Dominique A. Jobin
Lawyer, Partner - Quebec City
Dominique A. Jobin is a partner in the Litigation group in our Québec City office. She joined the firm after working in government for many years as a constitutional lawyer.
Dominique’s practice is focused on constitutional advice and litigation in various criminal, civil, administrative and disciplinary contexts, particularly with respect to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Quebec Charter). She is especially active in the areas of labour relations, privacy, language rights and policies, administrative and penal investigations, and health and education. She advises both public bodies and private companies in matters where their actions implicate human rights and freedoms.
With expertise in freedom of expression, democratic rights, privacy, language rights and the rights to liberty and security of the person, Dominique has advised government authorities for over thirty years on the compliance of draft laws and regulations—as well as government actions—with applicable constitutional and quasi-constitutional guarantees. She has represented the Attorney General of Quebec in numerous constitutional cases before the Quebec courts and has frequently appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Dominique has taught courses on rights and freedoms at Université Laval’s Faculty of Law, and she is frequently called upon to speak to members of the legal community and the judiciary on human rights issues.
Graduate studies in public law, Université Laval, 1987-1989
Bachelor of Laws, LL.B., Université Laval, 1984
Department of Justice Canada training program in common law (Dalhousie University, Halifax) and comparative law (Université de Sherbrooke), 1984
Areas of Practice
Dominique’s work spans various sectors of activity, which can be grouped under the five main themes below.
1. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press
Cases involving the open court principle, media regulation, freedom of expression of professionals or access to information:
- Association professionnelle des ingénieurs du Gouvernement du Québec c. Québec (Procureure générale), 2019 QCCA 1171: An employer’s decision to prohibit employees from including a union message in their official email signatures was challenged in light of Charter guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of association.
- Doré v. Barreau du Québec,  1 S.C.R. 395: Judicial review of a decision by the Bar’s Disciplinary Council to reprimand a lawyer for breaching the duty to behave with objectivity, moderation and dignity, a decision that implicated the lawyer’s freedom of expression. Consideration of the proper approach to judicial review of discretionary administrative decisions engaging Charter protections.
- Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. Canada (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 19: Challenge to the Rules of Practice of the Superior Court and to the directive issued by Quebec’s Ministère de la Justice, which limited conducting interviews, filming and taking photographs to predetermined courthouse locations and prohibited any broadcasting of official audio recordings of hearings, on the basis of freedom of expression.
- Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. The Queen,  1 S.C.R. 65: Appeal from the trial judge’s decision to prohibit the media from broadcasting a video recording of a statement made by the accused to police and entered into evidence at trial, on the basis of freedom of expression.
- Ontario (Public Safety and Security) v. Criminal Lawyers’ Association,  1 S.C.R. 815: Freedom of expression guaranteed by section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter and the right of access to information relevant to public debate.
Cases involving the freedom to engage in commercial advertising and promotional activities:
- Procureur général du Québec c. Gallant, 2021 QCCA 1701: Challenge to the rules imposed by Quebec’s Tobacco Control Act, particularly with regard to the use, advertising and marketing of vaping products.
- Canada (Attorney General) v. JTI-Macdonald Corp.,  2 S.C.R. 610: Federal regulations regarding advertising and promotion of tobacco products challenged by tobacco manufacturers on the basis of freedom of commercial expression.
Cases involving democratic rights and freedom of political expression, particularly in the context of control over election expenses and campaign contributions:
- Frank v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 1: Loss of the right to vote in federal elections after five years’ absence from Canada challenged in light of the right to vote in elections guaranteed by section 3 of the Canadian Charter.
- Procureure générale du Québec c. Maheux, 2019 QCCA 399: Concurrent jurisdiction of the Court of Quebec (criminal cases) and the Superior Court (civil cases) in connection with a challenge to the constitutionality of provisions of the Election Act governing voter contributions. The validity of these rules with respect to freedom of political expression.
- B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2017 SCC 6: The requirement to register with the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia was challenged based on the freedom of political expression of individuals wishing to sponsor election advertising.
- Métallurgistes unis d’Amérique (FTQ), section locale 7649 c. Québec (Directeur général des élections), 2011 QCCA 1043: Challenge to provisions of the Election Act prohibiting legal persons from incurring election expenses, in light of the freedom of expression and freedom of association of unions.
- Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 912: Challenge to provisions of the Canada Elections Act requiring political parties to nominate candidates in at least 50 electoral districts in order to qualify for certain benefits, on the basis of the democratic rights enshrined in section 3 of the Canadian Charter.
- Libman v. Quebec (Attorney General),  3 S.C.R. 569: Challenge to the Referendum Act placing restrictions on third party spending during a referendum campaign on the basis of the freedoms of expression and association.
- Haig v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer),  2 S.C.R. 995: Exclusion of a non-resident from the right to vote in the Charlottetown referendum challenged on the basis of freedom of expression.
2. Searches and seizures
Cases involving the right to privacy in the face of the coercive powers of the state:
- R. v. Fearon,  3 S.C.R. 621: Validity of a cell phone search, incidental to the arrest of the accused, in light of the protection against unreasonable search and seizure under section 8 of the Canadian Charter.
- Imperial Oil v. Jacques,  3 S.C.R. 287: Appeal from a court decision authorizing the disclosure of recordings of private communications intercepted in the course of a criminal investigation to plaintiffs in a class action. In challenging the decision, the appellants invoked their right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (section 8 of the Canadian Charter) and alleged a conflict with the wiretap provisions of the Criminal Code.
- Wakeling v. United States of America,  3 S.C.R. 549: The disclosure of private communications lawfully intercepted by a foreign agency involved in the investigation or prosecution of offences, pursuant to the Criminal Code, challenged on the basis of the protection provided by section 8 of the Canadian Charter.
- R. v. Cole,  3 S.C.R. 34: Warrantless searches of an employee’s computer provided by his employer for work purposes (first by the employer, then by the police) challenged under section 8 of the Canadian Charter.
- R. v. Kang-Brown,  1 S.C.R. 456 and R. v. A.M.,  1 S.C.R. 569: Sniffer dog screening of bus station passengers for drugs challenged in light of the Charter protection against unreasonable search.
- R. v. Tessling,  3 S.C.R. 432: The warrantless use of a thermal imaging device to take a “heat” picture of a residence challenged in light of the Charter protection against unreasonable search.
3. Professional law and health law
Cases involving legal obligations imposed on professionals and the regulation of access to health services, with regard to the rights to liberty and security of the person:
- R. v. Conception,  3 S.C.R. 82: Challenge to the provision of the Criminal Code stating that a treatment order for an accused found unfit to stand trial cannot be issued without the hospital’s consent, in light of the rights protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter.
- Association pour l’accès à l’avortement c. Québec (Procureur général), 2006 QCCS 4694: Class action seeking the reimbursement of certain fees for abortion services provided in private clinics, in light of the patients’ rights to security of the person and equality as protected by the Charters.
- Chaoulli v. Quebec (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 791: Challenge to provisions of the Health Insurance Act prohibiting Quebec residents from private insurance for health care services already available under the public health care plan in light of the rights to life, liberty and security of the person (section 7 of the Canadian Charter and section 1 of the Quebec Charter).
- Ordre des comptables généraux licenciés du Québec c. Québec (Procureur général),  R.J.Q. 1164: Challenge to the Chartered Accountants Act, which gave members of this professional order the exclusive right to practice public accounting, in light of sections 1, 3, 4 and 10 of the Quebec Charter.
- Walker v. Prince Edward Island,  2 S.C.R. 407: Provincial legislation providing that no person can practice as a public accountant unless he or she is a member of the provincial institute of chartered accountants challenged under sections 2(b), 6 and 7 of the Canadian Charter.
4. Legal rights
Cases involving the rights to liberty or security of the person and the obligations arising from the principles of fundamental justice:
- The order in council of the Gouvernement du Québec concerning the reference related to Bill C-7 respecting the criminal justice system for young persons (No. 1021-2001) (In the matter of),  R.J.Q. 1118: Challenge to the requirement that a young offender, in certain circumstances, justify the continuation of the youth sentencing and confidentiality regime, rather than placing the onus on the prosecutor to justify its discontinuation, on the basis of sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter.
- Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. K.L.W.,  2 S.C.R. 519: Legislation providing the state with the power to apprehend a child without prior judicial authorization in “non-emergency” situations based on reasonable and probable grounds that the child is in need of protection challenged on the basis of parental rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter.
- R. v. L. (D.O.),  4 S.C.R. 419: The accused challenged the admission into evidence of the videotaped statement of a young complainant in a sexual assault case, pursuant to the Criminal Code, in light of sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter.
- R. v. Levogiannis,  4 S.C.R. 475: The accused challenged the right conferred by the Criminal Code of a young complainant to testify behind a screen, in light of sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter.
5. Language rights and the freedom to use the language of one’s choice
- Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23 v. Yukon (Attorney General),  2 S.C.R. 282: Validity of the decision of a minority language school board to unilaterally admit students who are not rights-holders within the meaning of section 23 of the Canadian Charter.
- Nguyen v. Quebec (Education, Recreation and Sports),  3 S.C.R. 208: Challenge to the refusal to declare children eligible to attend English-language public schools in Quebec on the grounds that, under the Charter of the French Language, periods of attendance at unsubsidized English-language private schools and instruction in English received pursuant to special authorization are disregarded when determining a child’s eligibility. Compliance with language rights under section 23 of the Canadian Charter.
- Solski (Tutor of) v. Quebec (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 201: Challenge to the refusal to declare children eligible to attend English-language public schools in Quebec on the ground that they had not completed the “major part” of their instruction in English as required by the Charter of the French Language. Compliance with language rights under section 23 of the Canadian Charter.
- Gosselin (Tutor of) v. Quebec (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 238: Challenge to the criteria for access to English-language education in by members of Quebec’s French-speaking majority in light of the right to equality (sections 10 and 12 of the Quebec Charter).
- Westmount (Ville de) c. Québec (Procureur général),  R.J.Q. 2520; leave to appeal to SCC dismissed: Challenge to the merger of Montréal municipalities, particularly with respect to the language rights of the English-speaking minority (section 16(3) of the Canadian Charter) and the right to equality (section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter).
- Entreprises W.F.H. Ltée c. Québec (Procureure générale),  R.J.Q. 2557: Challenge to the rule requiring the marked predominance of French on public signage established by the Charter of the French Language. Impact of the stare decisis rule on the requirements for proving that a provision is reasonable and justified in accordance with section 1 of the Canadian Charter or section 9.1 of the Quebec Charter.
2023 – ”Commentaire sur la décision Journal de Montréal, une division de MédiaQMI inc. c. Conseil de presse du Québec – Un jugement que prévient le bâillonnement du Conseil de presse”, Repères, Éditions Yvon Blais, June 2023, EYB2023REP3630.
2023 – ”Commentaire sur la décision Luamba c. Procureur général du Québec – La Cour supérieure sanctionne des pratiques de profilage racial contrevenant à la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés”, Repères, Éditions Yvon Blais, February 2023, EYB2023REP3583.
2022 – Evidence and Expertise in constitutional law: training given at the XXIIIe Conférence des juristes de l’État, May 2022.
2022 – Basic training on charters of rights and freedoms for all lawyers at Quebec’s Ministry of Justice; planning and recording thematic briefings on various rights and freedoms protected by the charters, spring 2022.
2022 – Freedom of expression and discrimination: the Mike Ward case, presentation given at a conference organized by the Professional Training Committee of the Quebec Bar in collaboration with CEDAC, the centre for studies in administrative and constitutional law at Université Laval’s Faculty of Law, March 2022.
2019 – Specialized training for government legists on human rights and freedoms (designer and trainer), Quebec Ministry of Justice, winter and spring 2019.
2016 – Recent jurisprudential and legislative developments regarding state-led computer searches and electronic surveillance: jurisprudential guidelines based on section 8 of the Canadian Charter applicable to computer and electronic investigations by the state: Regional training given to the judges of the Court of Quebec (Criminal and Penal Division), Québec City.
2015 – The jurisprudential guidelines arising from section 8 of the Canadian Charter applicable to computer and electronic investigations by the state: lecture given as part of the annual Public Legal Counsel Training Day in Québec City.
2014 – The guidelines set by section 8 of the Canadian Charter with respect to state searches of computers and electronic materials: lecture given during the training day for presiding justices of the peace of Quebec, part of the Annual Conference of the Court of Quebec judges held in Gatineau.
2012 – Freedom of expression and the open court principle: lecture and workshop facilitation during the annual meeting of judges of the Court of Quebec (Criminal and Penal Division) in Québec City.
2012 – The respective roles of the administrative decision-maker and the reviewing judge in the consideration of “Charter values”: the Doré case and its major implications for administrative and constitutional law: training seminar given to the judges of the Superior Court, Montréal Division.
2011 – Freedom of expression and the open court principle, and Synthesis of the rules applicable to legal proceedings in matters of human rights and freedoms, lectures given at the Annual Assembly of the judges of the Superior Court of Quebec (Québec City Division), Gaspé.
2007-2008 – Principal remedies for infringement of rights and freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter, training given at the Seminar for New Federally Appointed Judges, organized by the National Judicial Institute and the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, in Halifax and Niagara on the Lake.
2006 – Life, liberty, security and integrity of the person as protected by the Charters: a review, lecture given as part of the training day for lawyers in the General Directorate of Legal and Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Justice of Quebec.
2006 – The guidelines set by the Chaoulli decision for court intervention in matters of access to health care services, lecture given at the XVIIe Conférence des juristes de l’État; text published in the proceedings of the XVIIe Conférence des juristes de l’État.
2005-2006 – Introduction to the impact of the Canadian and Quebec Charters on government activity, training given during the Welcome Days for new lawyers in the General Directorate of Legal and Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Justice of Quebec.
2005 – Did the Chaoulli decision revolutionize the scope of section 7 of the Canadian Charter and section 1 of the Quebec Charter?, lecture given at the Canadian Bar Association’s Annual Conference, Vancouver.
2004 – The concept of spouse: are society and the law moving at the same pace? and Safety and the State, organization and facilitation of workshops at the XVIe Conférence des juristes de l’État.
2003 – The essential role of evidence in Charter litigation: an example from the right to equality, and The Charter of the French Language in everyday life, organization and facilitation of workshops at the XVe Conférence des juristes de l’État.
2001 – New perspectives on the rights to liberty and security of the person protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter, lecture given at Recent Developments in Administrative Law, a conference organized by the Quebec Bar’s Continuing Education Service; text published in the proceedings of the day.
1995 – Arguments in support of Quebec’s constitutional jurisdiction over video lottery terminals, specialized training given to Crown counsel responsible for administering Quebec’s Lotteries Act.
2004-2013 – Active involvement in organizing the Conférence des juristes de l’État, a specialized two-day conference held every two years for lawyers and notaries working in Quebec’s public service:
– Member of the organizing committee and workshop coordinator for over 8 years
– Vice-chair and co-lead overseeing speakers’ texts, and initiator of the creation of the CJE website (2008-2009)
– Chair and co-lead overseeing speakers’ texts (2010-2011)
– Outgoing chair (2012-2013).
2007 and 2009 – Lecturer at Université Laval’s Faculty of Law, course on human rights and freedoms
1985 – Law instructor in the paralegal technology and police technology programs at Collège François-Xavier Garneau (as part of a teaching certificate from Université Laval)