If you would like to volunteer and join the effort, please contact us at the above email before embarking on any translation work, in order to avoid any redundancies. We cannot accept translations that have not been cleared with us first.
For more useful English-language sources on the conflict, see:
Clinique Juridique Juripop, May 18, 2012
The original French text can be found here: http://www.juripop.org/medias/nouvelles/projet-de-loi-78-un-veritable-manifeste-contre-les-libertes-fondamentales-de-tous-les-citoyens-quebecois/
FOR IMMEDIATE CIRCULATION
Bill 78: A veritable manifesto against the fundamental freedoms of all citizens of Quebec.
Quebec, May 18, 2012 – The Juripop Legal Clinic denounces both the spirit and the effects of Bill 78 which creates a form of criminalization of the right to protest and flouts the fundamental liberties protected by the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights and Freedoms, namely by renouncing three guarantees of our free and democratic society: freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association. The Clinic’s lawyers are currently working towards building a judicial contestation of the future law.
In fact, Bill 78 deprives Quebecois of their fundamental right to peacefully express their opinions in the place of their choosing and forbids any kind of spontaneous exercise of that freedom of expression or of peaceful assembly. By also bestowing to educational institutions the power to destroy a student association by unilaterally taking away its right to collect student fees, this document brings Quebec back decades and goes against all rights that naturally follow from community life.
“This is a bill whose measures are discretionary and could only ever be applied arbitrarily. Who will decide if a group of ten people or more [amended to fifty or more] violates the law? In what circumstances? For what cause? Of what age? This bill is not only ensuring the free access to educational institutions. It forbids protesters from being less than fifty meters from all quebecois places of learning, renounces the autonomy of universities, overturns the burden of proof, and threatens students and all Quebecois with fines of up to $250 000. All this while renouncing the primary function and the role of student associations and transforming each and every citizen, student and parent into a police officer”, declared Marc-Antoine Cloutier, founding president and general director of the Juripop Legal Clinic, an organization working towards greater access to justice and the advancement of the law.
The Quebec Bar Association’s Position
The Juripop Legal Clinic salutes and recalls the Quebec Bar Association’s most recent position which straightforwardly invites the government to go back to the negotiation table rather than forcing the adoption of a special law, all while respecting Quebec’s courts of justice. The Clinic is also glad to read the Bar’s comments about wishing to work on a new legislative framework inspired by orders prevailing in matters of labour law. “Rather than acting as though student associations have never existed, adjourning the semesters of thousands of students and weakening the social climate even more, the justice minister should assume his responsibilities and act as the protector of the civil liberties inscribed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, of which he is responsible,” Mr.Clouter concluded.
More than five law professors and ten lawyers, mandated by collegial and university student federations, have been working nonstop tonight and will continue to do so through the day, alongside the Juripop Legal Clinic team and lawyer Félix-Antoine Dumais-Michaud, in order to be capable of rapidly addressing the tribunals following the passing of the special law. Each and every citizen is invited to take part in this massive contestation through the following website: www.loi78.com
The lawyers of the Juripop Legal Clinic have represented numerous student associations challenged by recent injunctions. In addition, they act directly on the campuses in order to promote their respect. The organization has been working towards greater access to justice since 2009.
For more information:
Florence Bouchard Santerre
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.