Uniform Acts Drafting Conventions

1994 Proceedings at page 48

Introductory comments.

0.1. This proposed uniform Act has four main purposes:

(1) to replace the widely different jurisdictional rules currently used in Canadian courts with a uniform set of standards for determining jurisdiction;

(2) to bring Canadian jurisdictional rules into line with the principles laid down by the Supreme Court of Canada in Morguard Investments Ltd. v. De Savoye, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 1077, and Amchem Products Inc. v. British Columbia (Workers' Compensation Board), [1993] 1 S.C.R. 897;

(3) by providing uniform jurisdictional standards, to provide an essential complement to the rule of nation-wide enforceability of judgments in the uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments Act; and

(4) to provide, for the first time, a mechanism by which the superior courts of Canada can transfer litigation to a more appropriate forum in or outside Canada, if the receiving court accepts such a transfer.

0.2.  To achieve the first three purposes, this Act would, for the first time in common law Canada, give the substantive rules of jurisdiction an express statutory form instead of leaving them implicit in each province's rules for service of process. In the vast majority of cases this Act would give the same result as existing law, but the principles are expressed in different terms. Jurisdiction is not established by the availability of service of process, but by the existence of defined connections between the territory or legal system of the enacting jurisdiction, and a party to the proceeding or the facts on which the proceeding is based. The term "territorial competence" has been chosen to refer to this aspect of jurisdiction (section 1, "territorial competence") and distinguish it from other jurisdictional rules relating to subject-matter or other factors (section 1, "subject matter competence").

0.3.  By including the transfer provisions in the same statute as the provisions on territorial competence, the Act would make the power to transfer, along with the power to stay proceedings, an integral part of the means by which a Canadian court can deal with proceedings that more appropriately should be heard elsewhere. The provisions on transfer owe a great debt to the uniform Transfer of Litigation Act ("UTLA") promulgated in 1991 by the United States National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Next Annual Meeting

2018 Conference (Centennial)

Delta Hotel

Québec City, QC

August 12 - 16, 2018