Activities and Priorities of Dept. Justice in Private International Law 2003


[10] 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 seeks to maintain regular 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.


[11] 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 one meeting by conference call this year, in June 2003.


[12] In addition to federal-provincial-territorial cooperation through the Advisory Group, the Department also communicates directly with provincial and territorial 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

[13] 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 to participate in the ULCC's activities. From the perspective of the Department of Justice, the ULCC constitutes the key mechanism for facilitating implementation of PIL instruments via the development of uniform implementing legislation. Given that the majority of PIL current projects fall in the area of commercial law, the ULCC's establishment of the Commercial Law Strategy is a welcome development.

2. Civil Justice Committee

[14] 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 responsible for Justice matters. Its efforts in the adoption of implementing legislation recommended by the ULCC are greatly appreciated.


[15] In addition to consultation with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the Department of Justice 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. Since the spring of 2000, an annual International Law Seminar has been 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, drafted discussion papers and met with interested parties, all in order to strengthen ties with the business and academic community and the Bar.

[16] This fall, the Department of Justice will be seeking to formalize contact with the academic community. For PIL, we anticipate this taking the form of regular meetings with representatives of the academic community to exchange views and information on PIL projects.

Next Annual Meeting

August 2021

This website has not been updated since 2019.

Our new website will be launched soon.