The Constitutional Council of France visits Canada
In response to an invitation from the Supreme Court of Canada, the President of the Constitutional Council of the French Republic, Jean-Louis Debré, conducted an official visit to Canada from May 26th to 31st, 2013. For the first time in history, he was accompanied by all of the other members of the Council.
This visit took place as part of the bilateral relationship between France and Canada. The Franco-Canadian partnership is a driving force in certain multilateral legal bodies, such as the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF). The two legal authorities (the Constitutional Council and the Supreme Court of Canada) have decided to further expand on their bilateral cooperation.
The visit included a stop in Quebec, where the delegation planned to meet with Quebecois authorities and to engage in discussions regarding secularism and end-of-life care.
The delegation also visited Ottawa, where meetings and discussions with the Supreme Court of Canada focused essentially on such issues affecting society as same-sex marriage, secularism, and religious freedom.
The delegation also planned to meet with the federal Minister of Justice, where the issues to be discussed would include the rights of aboriginal peoples and linguistic minorities, and the protection of the French language.
On May 29th, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law organized a conference entitled “Le Conseil constitutionnel sous la Vème République, est-il un véritable troisième pouvoir ?” [“The Constitutional Council under the 5th Republic: is it a true third branch of government?”]. This conference was led by Council President Jean-Louis Debré and by the members of the Constitutional Council of the French Republic.