Tremblay’s research to this point has explored how the family has been regulated in Quebec, where blood ties and formalities are of great cultural importance – creating, perhaps, a narrow understanding of the range of meaningful relationships constituting the family.
“My research is about expanding what is considered as a family in private law to shift the normative content of this concept. What matters are the relationships, and specifically relationships of emotional and economical interdependency. These relationships may take many forms,” she says. One area of research around complex relationships has to do with surrogacy. Due to Quebec’s limited definition of the family, the province does not have a framework for families who conceive though surrogacy to have recognized legal bounds without taking expensive and unsure legal steps.
Coming to the Allard School of Law and to British Columbia offers a real opportunity to expand her research agenda. The province’s recent reforms in family law represent a step in the right direction, Tremblay thinks. There’s also more value placed on alternative dispute resolution. And, finally: “In my opinion, the Allard School of Law is, simply put, the best place to be in Canada if you want to do family law,” she says.
Following her LLM at the University of Toronto and a year articling with Fasken Martineau, and interested in an academic path, Tremblay jumped at the chance to gain some research experience as Assistant Director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law at McGill University. There she also had the chance to lecture in Canadian Family Law, which she wanted to experience before embarking on her SJD at the University of Toronto. She knew she loved research, but wanted to know that she was equally devoted to the other main part of the vocation. Teaching family law at McGill, she quickly discovered that she had a passion for it.
In 2017, the Law Foundation of British Columbia established a $100,000 fund to support legal research in British Columbia that advances the knowledge of law, social policy, and the administration of justice. Régine Tremblay was one of three Allard School of Law faculty member recipients, along with Isabel Grant and Erez Aloni.
She recently co-authored a book entitled Les Familles (Families) hoping the pluralization of the word family would convey the many forms a family and relationship can take, something she tries to pass on in the classroom.
“Family law is extremely contextual. I try my best to have students realize how specific it is, how intimate family law issues can be and how human it is.”
For more, read a profile on Régine Tremblay in the 2017 Allard School of Law Alumni Magazine and "The Family Law Act and Access to Justice" originally published on May 31, 2018 in the Allard School of Law News.