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WTO Law and the Canadian Legal Order

Paolo Farah and Giacomo Gattinara – ‘WTO Law and the Canadian Legal Order’ – in ‘The Absence of Direct Effect of WTO in the EC and in Other Countries’, 2010. Online: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2695612

Paolo Farah, Research Fellow at the University of Milan, and Giacommo Gattinara, Assistant Professor of EU law at La Sapienza University, describe the way in which WTO law was implemented in the Canadian legal regime.

The authors explain how treaty implementation is affected by Canada’s federal governance structure, and it is observed that controversy sometimes arises when federal institutions purport to implement treaty provisions.

It is noted that WTO law was incorporated into the Canadian legal system via the World Trade Organisation Agreement Implementation Act, and the structure of the Act is summarised. Also, it is observed that the consent of the Attoney-General of Canada is required if a private party is to be permitted to enforce rights or obligations under the Act.

Finally, the authors observe that WTO case-law does not have direct effect in the Canadian legal system, but that it might nevertheless be indirectly effective, given that some have argued that the courts have a duty to interpret domestic legal decisions in accordance with Canada’s international obligations as per the WTO.