legal pedagogy; mixed jurisdictions; comparative law; Louisiana; transsystemic approach; Quebec
This paper is an adaptation of the Tucker Lecture that I delivered in October of 2017. Its title depicts two iconic places, one in the Canadian province of Quebec, from where I hail, and the other in Louisiana, the locale of my audience. La Beauce, an enchanting part of Quebec, stretches along the Chaudière River and is located about thirty minutes south of Quebec City. Le Bayou refers to the low-lying wetlands found primarily in the southern part of Louisiana, a defining feature of this part of the United States.
In this paper, I attempt to guide an allegorical voyage from la Beauce to le Bayou, from Quebec to Louisiana, from Montreal to Baton Rouge, from McGill to LSU, using a transsystemic itinerary. This voyage will showcase the unique way of teaching and thinking about law that has defined the program of legal education, and the imaginations of legal scholars, at McGill’s Faculty of Law for almost two decades. In addition to demystifying the elusive term “transsystemic,” and outlining the pedagogical and intellectual benefits of teaching and thinking about law in this way, this paper will focus on the increasing relevance of the transsystemic approach as a way of preparing jurists, wherever they may be, for the complexity and novelty of contemporary legal practice. By instilling creative, critical and flexible thinking skills, it enables jurists to deal with novel legal problems, to be more adept at envisaging a multiplicity of creative ways to solve legal problems through alternative methods of dispute resolution, and to keep pace with novel comparative judicial methodology.
Just as la Beauce and le Bayou are different places with different geographical features, so too are Quebec and Louisiana different legal jurisdictions. However, they are, in many ways, sister jurisdictions, sharing a common mixity in their legal systems. This makes law schools in Louisiana a particularly fertile environment in which to showcase this unique itinerary in the hope that some of you will come along on this interesting voyage.
From La Beauce to Le Bayou: A Transsystemic Voyage,
12 J. Civ. L. Stud.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/jcls/vol12/iss1/2