Mission

CAIJ (Centre d’accès à l’information juridique) is a non-profit organization created in December 2001 with the purpose of facilitating access to legal information for the entire legal profession. CAIJ is an organization related to the Québec Bar. It is the largest supplier of legal information in Québec and ranks among the largest in North America.

Its mission is to make legal information available, with priority given to the members of the Québec Bar and Judiciary, and to ensure that access is the same regardless of geographical location or work environment. Its challenge is to reduce the time, effort and cost related to the practice of law.

First and foremost, CAIJ serves members of the Québec Bar and Judiciary. It also serves students of the École du Barreau and legal personnel, such as librarians, paralegals and articling students.

CAIJ operates a network of 40 libraries located in the courthouses of the province. It also offers online research tools (the JuriBistroTM Suite), as well as research and training services.

Whether you are looking for printed documents or electronic data, legislation, caselaw or legal literature, www.caij.qc.ca is your gate to finding the information you need. Our purpose is to make your legal research easier!

Organizational Structure

Organigramme CAIJ

History

In April 2001, the Bar of Montréal, the Barreau de Québec, the Association des avocats et avocates de province (AAP), the Réseau d’information juridique du Québec (RIJQ) and the Québec Bar signed an agreement to merge their 37 legal libraries.   

On December 1st, 2001, the Bar of Montréal and the Barreau de Québec handed over all their library assets to a new entity named Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ). Afterwards, this new entity merged with the RIJQ to officially constitute the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ), for which letters patent of amalgamation were issued on December 6, 2001.

CAIJ is a non-profit organization created under Part III of the Companies Act (Québec). It was created with the purpose of answering the contemporary demands regarding access to legal information.  A great part of these requirements had been identified in a report entitled La pratique du droit au Québec et l’avenir de la profession External link published by the Québec Bar in 1996.

The creation of CAIJ was an essential part of the Québec Bar and its partners’ strategy to allow lawyers to deal with an important quantity of complex information and accessing it quickly.

Foundations

The underpinnings of CAIJ are:
  • A clear statement of the organization’s mission which proposes a view of its development and mechanics for its circulation;
  • A statement on the organization’s management philosophy;
  • A light and flexible organizational structure which favours responsibility and imputability while minimizing bureaucracy and technocracy;
  • The use of management tools (mainly the Development Strategic Plan, the Action Plan and the Communication Plan) and an administration showing strictness in observing the orientations, the objectives and the imputability;
  • A client approach to put the client at the centre of the organization;
  • A constant concern to remain “focused on the mission” with the purpose of gathering expertise and skills while contracting out activities that require an external skill set in order to gain access to the best resources available in specialized fields;
  • At the management level, favouring skills and expertise in administrative and information management which are directly related to the mission.

Partners

CAIJ counts on the essential contribution of its business partners, all fully committed to its success.  These partners include the Québec Bar External link, the École du Barreau du Québec External link, the Bar of Montréal External link, the Barreau de Québec External link, and the Association des avocats et avocates de province External linkas well as the Young Bar Association of Montréal External link.

CAIJ has also established relationships with several other organizations, including the Conseil de la magistrature du Québec External link, the ministère de la Justice du Québec External link, the Department of Justice Canada External linkand major legal libraries.

These strategic alliances are critical to ensure that CAIJ objectives are reached. Their ongoing development guarantees the renewal of resources and facilitates access to an ever-wider array of legal information.

Achievements

Since its foundation in 2001, CAIJ built up infrastructures and services in order to achieve its mission. Many steps of this evolution rely on information technologies. CAIJ history can be summarized by the following steps from 2001 till now. Each step is still in progress:

  • "CAIJ des contenants" (2001> ): modernization of the libraries network and of the information system, launch of the first website and of the first JuriBistroTM Suite tool (Libraries Catalogue | BIBLIO).
  • "CAIJ des contenus" (2003> ): growth of CAIJ website and of JuriBistroTM Suite (CONCERTO, THEMA now Actualités juridiques, TOPO), publication of online full-text legal literature, in partnership with Québec Bar and, since 2011, with Wilson & Lafleur ("Publications du Barreau", now eDOCTRINE).
  • "CAIJ de la connaissance" (2010> ): development of JuriBistroTM UNIK search engine and of a new approach of legal research through the use of advanced technologies such as facetted search and text mining (eQUANTUM).
The following timeline illustrates CAIJ main achievements from  2001 to 2013:
CAIJ Timeline (2001-2013)