The Quebec Bar is?
A Professional Order
First and foremost, the Quebec Bar is the professional order (association) for lawyers in Quebec. Like all professional orders, its main role is to protect the public. The Bar therefore ensures that its members are competent and conduct themselves properly.
Before accepting someone as a member, the Bar ensures that the candidate has completed the necessary studies. It also checks whether the candidate has demonstrated good conduct, both in his personal life and at work.
To do its work, the Bar gets help from an ethics officer called the Syndic. People with complaints against lawyers can turn to the Syndic. If you consult a lawyer and you have doubts about something the lawyer does, you can contact the Syndic's Office.
A Source of Legal Information
The Bar offers several services to lawyers and members of the public to help them learn about the law.
The Bar is very involved in training future lawyers. The École du Barreau (bar school) provides professional training to students who have finished their law degrees. This training is mandatory and prepares students for a career in law.
The Bar also helps keep Quebec lawyers up-to-date by offering them training on various areas of the law.
For the Public
The Bar has a list of free or inexpensive resources on legal information and advice. On its web site you'll find a list of organizations and practical guides.
Emergency Legal Service
The Quebec Bar offers a legal emergency service for people who are arrested. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you're arrested by the police and you don't know or can't reach a lawyer, you can use this service. It lets you speak to a lawyer immediately, free of charge.
An Expert Opinion
The government regularly asks the Bar for its opinion on a variety of topics: human rights, access to justice, public safety, etc. Part of the Bar's mission is to take positions on proposed laws involving democratic values such as equality before the law, the separation of powers in government, the presumption of innocence, etc. The Bar is therefore one of the institutions that tries to ensure that our society remains free and democratic.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.