In Volume II of the collection Comparative studies on civil justice reforms, the authors address the experiences of civil judicial reform in Australia and the Canadian province of Quebec. The first volume in the series focused on the experiences of Germany, Spain and Uruguay.
This publication is composed of four reports. The first is a cross-cutting analysis by JSCA Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño entitled “Proportionality and comprehensiveness of civil justice as foundations for improving access to justice.” In the article, Fandiño analyzes two topics that have been very inspiring in the experiences of Australia and Quebec, namely civil procedure flexibility and its adaptability to the nature of the conflict and the integration of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The report on civil procedure reform in Australia was written by Jill Howieson of the University of Western Australia. Dr. Howieson focuses on two major areas of the civil justice system: case management and alternative dispute resolution. The report on civil procedure reform in Quebec was authored by Catherine Piché and Pierre Noreau of the University of Montreal. The authors provide a broad, multidimensional analysis of the enormous cultural transformation that was ushered in by the Civil Procedure Code that was introduced in 2014.
Finally, the publication includes a Spanish translation of Quebec’s 2014 Civil Procedure Code, which is especially motivating for JSCA for several reasons. First, it addresses access to justice as an absolute priority of the reform process. Second, it comprehensively and systematically regulates ADR, thus considerably furthering its use.
The code is also very respectful of the procedural powers of the parties within the context of an adversarial process. Finally, it encourages judges to play an active role in the process through case management, which helps to improve efficiency through the flexibility of the judicial process.
JSCA Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño observed, “This work is very enriching because the experiences of Australia and Quebec have been very valuable in the consolidation of a civil procedure model that can be used to promote civil justice reforms in Latin America. JSCA highly values the adversarial criminal justice consolidation in all of the Spanish speaking countries of the region and the removal of the inquisitorial paradigm. We believe that there is a need to strengthen the idea of a mixed adversarial civil process that addresses the profound changes that this procedure model has undergone, particularly in common law countries. We welcome the arrival of this new adversarial civil procedure mitigated by logics of collaborative analyses that can be used to promote civil procedure reforms in every country in the region.”