The Domestic Implementation of International Law: A Canadian Case Study

Errol Mendes, ed., Bridging the Global Divide on Human Rights: A Canada-China Dialogue (Toronto: Ashgate Publishing), 111-131

22 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2017

See all articles by S. Tina Piper

S. Tina Piper

McGill University - Faculty of Law

A. Wayne MacKay

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

International human rights law is a rapidly evolving area in which the focus on the rights of individuals, as opposed to states, challenges the norms of international law. For example, international human rights treaties and custom often enforce the right of the individual against the state that is often responsible for concluding and ratifying those very international treaties. As a result, although governments may ratify or support international human rights treaties and movements, the protection of those rights in Canada is not assured.

The domestic implementation of international human rights law in Canada occurs through two primary pathways. The first path is through the formal domestic implementation of international treaties (and custom) that have been signed by the federal government. The second path occurs through the adoption of human rights norms upheld by Canadian human rights law, as well as the organizations responsible for enforcing the rights of Canadians (for example the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Commission). This paper discusses the interaction between these two pathways using the example of the Canadian government's approach to the death penalty.

Keywords: human rights law, international human rights law, Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Suggested Citation

Piper, S. Tina and MacKay, Wayne, The Domestic Implementation of International Law: A Canadian Case Study (2003). Errol Mendes, ed., Bridging the Global Divide on Human Rights: A Canada-China Dialogue (Toronto: Ashgate Publishing), 111-131. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2991215

S. Tina Piper

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

Wayne MacKay (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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