Louise Bélanger-Hardy

Louise Bélanger-Hardy
Louise Bélanger-Hardy
Full Professor

LLB (Ottawa)
LLM (University College London)

57 Louis Pasteur St., Room FTX 382
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3320
Fax: 613-562-5124


Member of the Bar of Ontario, Canada

Louise Bélanger-Hardy, B.A., B. Sc. Soc., J.D.., LL.M., is a full professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa where was Vice-Dean (1996-1999, 2013-2014 and 2020). She teaches Tort Law (common law and Québec civil law) and Medical Law. Her current research interests include human rights of older persons, the rights of caregivers and patients in health care settings, liability issues and private home care, consent in the medical and research settings and professional responsibility. She is a member of the Life Research Institute and of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, both at the University of Ottawa. She is as well an associate with the International Longevity Center – Canada. For over ten years, she held cross-appointments to administrative tribunals dealing with health professions and health services in Ontario. She has been a member of research ethics boards at the University of Ottawa, Canadian Blood Services and Health Canada.

Member, Executive Committee – LIFE Research Institute, University of Ottawa

Member – Associate - International Longevity Centre – Canada

Member – Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa


  • Connection and fulfillment in older age: a matter of rights, International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Lyon, France – July 2022
  • The COVID-19 pandemic: impact on autonomy, connection and the human rights of older people, IAGG, 22nd World, Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, (virtuel) – 14 juin 2022
  • The COVID-19 Crisis in Canada: focus on older persons, MED’5P, Lyon, France, (via teleconference) – December 2020
  • Connected Autonomy for Older Canadians – Liability and Home Care, Global Ageing Research Partnership (GARP), Ottawa, Canada October 16-18, 2019
  • Liability of Health Professionals and the Mental Health Patient, International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Rome, Italy – July 2019

Rights of older people

My research focusses on international human rights of older persons and on the legal and ethical challenges faced by this population group.  

Sample publications

  • With the International Longevity Centre - Canada, Report on violence, abuse and neglect of older persons – Input to the Report of the UN Independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights of older persons to the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council, March 2023
  • With the International Longevity Centre – Canada, Response to the Guiding Questions for the UN Open Ended Working Group on Ageing 13 – Focus Area: Social Isolation, March 2023
  • Brian Beach, Louise Bélanger-Hardy, Susana Harding, Monica Rodriguez, Linda Garcia and al. « Caring for the caregiver: Why policy must shift from addressing needs to enabling caregivers to flourish » (2022) 10 Frontiers in Public Health, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.997981
  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, « Connection, autonomy and older persons’ right to take part in cultural life: a human rights-based approach » dans Linda Garcia, Louise Bélanger-Hardy, Jeffrey Jutai, Maria Łuszczyńska, dir., Well-being in older life: the notion of connected autonomy, Routledge, 2023.
  • Linda Garcia, Louise Bélanger-Hardy and Martine Lagacé, “To care or not to care: What have we learned from COVID-19 about our attitudes toward older adults?” in Maria Luszczynska, ed., Ageing and COVID-19, Routledge, 2021.
  • Martine Lagacé, Linda Garcia and Louise Bélanger-Hardy, « COVID-19 and âgisme: crise annoncée dans les centres de soins de longue durée and réponse improvisée? »  in Colleen M Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Theriault & Sridhar Venkapuram, dirs, Vulnerable: The Policy, Law and Ethics of COVID-19, Ottawa:  University of Ottawa Press, 2020.
  • Linda Garcia and Louise Bélanger-Hardy, «Including participants who cannot communicate in research on aging? » in Maria Luszczynska and al, dir, Research on Ageing – Transdisciplinary Reflection on Methods and Approaches, Routledge, 2020.

Health Law

My interest for health-related issues has led to several experiences including as member and adjudicator with the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (regulation of health professions) and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board of Ontario (health insurance matters), and as a member of research ethics committees (REBs) with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Blood Services and the University of Ottawa.

Sample publications

  • Vanessa Gruben & Louise Bélanger-Hardy, “Risking it all: Providing Patient Care & Whistleblowing during a Pandemic” in Colleen M Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Theriault & Sridhar Venkapuram, dirs, Vulnerable: The Policy, Law and Ethics of COVID-19, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2020.
  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, “Informed Choice in Medical Care” in Joanna Erdman, Vanessa Gruben & Erin Nelson, Canadian Health Law and Policy, 5th ed. LexisNexis: Toronto, 2017, chap 14.
  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, “Malpractice and Mental Health Care” in Jennifer Chandler & Colleen Flood, eds, Mind and Law:Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada, LexisNexis: Markham ON, 2016.

Tort Law

I have taught Tort Law at the Faculty of Law for many years. With colleague Denis Boivin, I am the author of La responsabilité délictuelle en common law, the first Canadian textbook and materials on Tort Law in French. [2nd edition to be published in September 2023]

In my research I focus on compensation for mental harm (psychiatric, psychological and emotional). Some of my articles have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada e.g. in Saadati v Moorhead, 2017 SCC 28.

Sample publications

  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, « Thresholds of Actionable Mental Harm in Negligence: A Policy-Based Analysis » (2013) 36 Dalhousie LJ 1-33.
  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, « Reconsidering the “Recognizable Psychiatric Illness” Requirement in Canadian Negligence Law » (2012) 38:2 Queen’s LJ 583- 616.

Common Law – Civil Law

I have an interest in comparative law and have worked in various capacities with Quebec colleagues and other organisations applying the civil law of Quebec, in particular the law of obligations (responsabilité extra-contractuelle). I have also taught in this area in Ottawa, Montreal and France.

Sample publications

  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy, «Mental harm following negligent acts: a new dialogue between Quebec's civil law and Canada's common law?» in Michael Tilbury et Andrew Robertson, eds., Divergence and Convergence in Private Law, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2015, 37.
  • Louise Bélanger-Hardy & Aline Grenon, Elements of Quebec Civil Law– A Comparison with the Common Law of Canada and Éléments de common law canadienne – comparaison avec le droit civil québécois. This last work received the Walter Owen Prize, 2010, awarded by the Foundation for Legal Research and the Canadian Bar Association [2nd edition of both volumes is in progress]