Jennifer Quaid is an assistant professor in the Civil Law Section. An expert on corporate criminal liability, her interdisciplinary research, which combines criminal law and organization studies, focuses on developing enforcement strategies that respond effectively to criminal and regulatory offences committed by organizations. Prof. Quaid’s other research interests lie in general criminal law, punishment theory and business law, particularly competition law.
A member of the Bars of Québec, Ontario and New York, Prof. Quaid practised law for several years, first with the federal Department of Justice and then in private practice for a leading New York firm before joining the academy. She clerked for the Honourable Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Current research projects
Sentencing Organizational Offenders: Building a Creative Sentencing Framework (2018-2020)
This project, funded by a SSHRC Insight Development grant, examines whether the sentencing process applicable to organizations can be better tailored to address the structural and cultural causes that tend to be at the root of serious violations of the law by organizations.
The project brings together three distinct but complementary strands of inquiry (creative sentencing in environmental enforcement, restorative justice and organization dialogics) that, taken together, offer promising ideas and tools for tackling two pressing issues in current organizational sentencing practice: (1) the need to make greater use of judicial discretion to impose non-fine measures, such as behavioural sanctions, that can be directed at remedying the underlying causes of the offence and (2) the need to create space within the sentencing process for meaningful participation by stakeholders, other than senior management, who are likely to be affected by sanctions imposed on the organization and whose insights could inform the fashioning of an appropriate sentence.
Taking Stock of Trends in Sentencing Organizations since the Bill C-45 Amendments to the Criminal Code (2016-2018)
This project, funded through a grant from the University of Ottawa Seed-Funding Program examines the state of sentencing practice in Canada against organizations, particularly the impact (or lack thereof) of the specialized sentencing tools designed for organizational offenders added in 2004.
This project is designed to collect, consolidate and analyze a representative sample of the written reasons for sentence issued by Canadian courts in areas where prosecutions against organizations are more common (competition, environmental protection, workplace health and safety, corruption). It is directed at three key questions: (1) Is there evidence that the organizational sentencing factors added to the Criminal Code in 2004 have changed how sentences are crafted? (2) Have judges moved away from the entrenched view that criminal responsibility is inseparable from individual culpability and moved toward an approach informed by the distinct, largely collective attributes of organizations? (3) Based on the answers to (1) and (2), how might we encourage judges to craft sentences that target organizational characteristics, such as structure and culture?
Now in its final phase, our analysis of the data points to a sentencing regime that is underused and where monetary fines continue to dominate. We are currently assessing avenues for optimizing the existing sentencing framework to better align it with the promise of the Westray reforms.
Within the context of this project, we are also considering the impact of recently-enacted amendments to the Criminal Code, which provide for a new form of negotiated settlement of criminal cases. Called “remediation agreements”, these court-approved agreements are a made-in Canada form of the deferred prosecution agreements developed in the US and the UK. They enable organizations to avoid a conviction if they abide by the terms of the agreement negotiated between prosecutors and the organization.
Publications and Communications
Jennifer A Quaid, "At Cross Purposes: Abstract Individualism, Organizational Reality and the Criminal Law". In Tracy Isaacs, Kendy Hess & Violetta Igneski , eds., Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. (33 pages) (In Press)
Jennifer A Quaid, “Negotiated Justice and Economic Crime: Lessons from the Canadian Experience” in Stefano Manacorda& Francesco Centonze, eds, Centro nazionale di prevenzione e difesa sociale - Collana Convegni di studio "Enrico de Nicola - Problemi attuali di diritto e procedura penale”, Criminalità d’impresa e giustizia negoziata: esperienze a confronto, Milano: Giuffrè, 2017, 123-163
Jennifer Quaid, “What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander: Considering the Merits of a Presumption of Organizational Capacity”, in Marie-Ève Sylvestre, Julie Desrosiers & Margarida Garcia, eds, Réformer le droit criminel au Canada: défis et possibilités/ Criminal Law Reform in Canada: Challenges and Possibilities, Cowansville: Les Éditions YvonBlais, 2017, 93-131.
Jennifer Quaid & Mistrale Goudreau, “Bref commentaire sur l’affaire Tervita de 2015 », 28 :3 CPI, 703-720.
Jennifer Quaid & Mistrale Goudreau, “Cinq décisions en droit de la concurrence en 2013“, (2014) 26:2 CPI 523-552.
Jennifer A. Quaid, “Making Sense of the Shift in Paradigm on Cartel Enforcement: The Case for Applying a Desert Perspective” (2012) 58:1 McGill LJ 149-198.
Jennifer A Quaid & Mark A Drumbl. "Good Faith, Bad Faith – and Justice Iacobucci’s Faith in the Human Condition", in Shauna Van Praagh (Ed.), To Be Frank (Contributions to colloquium in honour of Frank Iacobucci), Montreal, Canada: McGill Faculty of Law (private publication), 2017, 12-15 (https://goo.gl/pJ2Vw9).
Jennifer A. Quaid. “The Next Frontier of International Criminal Law: Holding Organizations to Account as Distinct Responsible Actors”, in Alexander Dawson & Jennifer Simons, eds., Conference Report – International Criminal Justice: The State of Play Conference – 19-20 March 2015, Vancouver: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University & The Simons Foundation, 2016, 69-73.
Jennifer A. Quaid, “Infractions relatives à la concurrence“, in Droit de la consommation et de la concurrence, vol. 6, Droit des affaires collection (S. Rousseau, ed.), Encyclopédie Jurisclasseur Québec, Montréal: LexisNexis Canada, 2015.
Jennifer A. Quaid, “La responsabilité pénale des organisations“, in Droit pénal général, vol. 1, Droit pénal collection (S. Roy & M.-P. Robert, eds.), Encyclopédie Jurisclasseur Québec, Montréal: LexisNexis Canada, 2013.
"What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander : Crafting a Presumption of Organizational Capacity. 2nd Biennial Conference on Criminal Law", Vers une réforme législative en droit criminel / Towards a Legislative Reform of Canadian Criminal Law, Quebec City, Canada, 3-5 May 2017.
"Quel rôle devrait jouer le droit pénal des entreprises en réponse aux évènements survenus à Lac-Mégantic?" . What Lessons Have We Learned from the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster? Conference co-organized by the Faculty of Law and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, 8 December 2016.
“Finance and Criminal Accountability for the Materialization of Catastrophic Risk: A Consideration of the Moral Limits of the Profit Motive”, Finance & Social Justice Conference, Finance & Philosophy @ UBT, Departments of Philosophy & Economics, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany, 3-5 November 2016.
“Plea-Bargaining and Economic Crime: Exploring the Tensions and Contradictions in Canadian Law”, Corporate Crime and Negotiated Justice: Comparing Experiences, Fondazione Centro nazionale di prevenzione e difesa sociale (CNPDS), Commissione “Enrico de Nicola” di diritto e procedura penale and the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme (ISPAC), Milan, Italy, 28 October 2016.
“At Cross Purposes: Abstract Individualism, Organizational Reality and the Criminal Law”, Collective Action: Ontology, Ethics, and Application, Manchester Centre for Political Theory, Manchester, UK, 8-9 September 2016.
« Dénoncer à tout prix? La coexistence inconfortable entre les régimes de disqualification aux appels d’offres publics et les programmes d’immunité et de clémence en matière de concurrence », Conformité en entreprise : perspective canadienne et internationale, Université de Montréal, 6 November 2015.
“The Next Frontier of International Criminal Law: Holding Organizations to Account as Distinct Responsible Actors”, International Criminal Justice: The State of Play Conference, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 18-20 March 2015.
• DRC 1701 Droit pénal I
• DRC 4590 Droit de l’entreprise II
• DRC 4594 Droit de la concurrence