise that criminal liability only follows from voluntary conduct. In this regard, the sentence, which is the legal consequence of the crime for which a person is responsible, must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of more
June - July
George owns a house and has money in his bank account. Is he financially eligible for legal aid?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
George is married to Theresa and they have four minor children. George works as a part-time employee for a transportation company. Theresa is a teacher and also works part-time. They have a combined annual gross income of $39,200. George and Theresa own their family residence, which has a value of $ more
What have the courts ruled about Covid-19, shared custody, rights of access and the return to school? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the daily lives of the entire Québec population upside down, especially that of blended and separated families. This situation has brought its share of concerns and questions to parents of children in shared custody as well as parents whose children have access rights.

The purpose of this legal brief is to enlighten parents on the courts’ decisions and comments regarding custody, access rights and school attendance in the context of this pandemic.

Is it enough for a parent to invoke the Covid-19 pandemic to suspend or change the type of custody or access rights for a child?

According to the Superior Court, although the Covid-19 pandemic represents a health emergency and causes fear among parents, it is not in and of itself a sufficient reason to justify a change in custody or access rights. Thus, as long as the parents are not infected with Covid-19, do not have symptoms suggestive of the disease, are not in compulsory quarantine and respect the health instructions issued by government authorities, the Superior Court considers that it is not justified to deprive a child of contact with his parents by modifying his custody or his access rights.

Can a parent change the custody arrangements without the other parent’s consent and without asking the court?

According to the Superior Court, when a disagreement arises between parents as to the best custody arrangements to be adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic, a parent must not take the law into his own hands by unilaterally modifying the custody arrangements. The issue must be brought before a court.

Are court orders and judgments still in force?

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, court orders and judgments regarding custody and support are still valid, continue to apply and must be observed.

Does the fact that a parent works for an essential service justify ceasing all access rights?

In Droit de la famille – 20506, 2020 QCCS 1125, the Superior Court stated that the mere fact that a parent works in an essential service is not in and of itself sufficient reason to change the terms of custody of a child.

What has the Superior Court ruled when the two parents disagree on a child’s return to school?

Here are some principles that we can draw from the various judgments to date on the issue of a child’s return to school that guide the courts in their decision-making.

The courts remind us that the question of a child returning to school is a matter that falls under parental authority. When parents disagree on a matter of parental authority, they can submit the issue to a court.

Decisions relating to a child are made in the best interest of the child, giving consideration to “the moral, intellectual, emotional and physical needs of the child, to the child’s age, health, personality and family environment, and to the other aspects of his situation”.

Each case is unique. Thus, each judgment must be rendered on its particular facts and according to the particular characteristics of the child or children concerned.

Assessment of the risk of contamination with Covid-19 is a matter for government authorities, not the courts.

The Education Act gives the right to every child to attend school and the obligation to attend from the age of 6 to 16. It also gives parents the obligation to take the necessary measures to ensure that their child attends school as required.

Return to class has not been made mandatory by the government authorities.

We hope this legal brief has answered some of your questions. If you need legal advice in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, please contact the Covid-19 legal aid clinic, known by the French name Clinique d’assistance juridique Covid-19. It is a free legal advice telephone line available to the public.

You can reach the clinic at the following numbers:
  • 1-866-699-9729 (toll free)
  • 418-838-6415 (Québec City)
  • 514-789-2755 (Montreal) 
  • 819-303-4080 (Gatineau)

More information on the Covid-19 legal aid clinic is available at:


Legal brief *
May  2020
Number  05
Text prepared by   Me Isabelle Filion, CSJ
* 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.
Is a summer day camp required to integrate a disabled child in the camp? This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Patrick and Marie-Pierre want to enroll their disabled child in the summer day camp offered in their municipality. Their child must take medication during the day, which he cannot administer on his own. He also needs hygienic care. Can the day camp refuse to register him based on these reasons? more
Do pictograms have the force of law?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
When a person disobeys a pictogram (a drawing) that indicates that persons have to hold the handrail of an escalator at a metro station, the person does not, in all cases, commit an offence under a by-law. 

A woman was arrested by a police officer emplo more
Are minors eligible to legal aid?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Minors (under 18 years of age) who need legal representation may be eligible for legal aid. Just make an appointment with a legal aid lawyer to have their admissibility checked. 

Financial eligibility 

The following factors are taken into ac more
HAS or SARPA, which applies to me?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.

The Homologation Assistance Service is intented for parties residing in Quebec who wish, for whatever reason, to modify arrangements pertaining to child custody or access rights or support involving a child or spouse (or former spouse), where the par
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017