Canada: L'appel Sur Permission D'un Jugement Autorisant L'exercice D'une Action Collective – Rééquilibrage Des Droits Des Parties Ou Fiction

Lors de l'adoption de la Loi sur le recours collectif1 en 1978, tant la partie demanderesse que la partie défenderesse pouvait, de plein droit, porter en appel un jugement sur une demande d'exercer une action collective. En 1982, le droit de porter en appel un jugement autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective a été retiré, mais le droit de porter en appel un jugement refusant l'exercice d'une action collective a été maintenu. Reconnaissant le déséquilibre ainsi créé entre les parties, mais dans le but de maintenir un contrôle sur les procédures en appel, le législateur a décidé, lors de la réforme du Code de procédure civile, de réintroduire la possibilité de porter en appel un jugement autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective. Cependant, il a assujetti cette possibilité à l'obtention d'une permission. La partie demanderesse a quant à elle conservé son appel de plein droit d'un jugement refusant l'autorisation d'exercer une action collective.

Dans Centrale des syndicats du Québec c. Allen,2 la Cour d'appel du Québec a statué sur le test applicable aux demandes de permission de porter un jugement autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective en appel. Selon la Cour d'appel, un tel droit doit être réservé « à des cas somme toute exceptionnels », de sorte que le test applicable se doit d'être exigeant.3 En conséquence, la Cour d'appel a conclu que la permission de porter en appel une décision autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective ne pourrait être accordée que dans la mesure où le jugement comporterait à sa face même une erreur déterminante relativement à l'interprétation des critères d'autorisation d'une action collective ou à l'appréciation des faits relatifs à ces critères. La Cour d'appel a également indiqué qu'il serait possible d'accorder la permission d'en appeler d'un jugement autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective lorsqu'il y aurait incompétence flagrante de la Cour supérieure.

En formulant un test d'une telle rigueur, force est de constater que la réforme du Code de procédure civile ne semble pas avoir permis, malgré l'intention du législateur, de rééquilibrer les droits des parties.

Ce que vous devriez savoir

  • Le test applicable au droit de faire appel d'un jugement autorisant l'exercice d'une action collective en vertu de l'article 578 du nouveau Code de procédure civile est très exigeant. La permission de porter en appel une décision autorisant une action collective est réservée aux cas suivants :

    • Le jugement d'autorisation comporte à sa face même une erreur déterminante en ce qui concerne l'interprétation des critères d'autorisation;
    • Le jugement d'autorisation comporte à sa face même une erreur déterminante en ce qui concerne l'appréciation des faits relatifs aux critères d'autorisation; ou
    • Le jugement d'autorisation démontre la présence d'un cas flagrant d'incompétence de la Cour supérieure.4


1 L.Q. 1978, c. 8.

2 2016 QCCA 1878 (Allen).

3Allen, paragraphes 57 et 58.

4 Allen, paragraphe 59; Énergie éolienne des Moulins, s.e.c. c. Labranche, 2016 QCCA 1879, paragraphe 8; DuProprio inc. c. Fédération des chambres immobilières du Québec (FCIQ), 2016 QCCA 1880, paragraphe7.

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