Abstract

Canada is a country which only recently began to deal with the issue of implementation of international law within its legal system. In particular, its recent birth on the international scene, with an Act of the Imperial Parliament in London, currently called the “Constitution Act, 1867” and once the “British North America Act”, has entailed a certain difficulty to accept a prompt and straightforward implementation of international obligations. Moreover, this lack of a particularly openness to international law and to its perspectives of domestic implementation, what German courts call Völkerrechtsfreundlichkeit, was also due to the federal nature of Canada, a State deeply worried of maintaining the whole unity of the country among all its different constitutive elements. This rather sceptical behaviour towards the domestic effects of international law in the Canadian legal order was witnessed by the attitude of early judicial authorities, which limited their attention on international law just to “taking notice” of it. Consequently, as far as the reception of international law is concerned, in Canada there was always a strong concern for the national unity and for the need to stay autonomous and independent on the international scene. In a word Canadian courts and Parliament share an attention to what has been called by Van Ert the attention to “self-government”, a sensation, in any case, much more felt by the legislative power than the judicial authorities. This concern entails a dualistic system of reception as to international treaties, even though Canadian dualism stems also from the British legal tradition of the country.
Full Paper
Paolo Davide Farah
Founder, President and Director

‍Professor Paolo Davide Farah is Founder, President and Director of gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives forSustainable Development, Associate Professor(with tenure) at West Virginia University, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences,John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics, Department of Public Administration and “Internationally Renowned Professor/Distinguished Professor of Law” (Full Professor level) at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Law School,Beijing, China.

Summary

Canada is a country which only recently began to deal with the issue of implementation of international law within its legal system. In particular, its recent birth on the international scene, with an Act of the Imperial Parliament in London, currently called the “Constitution Act, 1867” and once the “British North America Act”, has entailed a certain difficulty to accept a prompt and straightforward implementation of international obligations. Moreover, this lack of a particularly openness to international law and to its perspectives of domestic implementation, what German courts call Völkerrechtsfreundlichkeit, was also due to the federal nature of Canada, a State deeply worried of maintaining the whole unity of the country among all its different constitutive elements. This rather sceptical behaviour towards the domestic effects of international law in the Canadian legal order was witnessed by the attitude of early judicial authorities, which limited their attention on international law just to “taking notice” of it. Consequently, as far as the reception of international law is concerned, in Canada there was always a strong concern for the national unity and for the need to stay autonomous and independent on the international scene. In a word Canadian courts and Parliament share an attention to what has been called by Van Ert the attention to “self-government”, a sensation, in any case, much more felt by the legislative power than the judicial authorities. This concern entails a dualistic system of reception as to international treaties, even though Canadian dualism stems also from the British legal tradition of the country.

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