Jennifer Quaid


Jennifer Quaid
Vice-Dean Research and Associate Professor

PhD Queen’s
LLM Columbia
LLM Cantab
LLB magna cum laude Ottawa
LLL magna cum laude Ottawa
B Soc Sci (Econ) Ottawa

Room: 57, Louis-Pasteur, room 207
Bureau: 613-562-5800 ext. 3240
Courriel professionnel:


Jennifer Quaid is Vice-Dean Research and an Associate Professor in the Civil Law Section. She is a leading legal expert and scholar in the fields of Organizational Criminal Liability, Corporate Accountability, and Business Ethics. Her scholarship, policy work and extensive public engagement focuses on when and how can law be used to stimulate good governance and ethical business practices, particularly in the prevention of serious harm flowing from the materialization of foreseeable operational risks, like corruption, fraud and failure to take appropriate measures to protect public safety and the environment. Her interdisciplinary research, which combines criminal law and organization studies, centres on the unique enabling role that business organizations play in creating the conditions for serious blameworthy conduct to occur. Prof. Quaid's most recent work is focused on rehabilitation of organizational offenders through culture change and meaningful consultation of stakeholders. She is also interested in issues related to anti-corruption enforcement, in particular the enactment of Canada's new remediation agreement regime (more commonly known as DPAs) and is leading a 4-year funded comparative study of the use of non-trial resolution mechanisms in corruption matters that brings together researchers in Canada, France and Switzerland. Prof. Quaid's other research interests lie in Criminal Law & Sentencing, Sexual Assault Law, Competition Law, Anti-Corruption Law, Corporate Law and Corporate Governance.

A member of the Bars of Québec, Ontario and New York, Prof. Quaid practised law for several years, first with the federal Department of Justice and then in private practice for a leading New York firm before joining the academy. She clerked for the Honourable Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prof. Quaid is a member of the Board of Governors of the University (until 30 June 2021). She is a member of Transparency International Canada and sits on its legal committee.

Current research projects

Resolving corruption prosecutions with negotiated settlements: a comparative study of Canada, France & Switzerland (2020-2024)

Principal investigator of a 4-year tri-country study of the effectiveness of non-trial resolutions like remediation agreements in prosecutions of business organizations charged with corruption and other economic crimes.

This study will collect and analyze data about the effectiveness of non-trial resolution mechanisms used to settle corruption cases in Canada, France and Switzerland, three countries that each have a significant stake in the fight against corruption, but whose approaches have not previously been compared. The goal of this study is to inject new ideas into scholarship, policy and public debate in this area and generate two potentially transformative outputs: (1) evidence-based data from which to make proposals to remodel Canada’s flawed RA regime into an operational settlement mechanism that fits seamlessly with other corporate accountability measures and (2) a tri-country network of researchers and stakeholders that can be mobilized to champion broader efforts to promote ethical business conduct on a global scale.

This comparative empirical study is being conducted with support and collaboration of the following international partners:

  • Sara Albertin – Institut des hautes études sur la justice – France (with the support of the IHEJ Director, Justice Antoine Garapon)
  • Ursula Cassini – Professor, Université de Genève, Droit
  • Véronique Magnier – Professor, Université Paris-Sud (Paris XI); Faculté de droit Jean-Monnet, droit et gestion - Grande École du Droit and the Director of the Institut Droit Ethique Patrimoine (IDEP)
  • Isabelle Augsburger-Bücheli – Professor, Université de Fribourg (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland; Haute école de gestion Arc) - and the Founding Director of the Institut de lutte contre la criminalité économique (ILCE)

Corporate Corruption in Canada (2020-2024)

Co-investigator in a study led by Steven Bittle (uOttawa Criminology). Other co-investigators are: Jonathan Frauley (uOttawa Criminology) and Laureen Snider (Professor Emerita, Sociology, Queen's University).

The overall purpose of this research is to explain Canada's reluctance to address corporate corruption. The research conducted in this project will fill a gap in the literature since there is a paucity of research that contemplates the state-corporate nexus in the production of corporate corruption and none that has considered it within the Canadian context. The research will provide an understanding of the nature and scope of corporate corruption in Canada and state responses to it by situating the corporation corruption phenomenon within the broader context -- the context that makes corruption possible and probable and which shapes (but does not determine) related legal and policy measures. It is expected that the research will inform social, political, and academic debates on how Canada can and "should" respond to corporate corruption.

Working across Disciplines to Understand and Improve Mass Evacuations: Examining Different Types of Risk and Contextual Pressures (2020-2023)

Co-investigator on a partnership development project led by Kevin Quigley, Professor, Dalhousie University and Scientific Director of the MacEachen Institute of Public Policy.

The research team, which comprises 8 academic co-investigators, 2 collaborators and 11 organizations drawn from the public, private and NGO sectors, brings together practitioners and scholars with expertise and experience in risk and evacuation. The project will be structured according to two interdisciplinary risk frameworks to examine the interplay between social context and risk characterization to determine the combined impact the two have on government risk regulation regimes. The project objectives are: 1. Partner leading risk scholars with those that are responsible for mass evacuation to develop a shared understanding of evacuation risks. 2. Examine what guides the thinking and actions of those responsible for evacuation, considering the knowledge we have of certain risks and the contextual pressures that are exerted on the regime. 3. Improve dialogue between researchers, practitioners and communities. 4. Contribute to training tools, such as online tests and a tactical decision game, that help to train emergency managers to address risks during mass evacuations.

Analysis of Antibody Neutralization Efficiency and Cellular Immunity in SARS-CoV-2-Positive Individuals Identified in At-Risk Individuals (2020-2021)

Collaborator (legal issues) on a one-year surveillance study of at-risk individuals led by Marc-André Langlois (uOttawa, Medicine, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology) examining variabilities and durations of immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


A Critical Assessment of the Impact of Canada's New Remediation Agreement Regime on the Effectiveness of Criminal Enforcement against Organizational Offenders (2019-2020)

This purpose of this study, funded by a grant from the Foundation for Legal Research, is to conduct a critical examination of Canada’s new “Remediation Agreement” regime, set out in a new Part XXII.1 of the Criminal Code. These court-approved agreements are a made-in Canada form of the deferred prosecution agreements developed in the US and the UK. They enable organizations to avoid a conviction if they abide by the terms of the agreement negotiated between prosecutors and the organization.

We are nearing completion of our assessment of the merits and shortcomings of the regime against the broader backdrop of general trends in the sentencing of organizations that have emerged since the 2004 Westray reforms were integrated into Canadian criminal law as well as recent developments that have emerged from on-going foreign and local corruption prosecutions.


Sentencing Organizational Offenders: Building a Creative Sentencing Framework (2018-2021)

This project, funded by a SSHRC Insight Development grant, examines whether the sentencing process applicable to organizations can be better tailored to address the structural and cultural causes that tend to be at the root of serious violations of the law by organizations. 

The first part of the study, which sets out promising avenues for reframing the sentencing process based on an in-depth analysis of the findings which emerged from our sentencing trends study (see below) is forthcoming in a special issue of the Revue juridique Thémis de l'Université de Montréal (University of Montreal Law Review).


Taking Stock of Trends in Sentencing Organizations since the Bill C-45 Amendments to the Criminal Code (2016-2018)

This project, now complete, was funded through a grant from the University of Ottawa Seed-Funding Program. It assessed the state of sentencing practice in Canada against organizations following the 2003 addition to the Criminal Code of  specialized sentencing tools designed for organizational offenders. The study compiled and analyzed a representative sample of the written reasons for sentence issued by Canadian courts in fraud and corruption, competition, criminal negligence and federal regulatory matters.

Our findings, which have been shared at national and international conferences, have pointed to the need for additional guidance and support to make the Westray sentencing framework operational. These questions form the foundation of the Creative Sentencing project described above.


Publications and Communications

Refereed publications

Jennifer A. Quaid. "Balancing Risk and Reward in the Time of COVID-19: Bridging the Gap Between Public Interest and the 'Best Interests of the Corporation'.” in Colleen M. Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Thériault & Sridhar Venkatapurum, eds, Vulnerable: The Law, Policy & Ethics of COVID- 19, Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press, 2020 (in press).

Jennifer A Quaid. "The Limits of Legislation as a Tool of Reform: A Study of the Westray Reform to Organizational Sentencing." Revue juridique Thémis (accepted).

Jennifer A Quaid, "At Cross Purposes: Abstract Individualism, Organizational Reality and the Criminal Law". In Tracy Isaacs, Kendy Hess & Violetta Igneski , eds., Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 81-106.

Jennifer A Quaid, “Negotiated Justice and Economic Crime: Lessons from the Canadian Experience” in Stefano Manacorda & Francesco Centonze, eds, Centro nazionale di prevenzione e difesa sociale - Collana Convegni di studio "Enrico de Nicola - Problemi attuali di diritto e procedura penale”, Criminalità d’impresa e giustizia negoziata: esperienze a confronto, Milano: Giuffrè, 2017, 123-163

Jennifer Quaid, “What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander: Considering the Merits of a Presumption of Organizational Capacity”, in Marie-Ève Sylvestre, Julie Desrosiers & Margarida Garcia, eds, Réformer le droit criminel au Canada: défis et possibilités/ Criminal Law Reform in Canada: Challenges and Possibilities, Cowansville: Les Éditions Yvon Blais, 2017, 93-131.

Jennifer Quaid & Mistrale Goudreau, “Bref commentaire sur l’affaire Tervita de 2015 », 28 :3 CPI, 703-720.

Jennifer Quaid & Mistrale Goudreau, “Cinq décisions en droit de la concurrence en 2013“, (2014) 26:2 CPI 523-552.

Jennifer A. Quaid, “Making Sense of the Shift in Paradigm on Cartel Enforcement: The Case for Applying a Desert Perspective” (2012) 58:1 McGill LJ 149-198.

Other publications

Jennifer A Quaid & Mark A Drumbl. "Good Faith, Bad Faith – and Justice Iacobucci’s Faith in the Human Condition", in Shauna Van Praagh (Ed.), To Be Frank (Contributions to colloquium in honour of Frank Iacobucci), Montreal, Canada: McGill Faculty of Law (private publication), 2017, 12-15 (

Jennifer A. Quaid. “The Next Frontier of International Criminal Law: Holding Organizations to Account as Distinct Responsible Actors”, in Alexander Dawson & Jennifer Simons, eds., Conference Report – International Criminal Justice: The State of Play Conference – 19-20 March 2015, Vancouver: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University & The Simons Foundation, 2016, 69-73.

Jennifer A. Quaid, “Infractions relatives à la concurrence“, in Droit de la consommation et de la concurrence, vol. 6, Droit des affaires collection (S. Rousseau, ed.), Encyclopédie Jurisclasseur Québec, Montréal: LexisNexis Canada, 2015 (last updated 2020).

Jennifer A. Quaid, “La responsabilité pénale des organisations“, in Droit pénal général, vol. 1, Droit pénal collection (S. Roy & M.-P. Robert, eds.), Encyclopédie Jurisclasseur Québec, Montréal: LexisNexis Canada, 2013 (last updated 2020).


Conference presentations


"Corporate criminal liability and attribution of knowledge", Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Law, Cambridge, UK, 9 September 2021.

“Risk, Reward and the Public Interest: Re-Thinking Corporate Personality for the 21st Century,” Contemporary Theories in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance, Daughters of Themis Workshop 2020, Kea, Greece, June 2021.

Selected past presentations

"Fraud and Corruption: Trends During Times of Crisis". Invited panellist. Canadian Bar Association Spring Law Series 2020 (Business Law Section). Webinar. 2 June 2020.

"Accountability in Complex Settings" . Invited panellist, 2019 Policy Matters Speaker Series, 29 October 2019, MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance, Dalhousie University, Halifax, 29 October 2019.

"Resolving Cartel Matters Without Guilty Pleas", Invited panellist, Canadian Bar Association Competition Law Fall Conference, Ottawa, 16-18 October 2019.

« Concevoir une réforme radicale : l’importance d’une approche axée sur les pratiques des acteurs », 1st biennial Rendez-vous international de la recherche sur les réformes du droit et de la justice, Réformer la justice: des théories de l’action publique aux pratiques des acteurs, Montréal, 19-20 September, 2019.

« Les accords de réparation : Ce que vous devez savoir sur les accords de poursuite différé « Made In Canada »», invited panellist, with Me Stéphane Hould et M. Vladimir Napoléon (GRC) , part of the Après-midi de dialogue 2019 – Montréal conference organised by Transparency International Canada, Montreal, 6 June 2019.

«Responsabilité pénale des entreprises : gouvernance et stratégie des entreprises en regard du régime de traitement alternatif de la criminalité », One of three panelists invited to speak on the conference topic (with Prof. Amissi Manirabona and Me Tommy Tremblay), Les rendez-vous juridiques 2018-2019, Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal, 13 March 2019.

In Search of Rehabilitation: Taking Stock of Trends in Sentencing Organizational Offenders in Canada since the Westray Reforms”, Encountering Crime, Doing Justice, 31st Annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) Conference 2018, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 4-7 December 2018.

"What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander : Crafting a Presumption of Organizational Capacity. 2nd Biennial Conference on Criminal Law", Vers une réforme législative en droit criminel / Towards a Legislative Reform of Canadian Criminal Law, Quebec City, Canada, 3-5 May 2017.

"Quel rôle devrait jouer le droit pénal des entreprises en réponse aux évènements survenus à Lac-Mégantic?"  . What Lessons Have We Learned from the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster? Conference co-organized by the Faculty of Law and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, 8 December 2016.

“Finance and Criminal Accountability for the Materialization of Catastrophic Risk: A Consideration of the Moral Limits of the Profit Motive”, Finance & Social Justice Conference, Finance & Philosophy @ UBT,  Departments of Philosophy & Economics, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany, 3-5 November 2016.

“Plea-Bargaining and Economic Crime: Exploring the Tensions and Contradictions in Canadian Law”, Corporate Crime and Negotiated Justice: Comparing Experiences, Fondazione Centro nazionale di prevenzione e difesa sociale (CNPDS), Commissione “Enrico de Nicola” di diritto e procedura penale and the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme (ISPAC), Milan, Italy, 28 October 2016.

“At Cross Purposes: Abstract Individualism, Organizational Reality and the Criminal Law”, Collective Action: Ontology, Ethics, and Application, Manchester Centre for Political Theory, Manchester, UK, 8-9 September 2016.

« Dénoncer à tout prix? La coexistence inconfortable entre les régimes de disqualification aux appels d’offres publics et les programmes d’immunité et de clémence en matière de concurrence », Conformité en entreprise : perspective canadienne et internationale, Université de Montréal, 6 November 2015. 

“The Next Frontier of International Criminal Law: Holding Organizations to Account as Distinct Responsible Actors”, International Criminal Justice: The State of Play Conference, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 18-20 March 2015.


Courses taught

  • DRC 1701 Droit pénal I
  • DRC 4590 Droit de l’entreprise II
  • DRC 4594 Droit de la concurrence

Fields of Interest

  • Droit pénal des entreprises
  • Droit pénal général
  • Imposition de la peine
  • Droit de la concurrence
  • Droit des affaires
  • Governance d'entreprise
  • Pratiques commerciales éthiques
  • Théories de l'organisation et culture des organisations
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