When Neighbors Quarrel: Canada-U.S. Dispute-Settlement Experience

96 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2006

See all articles by Richard Bilder

Richard Bilder

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: 1986


This paper presents an overview of Canada-U.S. dispute settlement experience; reviews the techniques, institutions and approaches through which the two countries have tried to deal with their differences; discusses some salient and recurrent problem areas in Canada-U.S. relations; and suggests some lessons which might be drawn from this experience.

The paper first discusses the concept of dispute-management and unique features of Canada-U.S. relations, quarrels and approaches to dispute-settlement. Focusing on specific dispute-settlement techniques, the paper examines in detail the two countries' extensive practice of arbitration, prior notification and consultation and joint commissions - in particular, the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission. The paper then looks at how the two countries have dealt with differences arising in particular issue areas such as acid rain, trade, Great Lakes and other boundary water regulation and water quality, other boundary questions, Artic jurisdiction, extraterritorial and fisheries. The paper concludes by noting the distinct contributions of Canada-U.S. dispute-settlement experience to international law and international relations, commenting on some differences in attitude and perspective and continuing issues between the two countries, and suggesting ways for further developing the two countries' dispute-management arrangements and continued collaboration.

This paper is the integrated text of "The Claude T. Bissell Lectures on Canada-U.S. Relations" delivered at the University of Toronto, 1986-87.

Keywords: international law, international relations, Canada-US relations, International Dispute Settlement

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Bilder, Richard, When Neighbors Quarrel: Canada-U.S. Dispute-Settlement Experience (1986). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=909288 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.909288

Richard Bilder (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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