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Cahiers N° 35 - RRJ 2021-3, VARIA 35

Olivier THOLOZAN

Maître de Conférences HDR à l’Université Aix-Marseille, Laboratoire de Théorie du droit

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Abstract

Judicial opinions can be characterised as the typical locus of expression of a legal reasoning based on facts. In Canadian Law, as well as in Common Law jurisdictions, judges write their opinions by combining two stories or narratives : the factual and the legal. « What happened » is as important as « what is the applicable law ». This style of writing judgements helps to explain a number of practices. The first is a tendency of reading legal opinions as if they rested on the facts of a case, and therefore delimiting their scope accordingly. Another consequence is to give the impression that the story described in the legal decision is « complete ». This paper explores and confronts these two methodological practices found in Canadian Law.

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