Activities and Priorities Of The Dept. of Justice In Private International Law 2000



I. NATIONAL ACTORS

As the matters dealt with in private international law most often fall within provincial jurisdiction, federal-provincial cooperation is essential to real progress in this area. The Department of Justice therefore maintains constant communication with representatives from the provincial governments. Furthermore, consultation with the legal and business community, as well as with other private groups, is very useful as the conventions relate so closely to their interests.

A. ADVISORY GROUP ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW

The Advisory Group on Private International Law is composed of five provincial representatives (representing British Columbia, the Prairie provinces, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces) and federal representatives from the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. A private practitioner representing the International Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association also participates as an observer. The Group provides the Department with continuing advice on the provincial aspects of the private international law projects in which Canada is involved. The Group held two meetings this year, in January and in June 2000. The up-coming meeting of the Group will be held in January 2001.

B. FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL Cooperation

In addition to federal-provincial cooperation through the Advisory Group, the Department also communicates directly with provincial authorities in order to obtain their official views on international instruments. These exchanges take place through written and oral communication and during the presentation of reports at the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC) and at the Civil Justice Committee.

1. Uniform Law Conference of Canada

Instituted in 1919 with a view to ensuring uniformity in provincial legislation, the ULCC now participates actively in the implementation of international conventions in the realm of private international law. This year, the Department of Justice of Canada continued its work in close collaboration with the ULCC on the preparation of a tentative draft uniform act on the enforcement of foreign judgements. Recent accomplishments include a uniform act to implement the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States (ICSID), a uniform act to implement the UNCITRAL Conventions on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods and a uniform act to implement the Canada-France Convention. Further information may be found in this site.

2. Civil Justice Committee

This committee was first established as an ad hoc committee in the late 1980s to assist in the preparation for and follow-up to the meetings of federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers of Justice. It has become quite active in the field of private international law, especially regarding the adoption of implementation legislation recommended by the ULCC.

C. PRIVATE SECTOR

In addition to consultation with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the Department of Justice has increased its efforts to establish contacts with private sector groups, such as the Canadian Exporters’ Association and the Arbitrators’ Institute. From 1983 to 1993, the Department organised an annual seminar on international trade law. From 1993 to 1995, the seminar was organised in collaboration with the CBA. In the Spring of 2000, a new International Law Seminar was organised by the CBA in collaboration with the Department of Justice and other interested federal departments. Over the last year, members of the Justice PIL Team have participated in conferences, lectured in law faculties, published articles and met with interested parties, all in order to strengthen ties with the business and academic community and the Bar.

Next Annual Meeting

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