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Canada: The government of Quebec imposes the obligation to resort to mediation for matters exceeding certain amounts

On December 21, 2023, the Government of Quebec announced the obligation to resort to mediation for cases involving amounts of 3500 euros ($5,000) to streamline judicial processes.

According to the statement, once a party has filed a claim with the appropriate court, the court will appoint a mediator for the case. In terms of procedure, the involved parties will be required to attend the mediation session. In case of non-appearance, the absent party could be compelled to pay the claimed amount or legal costs.

Regarding the outcome of mediation, the provided information indicates that if the parties reach an agreement, the matter will be closed. However, if no agreement is reached, the case will be automatically referred to arbitration or the judicial route. Regarding the process costs, the Ministry of Justice states that it will cover the expenses for the first three hours. Subsequently, it will be the responsibility of the involved parties to cover these costs.

Specifically, the measure came into effect in the Laval district on November 23, 2023; in Longueuil on December 1, 2023; in Richelieu and Saint-Hyacinthe on February 1, 2024, and is expected to come into effect in Quebec on March 1, 2024.

The Author's Institute, in collaboration with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, has initiated the "MEDIAUTOR" project, a mediation service specifically designed to resolve conflicts related to cultural creations and projects, especially those linked to intellectual property, cultural industries, and disputes over image rights.


Sources: Government du Québec (Mandatory mediation of small claims).