Current Uniform Acts
Page 2 of 4
PART 1 : INTERPRETATION
1. In this Act
"person" includes a state;
"plaintiff" means a person who commences a proceeding, and includes a plaintiff by way of counterclaim or third party claim;
"proceeding" means an action, suit, cause, matter or originating application and includes a procedure and a preliminary motion;
"procedure" means a procedural step in a proceeding;
(a) Canada or a province or territory of Canada, and
(b) a foreign country or a subdivision of a foreign country;
"subject matter competence" means the aspects of a court's jurisdiction that depend on factors other than those pertaining to the court's territorial competence;
"territorial competence" means the aspects of a court's jurisdiction that depend on a connection between
(a) the territory or legal system of the state in which the court is established, and
(b) a party to a proceeding in the court or the facts on which the proceeding is based.
Comments to section 1
1.1. The term "person" is used in the generic sense throughout the statute. The term covers natural persons, corporate entities and states or Crown agencies.
1.2. "Proceeding" is broadly defined to include interlocutory matters and even motions which are brought preliminary to formal commencement of an action, for example, an anti suit injunction.
1.3. "State" is defined for two purposes. One is to complement the definition of "territorial competence", which refers to connections with the territory or legal system of the "state" in which the court is established. The other is to make it clear that the power of transfer under Part 3 extends to transfers to and from countries outside Canada, or subdivisions of those countries. There was extensive debate at the Conference about whether the transfer provisions should extend to courts outside Canada. This debate is summarized in the comments to section 13.
1.4. The rationale for adopting the term "territorial competence" is noted in comment 2. The definition is the key to the legal effect of the rules in Part 2, defining Canadian courts' territorial competence.
1.5. "Subject matter competence" is defined to include all aspects of a court's jurisdiction other than those relating to territorial competence. It will thus include restrictions on a court's authority relating to the nature of the dispute, the amount in issue, and other criteria that are unrelated to the territorial reach of the court's authority. The distinction between "territorial competence" and "subject matter competence" is important in certain of the transfer provisions in Part 3.