AuthorPopovici, Alexandra

Our endeavour was to answer this inertia and find a project that would render this plurality a tangible reality. And so it was, on 20 December 2011, a group of scholars came together in the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law to discuss a series of short essays that had been written in the preceding weeks. (1) "Land," "contrat relationnel," "custom," "filiation," "nom," "security," "unjust enrichment," and "values" were the titles of these texts.

By then, transsystemic teaching had been a fact (2) of daily life at McGill's Faculty of Law for over a decade. One ambition at the inception of the transsystemic program in 1999 was that professors would publish collaboratively written teaching materials to share with other scholars the Faculty's pioneering approach to teaching and thinking about law. That ambition was never fulfilled. Visions of the enterprise were individual and variable, and as always at McGill, different professors taught the same course each in their own fashion. Moreover, the conditions under which the program had come into existence--in a bilingual and bijural faculty--were very particular. It was not easy to see how teaching materials usable at McGill could be of use in other places. There was, however, an explosion of literature inspired by, and about, the transsystemic program, most but not all of it written by members of the Faculty. (3)

But the idea of a collaborative project that aimed to show what was special about the transsystemic program did not go away. Both of us were at the Centre in 2011, and it was the Centre that had been asked to coordinate a publication project that would showcase the transsystemic program. The Centre has, since its creation in 1975, produced bilingual dictionaries of Quebec private law, in which both of us had participated and still do; and one of us had recently contributed to The New Oxford Companion to Law, (4) an alphabetically organized collection of short essays on a wide range of topics. And so, quite naturally, the idea was born of a McGill Companion to Law: short, individually-authored essays that would permit a reflection, from the perspective of transsystemic teaching and thinking, on some idea, concept, figure, thing. It would be a collaborative encyclopaedic dictionary of transsystemic legal thought, conceived as a way to reflect upon how the transsystemic program changed our way of thinking about law.

Bien que le projet s'appuyait sur la longue...

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