About the Chair



The "Ottawa-Lyon Mirror Research Chair - The Avatars of the Person and Contemporary Issues in Private Liability Law" promotes organic research collaboration, bringing together two experts in private and comparative law, professors Mariève Lacroix (University of Ottawa) and Olivier Gout (Jean Moulin University - Lyon 3), who work on common cross-cutting issues.
For a duration of three years, this collaborative and transnational research project on the new issues and challenges facing private law vis-à-vis the discipline of artificial intelligence, among others, constitutes a first exclusive and innovative research pole, which will underline the dynamism, richness and exceptional influence of private law at the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa and at the Faculty of Law of the University Jean Moulin - Lyon 3, all while using a comparative lens.

A privileged environment for reflections irrigated by the convergences and divergences between Quebec and French law, it will make it possible to organize scientific events on both sides of the Atlantic, to ensure the sharing, on Canadian and French soil, of research undertaken through peer-reviewed publications, as well as to develop in the medium-term applications for large partnership grants in Canada and Europe. It will also aim to enrich the advanced research training of students. This Mirror Chair is a real incubator that will undoubtedly consolidate the strengths in private and comparative law of two internationally renowned institutions, the University Jean Moulin - Lyon 3 and the University of Ottawa.

Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Campus des quais
Université d'Ottawa - Campus


The Mirror Chair is a crossroads of knowledge around private law and artificial intelligence that stimulates research and promotes organic and transnational collaboration through extensive knowledge mobilization. The discussions, research and work resulting from this Mirror Chair will prove useful for various legal academics, but also for all actors notably in the public policy realm concerned by the challenges represented by artificial intelligence in private law.

Scientific in nature, the Mirror Chair has a dual objective. On the one hand, it tends to provide high-level research training to emerging students and researchers in Ottawa and Lyon. On the other hand, it allows its researchers working within the Mirror Chair to take an informed and comparative look at the questions and challenges posed by artificial intelligence on the world of private law. They will thus mobilize their knowledge through their teaching and their research projects.



The Mirror Chair targets the avatars of the person and the contemporary issues of private liability law in the field of artificial intelligence more particularly. If all disciplines (think of art, education, communications, in particular) are rethinking and repositioning themselves in the light of this critical issue, private law is necessarily part of this movement.

The rules currently in force may indeed prove to be unsuitable or insufficient to regulate the progress induced by artificial intelligence, which seems limitless. Most of the rules have been designed with human persons in mind and it is not certain that they are appropriate to regulate the activity of artificial agents. Therefore, one of the major challenges for the years and decades to come will be to allow the law to adequately regulate the integration of artificial intelligence into human activities. We can thus measure the interest of the project presented here. And this integration cannot be reflected exclusively on a country scale, but on an international scale.

Whether through a transversal treatment in private law and following an interdisciplinary perspective, the research activities of the Mirror Chair revolve around two lines of research which promote both fundamental research and applied and collaborative research. These axes are juxtaposed with the technological and normative challenges of the present and the future:

  • First axis - Fundamental research: legal qualification of a non-human entity

  • Second axis - Applied and collaborative research: civil liability of a non-human entity




The Mirror Chair will provoke an exceptional mobilization of knowledge, experiences and ideas on the avatars of the person and the private law of liability in connection with the discipline of artificial intelligence. The knowledge produced will be disseminated in the academic sphere, but also in the professional sphere, thus contributing to a better understanding of legal issues among the entire community of experts in the field.
Research results will manifest in various forms. The presentations, workshops, conferences and seminars will be captured by video and/or podcast form and the use of live social networks will help share the knowledge with a wide audience. In addition, numerous articles in periodicals will materialize the results obtained.