The Université de Montréal submitted to the Committee on Citizens’ Relations during special consultations and public hearings on draft law no.oh 32 of the Academic Freedom Act on campus. In this brief statement, he reiterates his opposition to the adoption of the law governing academic freedom. Rector Daniel Jutras, Vice-Rector for Community and International Partnerships Valérie Amiraux and Vice-Rector for Strategic Planning and Communication Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens also signed the text in Duty about when the Cloutier Commission report on which the bill is based was published last December.
“Like many other players in academia, we believe that this law is not necessary and that the bill has significant shortcomings. If the government wants to regulate academic freedom, it could include it in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, “underlines Rector Daniel Jutras.
In its opinion, the university explains the basis of its position. However, if, after consultation, the National Assembly decides to pass a law regulating freedom of expression in a university context, UdeM recommends:
- That academic freedom be enshrined in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms without the technical legislative framework described in Articles 4 to 7 of Act no.oh 32.
- This paragraph 6 will be removed from the draft law. This section, as proposed in the current bill, would give the Minister responsible for law enforcement the power to when deemed necessary to protect academic freedomorder the college to include in its policy any element that indicates. If approved, Section 6 would provide a legal basis for unprecedented interference in the autonomous decision-making sphere of universities in determining how to achieve their mission and protect academic freedom.
- That the obligations set out in Article 4 to establish a supervisory board for the application of the policy of academic freedom and to ensure certain content of this policy, as well as “measures and sanctions applicable in the event of an infringement of the right to academic freedom” are deleted.
Freedom of speech in a university context at UdeM
After extensive consultations with its community, the university adopted a statement on the principles of freedom of expression in the university context, as well as a series of concrete recommendations for their implementation. The principles and recommendations were adopted unanimously by the University Assembly, the governing body responsible for establishing the general principles governing the direction and development of the university, as well as the elaboration and application of the regulations on the status of professor.