“Publishing a book is a real gift”: The Civil Law Section celebrates books from the last three years

Faculty of Law - Civil Law Section
Faculty member

By Civil law

Communication, Faculty of law

Couvertures de livres de toutes les publications de la faculté et de la recherche 2023
This spring, the Civil Law Section hosted a special gathering to celebrate research by drawing attention to the broad range of publications produced by faculty members.

Specifically, the event focused on publications that had been released in the last three years – years indelibly marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Vice-President Research Promotion and Development, Martine Lagacé, opened the event by calling for a round of applause to recognize the impressive dedication of the Section’s researchers in both producing and disseminating their work during such a tumultuous and unpredictable period.

Marie-Eve Sylvestre, Dean of the Civil Law Section, echoed this sentiment, noting “this book launch pays tribute to the resilience and courage of our community of researchers, and to the immense success they have experienced in the face of adversity”. She drew specific attention to the values that guide the Civil Law Section and its researchers, zeroing in on what makes the sharing of research – even through the most challenging of circumstances – truly matter. “The values that guide our research are leadership and innovation, openness towards interdisciplinarity and the different forms of knowledge that have been mobilized in our work, collegiality, the democratization of research, engaged research at the service of communities, internationalization, and the promotion of science in French”.

Photos prises lors de la célébration des livres collectifs

After the opening remarks, Vice-Dean of Research for the Civil Law Section, Jennifer Quaid, and Assistant Dean of Research, Cintia Quiroga, invited those who had published books over the course of the last three years to read excerpts from their work. This gave attendees a glimpse into the vast array of research topics that are explored by researchers at the Civil Law Section, ranging from the challenges of regulating artificial intelligence to the intricacies of protecting the ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples.

After the authors shared from their books, Professor Quaid engaged Professor Ghislain Otis in a discussion about the publication process, from conception, through research and analysis to the eventual release of the book. Professor Otis discussed how he and his co-authors – Jean Leclair and Sophie Thériault – approached their work on La vie du pluralism juridique(LGDJ, 2022), highlighting the need for humility in all phases of the process. He spoke about the challenges he and his co-authors faced in realizing the project, noting for example, that in conducting research for the book, he had a profound moment of discovery: “I experienced a cognitive upheaval. I had to see and accept that after 35 years of a career, just in the field of law, that my way of defining the law was incomplete, and that my view of legality, in the context of legal pluralism, was insufficient”.

Professor Otis’s example shows just how deeply affecting the process of realizing a research project can be. Dean Sylvestre noted that even under the best of circumstances – even when not dealing with a pandemic – there are often difficult times and significant challenges between the first idea for a publication and its eventual release. But she added that “publishing a book is a real gift we give to the scientific community and to our discipline, but it is also a gift we give to ourselves. It represents, however, a lot of work that deserves to be recognized and celebrated”.