From: Catherine Valcke <>
To: Hilary Young <>
Blom, Joost <>
'Harrington Matthew P.' <>
Date: 27/02/2015 18:23:02 UTC
Subject: Re: Civilising the Common Law

For a very perceptive comparative analysis of defamation at civil and common law in the Canadian context, see: Prudhommme v. Prudhomme, [2002] SCJ, No 86

From: Hilary Young <>
Reply-To: Hilary Young <>
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 9:37 PM
To: "" <>, "'Harrington Matthew P.'" <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: Civilising the Common Law

My first thought was also the responsible communication defence to defamation, although its origins are British rather than civilian. That said, I'm contemplating an article in which I argue that what counts as responsible communication can be understood with reference to the civil law approach to fault. Please let the list know if/when you finish your piece.

--Hilary Young

Assistant Professor
UNB Faculty of Law

From: "Blom, Joost" <>
To: 'Harrington Matthew P.' <>; "''" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:04 PM
Subject: RE: Civilising the Common Law

Matthew, I attended a CLE course a few years ago in which counsel for the BC Government on the Tercon case, 2010 SCC 4, commented on that decision. He said that what he should have done is bone up on the civil law dealing with good faith in contracts. He was referring to the fact that, of the 5 judges who held that the province could not invoke the exclusion of liability clause, three were the Quebec judges, to whom it was natural to see the province’s behaviour (of going to an ineligible bidder) as a breach of good faith. And good faith is referred to explicitly as a ground for the decision, in paras. 58-59 of Cromwell J’s judgment.
All the best,
Joost Blom QC
Professor | Peter A. Allard School of Law 
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus
1822 East Mall | Vancouver, BC  Canada V6T 1Z1 
Phone 604 822 4564 | Fax 604 822 8108 

From: Harrington Matthew P. []
Sent: 24 February, 2015 11:59
Subject: Civilising the Common Law
Dear Colleagues
I am working on a short piece, in which I take the position that the Canada Supreme Court has begun to import concepts of the civil law into the private law of contract and tort, or at least expand common law rules in directions that might reflect civil law values.  At present, it’s very skeletal.  I see this tendency, for example, in Bhasin where, in my view, the court adopts a view of good faith that fits nicely in the civil law, but is something of a development in the common law.  (I know some of you disagree with this view.)
I`m wondering if others see a similar trend? Or is this mountain out of molehill?
Best regards.
Matthew P. Harrington
Faculté de droit
Université de Montréal
Montréal, Québec