Our mission

At the Quebec Environmental Law Centre (CQDE), our mission is to leverage our legal expertise to support citizens and protect the environment.

We are the only organization offering independent environmental law expertise in Quebec. Our work provides citizens with access to information and justice in environmental law, a growing need as the number of environmental files involving legal issues is on the rise.

Our vision: to build a society where all living beings and the environment are legally protected for their intrinsic value and everyone works together to safeguard this protection.

More specifically, the CQDE contributes to developing a legal system that adequately addresses emerging environmental challenges.The CQDE’s objectives are to:

Help develop, publicize, and ensure compliance with environmental law for the protection of communities and the environment.

Depuis sa fondation, et afin de protéger les droits environnementaux, le CQDE dispense de l’information juridique à des citoyen·nes et à des groupes de protection de l’environnement, leur permettant de faire la lumière sur les dimensions juridiques des problèmes environnementaux auxquels ils font face, tout en s’inscrivant dans l’atteinte éventuelle d’un développement qui soit durable. De plus, le CQDE a mis sur pied une clinique juridique structurée et supervisée pour les étudiants universitaires souhaitant compléter un stage en droit de l’environnement. Ce faisant, le Centre contribue à former la prochaine génération d’avocats en droit de l’environnement.

Protect citizens’ environmental rights and ensure access to justice in environmental matters.

Since its foundation, the CQDE has been actively involved in providing legal information to citizens and environmental groups. We help shed light on the legal dimensions of the environmental problems they face, with a view to protecting environmental rights and working toward sustainable development. In addition, the CQDE has established a structured and supervised legal clinic offering university-level internships in environmental law. Through this initiative, we are doing our part to train the next generation of environmental lawyers.

Protect citizens’ environmental rights and ensure access to justice in environmental matters.

The CQDE plays an active role in Quebec society by participating in the major environmental debates in current affairs. We also take part in government consultations on various legislative and regulatory reforms to ensure the efficient protection of the environment. When relevant, the CQDE goes to court to promote the development of progressive case law in legal fields connected to the environment. The expertise of the CQDE has been recognized on numerous occasions by the courts.

Offer citizens and activists training and information about legal tools they can use to assert their right to a healthy environment.

CQDE offers different activities aimed at informing citizens, interested groups and professionals (conferences, lectures, training, etc.). These activities range from conferences, courses on issues of interest to citizens, seminars on specific legal problems for professionals, training in alternative dispute resolution, or talks on the legal aspects of major current events. For example, we organized mediation training with the Honourable Louise Otis, in which she provided participants with information about peaceful strategies for resolving conflicts and litigation, including negotiation and mediation.

Our values

At the CQDE, we believe that the environment is part of the common heritage of humanity, and we consider it our responsibility to protect it. Our work relies on the following values:

  • Integrity
  • Independence
  • Expertise
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration

Our history

The Quebec Environmental Law Centre (CQDE) is a charitable organization founded in 1989 by a group of jurists passionate about the legal aspects of environmental issues.