Justice Jean Bouchard was born in Quebec City on December 17, 1954, and studied at the Collège des Jésuites, CÉGEP François-Xavier Garneau and finally at the Université Laval, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in law in 1977 and a master's degree in 1989. His master's thesis addressed the topic of injunctions and section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
Called to the Quebec Bar in 1978, he practiced law in a private firm in Quebec City until 1981. He then began working for the constitutional law branch of Quebec's Ministère de la Justice where he remained until his appointment to the Superior Court.
As a litigator, he represented the Quebec government in several constitutional cases, mostly before appellate courts. In June 1991, he established the Ministère de la Justice's aboriginal law branch which he would lead for three years.
While continuing to work full time for the Ministère de la Justice, he taught constitutional law at Université Laval from 1986 to 1988. He also wrote several scholarly articles and gave conferences in this field of law.
He also served as a member of the Quebec Bar's Disciplinary Committee from September 1996 to February 2000.
He was appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec on February 28, 2000 and to the Court of Appeal on October 1, 2009.
He sat on the board of the law journal Les Cahiers de droit, a publication of Université Laval's Faculty of Law, from September 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016.