Aspects Historiques et Analytiques De L'appel En Matiere Civile

By Morissette, Yves-Marie | McGill Law Journal, March 2014 | Go to article overview

Aspects Historiques et Analytiques De L'appel En Matiere Civile


Morissette, Yves-Marie, McGill Law Journal


The first part of this article presents an historical overview of the ancient origins of French and English law, exploring the institutional and intellectual reasons for the slow emergence of the appeal in England before 1875. The contrary may be observed in France. First conceived as a sanction imposed upon erring judges, the recourse was transformed into a mechanism for correcting errors in judicial decisions. However, the notion of an error would slowly evolve over time. In Quebec, the appeal took shape between 1763 and 1849, the year its veritable general court of appeal was created. The second part addresses several analytical difficulties arising from the appeal in modern law. The sound utilization of judicial resources in a system of Anglo-American origin implies that the appeal serves functions other than the retrial of cases. The positive law also employs various techniques to ensure a fine balance between too many and too few appeals. The distinction between law and facts serves as a controlling notion. The notion has further inspired interesting theoretical insights that the author canvasses. In the twentieth century, and contemporaneous to the emergence of the American Legal Realism movement, a novel conception of the appeal appeared, clarifying appellate courts' role in deploying and systemizing the law. The prospective objective of consolidating the law's normative coherence substituted itself to the evanescent idea of error correction. However, regarding appellate techniques, considerable differences remain between western legal systems, as demonstrated, for example, by the place of oral argument in appellate proceedings.

Une premiere partie historique sur les origines lointaines des droits anglais et francais evoque les raisons institutionnelles et intellectuelles de la lente emergence de l'appel en Angleterre avant 1875. On observe le contraire en France. D'abord concue comme sanction infligee a des juges fautifs, cette voie de recours s'est transformee en un moyen de corriger des erreurs dans les decisions de justice. Mais cette notion d'erreur evoluera sensiblement a travers le temps. Au Quebec, l'appel prend forme entre 1763 et 1849, annee de la creation d'une veritable cour generale d'appel. La seconde partie du texte aborde certaines difficultes analytiques que souleve l'appel en droit modeme. Une utilisation sensee des ressources judiciaires dans un systeme de souche anglo-americaine implique que l'appel serve a autre chose que refaire les proces. Aussi le droit positif use-t-il de diverses techniques pour qu'un dosage optimal s'opere entre trop ou trop peu de pourvois. La distinction entre le droit et le fait sert ici de notion regulatrice. Elle a inspire d'interessants travaux theoriques que commente l'auteur. Au vingtieme siecle, sous fimpulsion du mouvement American Legal Realism, une nouvelle conception de l'appel s'impose et permet de preciser le role des cours d'appel dans l'elaboration et Fordonnancement du droit. Un objectif prospectif de consolidation de la coherence normative se substitue a l'idee evanescente d'erreurs a reformer. Mais, s'agissant de la technique de l'appel, des differences de taille demeurent entre systemes de droit occidentaux, comme le demontre par exemple la place faite a Foralite dans les debats.

Introduction

I. Considerations historiques sur l'appel
    A. Quelques reperes historiographiques
    B. Cadre d emergence de l'appel coniine vole de recours
    C. France et Angleterre: des chronologies tres differentes
    D. Angleterre : les raisons dune si lente emergence
    E. France: la trajectoire singuliere des Parlements
    F. Les transformations de la finalite de J'appela tracers
       les ages
    G. L 'appel en droit quebecois de 1763a 1849: une exclusion
       coloniaje
       1. L'Ordonnance dn 17 septembre 1764-un premier
          systeme judiciaire
       2. Les ameliorations apportees par VActe de Quebec
       3. La critique de Lord Durham
       4. … 

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