Annual Report - Activities and Priorities of Dept. Justice International Private Law 2008


[1] This report sets out the status of implementation of international private law instruments, describes measures that have been taken by Canadian jurisdictions in the past year for their implementation, describes projects currently under negotiation and gives an outline of the projects the Department of Justice, in conjunction with its partners, will work on in the future and their level of priority.

[2] This year marks the 40th year of Canada’s involvement in international private law. Although Canada’s record on implementation of international instruments leaves room for improvement, that is not the sole standard by which we can assess the benefits of some forty years of work. With Canada joining the Hague Conference on Private International Law and Unidroit in 1968, Canadian jurisdictions have had access to and influence on international developments in the field for four decades. The effects can be seen in Canadian legislation that is in tune with international norms and in the subject matter and texts of many international instruments which reflect Canadian interests and approaches.

[3] In 2007-2008, implementation activity continued in Canada. Again this year, efforts were devoted to the implementation of the ICSID Convention, signed by Canada in December 2006, and to the Unidroit Mobile Equipment Convention, among others. In addition, through the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC), the Department of Justice and other federal, provincial and territorial partners have embarked on new projects, including efforts aimed at implementation of the UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, the UN Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit and the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements.

[4] Progress has also been made in terms of developing new international instruments. The Department of Justice has continued to allocate resources over the last year to improve and develop the international and national legal framework in international private law. For example, in November 2007 the Hague Conference finalized and adopted the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance and the Protocol on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations. Negotiations continued at UNCITRAL and Unidroit on projects that will culminate in new international private law instruments.

[5] The first part of this report deals with the various Canadian actors in international private law. In the course of its activities, the Department of Justice consults regularly with the provinces and territories, as well as with other interested federal departments, the private sector and the members of its Advisory Group on Private International Law. Contacts in the International Private Law Section (IPLS) are set out in AnnexA.

[6] The international and regional organizations involved in international private law and the projects in which Canada has participated will be briefly described in the second part of the report.

[7] Finally, the third part of the report presents the activities of the Department of Justice in international private law by theme. Projects are ranked with respect to their level of priority. To evaluate priority, IPLS, in collaboration with the Advisory Group on Private International Law, considers the following: the interest of the international community, Canada’s interest and the interest of national actors; the project’s costs and benefits; and the challenges and difficulties related to implementation.

[8] In addition to the order of priority (high, medium, low), projects are categorized by the following themes:

  • International Commercial Law
  • Judicial Cooperation and Enforcement of Judgments
  • Family Law
  • Protection of Property.

[9] Key projects are displayed in similar order in the Overview Chart of International Private Law Priorities (Annex B) which provides an outline of the activities in the field of international private law and information on the status of instruments or projects. Another chart provides details on all of these subjects (Annex C).

[10] We also have attached a provisional list of international meetings for the coming year (Annex D) to inform you of activities in which the Department may be involved.

Next Annual Meeting

August 2021

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