Civil Section Minutes 2007

Status Report on Private International Law

Presenter: Kathryn Sabo, General Counsel, International Private Law Section, Department of Justice, Canada

Ms. Sabo distributed a written Report respecting the activities and priorities of the Department of Justice of Canada in the area of private international law over the past year. She noted that the form of the Report has been changed to include, as Annex B, an “Overview Chart of International Private Law Priorities” and, as Appendix C, tables summarizing the priorities in the areas of international commercial law; judicial cooperation and enforcement of judgments; family law; and protection of property.

The following were identified as high priorities in the international commercial law area:

  • Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Internationals of other States (ICSID/World Bank). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)
  • Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and Aircraft Protocol (UNIDROIT). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)
  • Negotiations respecting the Draft Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions (UNCITRAL).
  • Negotiations respecting the Project on harmonized substantive rules regarding indirectly held securities (UNIDROIT).
  • Convention on Securities Held by Intermediaries (Hague Conference). The ULCC approved a Working Group to prepare uniform implementing legislation as part of the commercial law strategy.
  • Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). A joint ULCC/NCCUSL/Mexican Uniform Law Center project is underway.
  • Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods (UNCITRAL). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)

High priorities in the area of judicial cooperation and enforcement of judgments were identified as:

  • Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (The Hague).
  • Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (The Hague).

In the family law area, high priorities are:

  • Convention on the International Protection of Adults (The Hague). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)
  • Convention of the Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition and Enforcement, and Cooperation in matters of Parental Responsibility and Measures of Protection of Children (The Hague). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)
  • Draft Convention on Maintenance Obligations (The Hague).
  • Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (The Hague).

In the area of protection of property, the high priorities are:

  • Convention providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will (UNIDROIT).
  • Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition (The Hague). (ULCC has adopted uniform implementing legislation.)

Ms. Sabo that the Private International Law Advisory Group usually meets twice a year and is one mechanism allowing the federal government to factor in provincial, territorial and federal interests when dealing with private international law matters. A list of scheduled meetings of international bodies in the private international law area for the upcoming year is included in the Report. Ms. Sabo stated she would do her best to keep the Conference informed on these matters and invited all to provide her with feedback or to questions at any time.

Discussion:

The discussion focused on the state of implementation in the various provinces and territories in Canada of specific Conventions, and the experience of the jurisdictions in this regard. The representatives from NCCUSL noted that the document provided by Ms. Sabo was very helpful and that they were seeking a document like this from the U.S. State Department. John Twohig (Ontario) noted that the document distributed by Ms. Sabo, and the work involved, was greatly appreciated by the Conference.

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