The Hague Choice of Court Convention and the Common Law

Vaughan Black


The task of this report is to provide an assessment of the recently concluded Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements against the background of existing law on that subject in the common law provinces and the territories and also with respect to Canadian federal law. The report will offer a summary account of the Convention, a description of the ways in which it differs from existing law in common law Canada, some views on whether the scheme embodied in the Convention would represent an improvement on that existing law, and finally some recommendations as to whether the Convention should be adopted. With respect to this last matter it should be noted that (1) there is no other multilateral treaty on this subject under consideration, here or elsewhere, and (2) there are no other Canadian law reform projects under way that touch significantly on this area of the law. Accordingly, the choice to be made at this point would be whether to adopt the Convention (which would require implementing legislation at both the federal and provincial levels 2) or to do nothing and stick with the present regime, which is made up of judge-made standards supplemented by statutory rules of court and a smattering of other legislated provisions. If the former option – adoption of the Convention – were selected, then some additional decisions would need to be made with respect to six optional parts of the Convention. Section V of this report will offer specific analysis and recommendations with respect to those.


International Law

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