Policy on Legislative Bijuralism

Why a policy on legislative bijuralism?

Canada has two official languages and two legal systems : the French civil law system in Quebec and the English common law system elsewhere.

The Department of Justice has never set itself an official policy on legislative bijuralism. The context in which federal legislation is prepared has changed a great deal since the end of the 1960s, and the time has come for the Department to move boldly and decisively.

The policy on legislative bijuralism is consistent with the leadership role the department plays in the field of bijuralism at the national level. It is also linked directly to one of the priorities of this Department, access to justice. Indeed, drafting legislative texts that take into account both legal systems is part of the commitment of the Department regarding the improvement of access to justice for all Canadians.

Objective of the legislative bijuralism policy

The policy on legislative bijuralism aims at providing Canadians with federal legislative texts that will reflect, in each linguistic version, the legal system in use in their province.


Since the end of the 1960s, a number of factors have come into play to drastically change the context in which federal acts and regulations are drafted. These factors should logically lead us to officially recognize the central role that bijuralism must occupy in the drafting of legislative texts.

The factors :

to identify legislative bijuralism problems, to propose solutions and to advise drafters on all matters related to legislative bijuralism.

Application of the policy on legislative bijuralism


The Department of Justice: