Jennifer Quaid


Jennifer Quaid
Assistant 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 310A
Bureau: 613-562-5800 ext. 3240
Courriel professionnel:

Jennifer Quaid


Jennifer Quaid is an assistant professor in the Civil Law Section.  An expert on corporate criminal liability, Prof. Quaid’s work focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of applying the criminal law to organizations.  In her latest work, she brings together a desert-based perspective on criminal law with approaches drawn from organization theory to build a new framework within which to analyse organizational responsibility for mens rea crimes.  She also applies her interdisciplinary approach to emerging issues in organizational punishment and organizational liability for regulatory offences, Prof. Quaid’s other research interests lie in criminal law, especially the philosophy of criminal and punishment theory, as well as various aspects of business law, with special emphasis on matters of competition law, business regulation, corporate finance and corporate governance.

A member of the Bar of Québec, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Bar of the State of 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, where she worked in both the head office and the Melbourne, Australia office.   Before practising, she clerked for the Honourable Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Current research projects

Sentencing Organizational Offenders: Building a Creative Sentencing Framework (2018-2020)

This project, funded through a SHHRC Insight Development Grant, examines whether the sentencing process applicable to organizations can be better tailored to address the root causes of serious violations of the law by organizations.

The project brings together three distinct but complementary strands of inquiry (creative sentencing in environmental enforcement, restorative justice and organization dialogics) that take together offer promising ideas and tools for tackling two pressing issues in current organizational sentencing practice: (1) the need to make greater use of judicial discretion to impose non-fine measures, such as behavioral sanctions, that can be directed at remedying the underlying causes of the offence and (2) the need to create space within the sentencing process for meaningful participation by stakeholders, other than senior management, who are likely to be affected by sanctions imposed on the organization and whose insights could inform the fashioning of an appropriate sentence.


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

This project, funded through a grant from the University Of Ottawa Seeding-Funding Program examines the state of sentencing practice in Canada against organizations, particularly the impact (or lack thereof) of the specialized sentencing tools designed for organizational offenders added in 2004.

This project, designed to collect, consolidate and analyze the written reasons for sentence issued by Canadian courts, is directed at three key questions : (1) Is there evidence that the organizational sentencing factors added to the Criminal Code in 2004 have changed how sentences are crafted and justified by placing the emphasis on organizational considerations? (2) Have judges moved away from the deeply entrenched view that criminal responsibility is inseparable from individual culpability and moved toward an approach informed by the distinct, largely collective attributes of organizations? (3) Based on the answers to (1) and (2), how might we encourage judges to apply more readily a distinct collective basis drawn from organizational reality over an ill-suited model reliant on imputation of individual conduct?  

Now in its final phase, our analysis of the data points to a sentencing regime that is underused and where monetary fines continue to dominate.  We are currently assessing avenues for optimizing the existing sentencing framework.

We are also considering the impact of proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, which provide for negotiated settlements of criminal cases, called “remediation agreements” that would enable organizations to avoid a conviction if they abide by the terms of the agreement.


Publications and Communications

Refereed publications

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. (33 pages) (In Press)

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, “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.

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.


Conference presentations

"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”, presentation to be made at Finance & Social Justice Conference, organized by 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”, presentation to be made at Corporate Crime and Negotiated Justice: Comparing Experiences conference co-organized by 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”, presentation to be made at Collective Action: Ontology, Ethics, and Application conference, organized by the 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. (Read the Conference Report)


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
  • Philosophie du droit pénal et de l’imposition de la peine
  • Droit de la concurrence
  • Droit des affaires
  • Théories de l'organisation et culture des organisations
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