Mes racines / my roots

Henri Césaire Saint-Pierre

Adéline Albina Lesieur

Napoléon Mallette

Louis Émery Beaulieu

Guillaume Saint-Pierre

Joseph Bélanger

Geneviève Saint-Pierre

Jeanne Beaulieu Casgrain

Jean Casgrain

Simone Aubry Beaulieu

Marcel Malépart

Jaque Masson

Édouard Trudeau

Rolland Labrosse

Jacques Cousineau

"Mes racines"


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Against women lawyers
Article written about Judge Saint-Pierre, in the possession of Suzanne Montel and transcribed by Jacques Beaulieu, both great-grand-children of same.

FEBRUARY 19, 1915


More Than Ever Convinced on Women's Unfitness to Practice Law, He Says


Critics Could Not Have Given Better Demonstration of Their Inability to Seize Point in a Case

Judge Saint-Pierre is not worrying over the outpourings of certain members of the angelic sex anent his recent decision in the Langstaff case; in fact, he is chuckling over what he describes as the strenuous efforts of his fair critics to show just how little they really know about the case itself.

"Your Lordship seems to be very popular with the ladies these days", remarked a newspaper acquaintance on coming across Judge Saint-Pierre, homeward bound, yesterday.

"Oh, yes; very," replied the noted jurist, his face suffused in an all-embracing smile. "It would seem that my fair admirers - of the negative variety - are legion."

"And what of the bouquets - literary and negative - which are being hurled at Your Lordship's direction by the fair ones?"

"Well, I will tell you. If at any time I entertained doubt as to the intellectual unfitness of women to take up the practice of law, the perusal of the ebullient utterances of those critics whose outpourings have come to my notice has forever dispelled these doubts. Of course, professional etiquette precludes my discussing one of my own judgments, but I may state that I have been much amused in reading the quasi-ex-cathedra pronouncements of the embryo jurists of the feminine persuasion; if the aforesaid jurists had started out with the set purpose of demonstrating just how nicely, how graciously and how innocently they could display their inability to seize the main point in a case, they could not have succeeded better. If the utterances to which they have been reported as having given vent were to be collected and published in the form of a symposium, the resultant volume would undoubtedly be a "best-seller" - as a joke book.

"You know there was a time, under the old Roman law, when women were admitted to the practice of law. History shows that some of the feminine practitioners acquitted themselves creditably, notably Amasie and Hortensie. However, with the coming into effect of the Theodosian Code, in the fifth century, this prerogative was abolished, simply because it had been found that women had shown themselves unfit to indulge in this phase of human endeavor. The authors say that they were found to be imprudent and too talkative. Qui potest capere capiat."

His Lordship's reference to the failure of his critics properly to understand the case is explained by the judgment itself, wherein it was clearly stated that Mrs. Langstaff's action had been directed against the wrong party or parties; so that, no matter how good the basis of suit might have been, she could not have succeeded. In the second place, certain of the critics seemed to be under the impression that His Lordship was the maker of the law excluding women from the practice of the profession; whereas, as His Lordship clearly stated in the judgment, he had but to apply the law as it existed.

Jacques Beaulieu
Révisé le 22 juillet 2019
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