Quebec Justice Minister Jolin-Barrette is in France looking for ways to improve the justice system

Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette's diplomatic mission to France was not only an opportunity to discuss the French language, but also to exchange ideas on how to improve the justice system.

"They have solutions in France regarding judicial delays," explained Jolin-Barrette, after his meeting Friday with his French counterpart, Éric Dupond-Moretti.

Jolin-Barrette cited, among other things, "penal procedures," the equivalent of criminal law, where, "for minor offences, the procedure is done much more quickly."

In Canada, the Jordan decision has been much talked about since its inception in 2016.

The Supreme Court decision states that citizens facing criminal charges have a right to a trial "within a reasonable time" and has been used several times to stop prosecutions that were taking too long to reach a conclusion.

Rencontre avec le garde des Sceaux et ministre de la Justice @E_DupondM et @mboisvert_dg ce matin. Le #Québec et la #France ouvrent un nouveau chapitre de relations en matière de justice. Nous poursuivrons nos échanges au sujet notamment des violences sexuelle et conjugale. 1/2

— Simon Jolin-Barrette (@SJB_CAQ) June 24, 2022

Although the Criminal Code is under federal jurisdiction, the courts that deal with these cases are often provincial.

Jolin-Barrette also said he wanted to draw inspiration from France in terms of modernizing the justice system.

"They are doing very good things about digitization, computerization of justice... They are already much more advanced than we are at that level," he said.

But it is not only Quebec which has an interest in taking notes, explained Dupond-Moretti in a communiqué.

"It seems to be very useful to be inspired by the Quebec experiences," he said. "Whether it is about violence against women, the development of mediation and amicable dispute resolution, restorative justice, or the status of lawyers in companies, the Quebec experiences are rich and can inspire new improvements in the service of the French."

"This meeting was an opportunity to present our model of specialized court and to exchange on recent initiatives implemented on both sides to fight against sexual violence and domestic violence," said Jolin-Barrette, adding that "Quebec is the first jurisdiction in the world to implement this structure."

Other topics will also be the subject of exchanges of best practices within a permanent working committee, including the layout of courthouses, restorative justice and out-of-court settlements.

Jolin-Barrette was on a diplomatic visit to France from June 22 to 25. He delivered a speech to the Académie française on Bill 96 and language preservation and met with the Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Louise Mushikiwabo.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 25, 2022.