Pitel and Harper, ‘Choice of Law for Tort in Canada: Reasons for Change’

In 1994 the Supreme Court of Canada in Tolofson v Jensen adopted a new and controversial choice of law rule for tort claims. Under that rule, the law of the place of the tort applies absolutely in interprovincial cases and applies subject only to a narrow exception in international cases. The approaching twentieth anniversary of this important decision is an appropriate time to consider how the rule is operating. In particular, the rule needs to be assessed in light of (a) calls for legislative reform from the Manitoba Law Reform Commission, (b) the European Union’s adoption of the Rome II Regulation for choice of law in non-contractual obligations, (c) the ongoing operation of a competing rule under Quebec’s civil law and (d) the application of the rule by Canadian courts since 1994. This article will assess Canada’s tort choice of law rule and analyse the desirability of reform, looking in particular at the rigidity of the rule, the scope of its exception and possible alternative rules.

Pitel, Stephen GA and Harper, Jesse R, Choice of Law for Tort in Canada: Reasons for Change (July 8, 2013). (2013) 9 Journal of Private International Law 289-308.

First posted 2016-04-08 08:14:27

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