Asking your lawyer for participatory justice is trying to find the best solution in your situation. You will work together to determine the best way to prevent or resolve your dispute.

What is participatory justice?

Participatory justice is a different way of asserting your rights and making it easier for you to access justice by giving you an opportunity, with the assistance of your lawyer, to opt for a solution to prevent and settle your dispute (called a dispute prevention and resolution process) based on your needs, your interests and your pocket. Since January 2016, when the new Code of Civil Procedure came into force, your lawyer has been duty-bound to inform you of these processes and you are obliged to consider them.

Participatory justice or a dispute prevention and resolution process?

At the Barreau, we have been promoting dispute prevention and resolution processes (which are called "participatory justice") since 2006. This term places less focus on the aspects of the dispute for which an effort is being made to prevent, and places more emphasis on the positive aspects of justice (the word "justice" = what we are all seeking, and the word "participatory = the aspect of participation of the client together with his lawyer. Private dispute resolution processes, appropriate dispute resolution processes and alternative dispute resolution processes are also terms you will hear. Although each of these expressions is slightly different, they are covered in all the processes described on this site.

Moreover, participatory justice includes a court trial, because it is still one of the options when the other processes are not applicable or don't prove successful.

Are you ready for participatory justice?

  • Are you nervous about the idea of having to go before a court?
  • Do you want to maintain harmonious relations with the person with whom you are having a dispute?
  • Do you have little time and resources to invest in order to resolve your dispute?
  • Are you open to the idea of exploring new ways and means that don't violate your rights?

If you answered "yes" to at least one question, you are ready to sit down with your lawyer and explore participatory justice and its various dispute resolution processes.

Participatory justice offers many advantages:

  • Playing a greater role in resolving your dispute
  • Being satisfied with the results, while avoiding a winner-loser situation
  • Maintaining good relations with the other party after the dispute is resolved
  • Settling the dispute more quickly
  • Cutting down on the overall cost if you don't have to plead the case before the courts

From the very first consultation, your lawyer can inform you about the advantages of participatory justice and the solutions available to you to resolve your dispute, so that you can make a well-informed choice.

Advertising campaign

The "Your lawyer. Your solutions expert." campaign is designed to encourage you to explore all solutions available to you to settle or prevent a dispute—solutions that are often not known.

The Barreau du Québec and some of its affiliated organizations, including Éducaloi, the Fondation du Barreau du Québec and Pro Bono Québec, are working toward improving access to justice.

Since 2006, the Barreau du Québec has been actively promoting appropriate dispute prevention and resolution processes (participatory justice), which are given more consideration in the new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016.


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