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CAIJ over the years

From the outset, the intention was for CAIJ to be an organization based on expertise, intensive use of information technology and the ability to effectively manage the mixed information environment (paper and electronic media) that characterizes the dissemination of legal information.


Creation of the Quebec Bar Library.


Creation of the Société de la bibliothèque (Montreal Bar Library).

1981 – 1982

Creation of the Réseau de Bibliothèques du Barreau inc. and the Réseau des bibliothèques de droit du district d’appel de Québec.

For financial reasons, several sections have found it difficult to develop and maintain a level of collection and service that meets members’ expectations. In the 1980s, it was decided to create two library networks, one covering the Montreal Appeal Division and the other the Quebec City Appeal Division, to enable more effective dissemination of legal information throughout the province. However, the libraries of the Barreau de Montréal and the Barreau de Québec remain autonomous.

1993 – 1999

Creation of the Réseau des bibliothèques de droit du Québec (RBDQ).

Since the appeal division system did not fully meet the expectations of the parties concerned, it was agreed to create a single corporation, the Réseau des bibliothèques de droit du Québec inc., separate from the Quebec Bar. Its mission was to set up law libraries in each of the section bars, with the exception of Montreal and Quebec City.

1999 – 2001

Creation of the Réseau de l’information juridique de Québec (RIJQ).

The Quebec Bar commissions Inforges to produce a report on access to legal information for its members. The members of the RBDQ decide to put an end to the corporation’s operations and entrust the Barreau du Québec with the task of developing a new system for disseminating legal information while maintaining basic services.

A new network was born, the RIJQ, and Me Michel A Pinsonnault, former president of the Montreal Bar, was appointed president, even though the libraries of the Montreal and Quebec City section bars were not part of it.

The stakes :

  • Inadequate annual funding.
  • Need to pool resources, but lack of compatible standards.
  • Widespread lack of technological innovation enabling more effective and rapid dissemination of legal information.
  • The need to set up new services.
  • Diversity or absence of library staff.


Creation of CAIJ on December 6, 2001.

The CAIJ would not be what it is without the vision of the founding fathers who built this organization :

  • The Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada,
  • The Honourable Justice Michel A. Pinsonnault,
  • The Honourable Justice Clément Samson,
  • Mr. Pierre Mazurette, Ad. E., Q.C.

Appointment of The Honourable Michel A. Pinsonnault, J.C.S. as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2001-2002).

Excerpt from the CAIJ President Michel A. Pinsonnault’s speech at the launch of CAIJ at the General Council of the Quebec Bar, December 7, 2001:

“More than ever, lawyers and the judiciary need rapid access to all available legal information. We need to project ourselves into the future and be able to identify the right attitudes to adopt right now if we want to continue to evolve in a dynamic and prosperous environment. […] Our greatest risk is to help our profession evolve. Create. Go further. Invent advantageous solutions at reasonable costs.”


Appointment of Richard Boivin as CAIJ General Manager on February 4, 2002.

Richard Boivin takes over as General Manager of CAIJ. The challenge at the time was not only to meet the expectations of Quebec’s 15 section presidents and their members, who expected results quickly, but also to merge 37 disparate libraries and respond to the apprehensions of authors and publishers worried about the role CAIJ would play.

Appointment of The Honourable Clément Samson, J.C.S. as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CAIJ (2002-2006).

Launch of CAIJ’s website (www.caij.qc.ca) and the first CAIJ search tool JuriBistro BIBLIO.

CAIJ has launched its website so that members can search a unified catalog, consult CAIJ’s collection from their office, access their user file, view their loans and make reservations or renewals.


Launch of Concerto, CAIJ’s first language search engine.

The first search engine to find legislation, case law and doctrine in natural language.


Launch of Thema, to offer content related to legal news.

Reading rooms by area of law provide quick access to traditional sources of law on the chosen subject, as well as news, events, reports and briefs, tools and forms, and a host of useful resources.


Appointment of Me Pierre Mazurette as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2006-2007 and 2018-2019).

Creation of the Consultative Conference.

The Consultative Conference, made up of the founders and former presidents of CAIJ, has the task of constituting the organization’s “collective memory” over time, and ensuring that the objectives that presided over the creation of CAIJ and the values that have guided its development are maintained.

Launch of TOPO, CAIJ’s bank of documented questions.

A knowledge bank on a multitude of research questions and areas of law, inspired by requests frequently submitted to the CAIJ research department or compiled by practitioners working in these fields.

Redesign of the CAIJ website.


Appointment of Me Caroline Ferland as Chair of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2008-2010).

Agreement to put Quebec Bar publications online.

Recent Developments, Bar School Law Collection, Revue du Barreau and Bar Congress Speakers’ Texts are now online


Launch of CAIJ’s first mobile site.

Members have smartphone access to the latest CAIJ library acquisitions, Supreme Court judgments, Recent Developments and other relevant content from wherever they are.


Appointment of The Honourable Jacques G. Bouchard, J.C.S. as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2010-2012).

Acquisition and integration of Scott’s Index of Canadian legal periodicals.


Launch of the third version of the CAIJ website, the UNIK search engine and a selection of Wilson & Lafleur titles.

CAIJ’s new search engine, UNIK, can be used intuitively by entering keywords with or without the use of writing rules and search operators. It searches all CAIJ resources. A revolution in legal research in Quebec.


Appointment of Me Mathieu Piché-Messier as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2012-2014).

Winner of the Octas award for JuriBistro UNIK.

Winner of the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing ACBD-CALL for the UNIK search engine.

Launch of eLOIS, CAIJ’s online annotated law tool.

eLOIS makes it even easier to access all the information relating to each article: bilingual comparative version, links to official sources, concordances, parliamentary debates, Minister’s comments, legislation cited in case law and doctrine… Everything can be consulted online, printed out or sent by e-mail.


Launch of eQUANTUM, case law in figures.


Appointment of Me Marie-Josée Garneau as Chair of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2014-2015).

Incorporation of firm publications into CAIJ doctrine.

First partnerships with law firms to integrate their publications into CAIJ’s body of legal information. These can now be found in UNIK and in CAIJ’s online secondary sources.

Hubert Reids Dictionnaire de droit québécois et canadien is now available online.


Appointment of Me Kim Lachapelle as Chair of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2015-2017).

General Manager Richard Boivin receives the AAP Award of Merit.

CAIJ General Manager Richard Boivin receives the 2015 AAP Award of Merit. The AAP Merit Award recognizes outstanding professional achievement, reputation, dedication to the cause of the AAP and commitment to the defence of the interests of justice.


A special research guide on the New Code of Civil Procedure is now available online.

Appointment of Me Nancy J. Trudel as CAIJ’s Executive Director in April 2016, replacing Mr. Richard Boivin.

Me Nancy J. Trudel is responsible for planning, coordinating and evaluating all the organization’s activities and resources, with a goal to maintain a high level of satisfaction among CAIJ members and optimal use of resources. Me Trudel also coordinates the implementation of the organization’s strategic and action plans.


Appointment of Me Linda Goupil, Ad. E. as Chair of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2017-2018).

Optimization of CAIJ’s library network.

New CAIJ cards, new photocopying equipment and the opening of new service points are being introduced to get closer to CAIJ users.

Introduction of new ways to communicate with CAIJ members.

A new chat service and customer service hotline, as well as extended contact hours, are organized to keep pace with the new realities of member practice.


Appointment of Me Pierre Mazurette as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2006-2007 and 2018-2019).

Régie du logement decisions are now available online.

By popular demand, CAIJ signs an agreement to disseminate Régie du logement decisions.

Toll-free remote access to La Référence.

Online authentication and website redesign to offer members value-added exclusives.

Launch of a series of special research guides featuring content linked to current social and legal events.

The first guide launched is “Legalization of cannabis”, to give a 360° view of the legal issues surrounding this topical subject.


Appointment of Me Alain Ricard as Chairman of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2019-2023).

Authentication of the Law Collection.

2020 – 2022

Conclusion of exceptional agreements during a pandemic.

CAIJ is putting in place exceptional arrangements to provide access to more tools during the COVID-19 pandemic and enable its members to work remotely.

Quebec notaries welcome as CAIJ members.

The Board of Directors of the Chambre des notaires du Québec has approved an agreement for all notaries to become CAIJ members.


Appointment of Me Caroline Blache as Chair of the CAIJ Board of Directors (2023-).

Karine Mac Allister is appointed General Manager, in succession to Me Nancy J. Trudel.

Our annual reports present a complete list of our partners and initiatives supported over the years.