542. Natural persons must self-represent; they may, however, give their spouse, a relative, a person connected to them by marriage or civil union or a friend a non-remunerated mandate to represent them. The mandate must be recorded in a document identifying the mandatary and stating the reasons why the mandator is unable to self-represent, and be signed by the mandator.
The State, legal persons, partnerships and associations and other groups not endowed with juridical personality can only be represented by an officer or employee in their sole service who is not a lawyer.
Despite section 34 of the Charter of human rights and freedoms (chapter C-12), lawyers or collection agents cannot act as mandataries except to recover professional fees owed to the partnership to which they belong. By way of exception, if a case raises a complex issue on a point of law, the court, on its own initiative or on a party’s request, after obtaining the consent of the chief judge of the Court of Québec, may authorize the parties to be represented by lawyers. In such a case, except for parties who do not qualify as plaintiffs under this Title, the lawyers’ professional fees and costs are borne by the Minister of Justice but cannot exceed those set in the tariff of fees established by the Government under the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services (chapter A-14).
Both natural persons and legal persons may consult a lawyer, including for the purpose of preparing the presentation of their case.