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International Law Project

Sources of International Law and Canada

Shani MacIsaac

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of International Law Project

International Law Sources of International Law In Canada How did a new world nation end up with two distinct types of law?

The Imposition of European law
This means the native laws “did not exist” therefore new law structures were need to govern to people.

The two dominating people powers were the English and the French.

And with them came common law and civil law traditions

Civil law
Designed by scholars to take logical approach on governing the people.
Used codification to select appropriate principles.

Common law
Designed in isolated area to help William the conqueror govern his people.
Used traveling courts to solve disputes amongst people
Noticed that some cases were similar inn nature and needed similar rulings Precedents were born! The History of Law in Canada Controversial Water Claims in Canada International law is a body of rules that ‘international persons’ (such as states and intergovernmental organizations) recognize as binding in their mutual relations. It consists of treaties and conventions as well as customs and general principles of law. In 1948, Canadian Professor John
Humphrey, drafted the United
Nations Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Canadian Diplomat Lester B.
Pearson played a lead role in easing
tension in the Suez Crisis in 1956 by
creating the first peacekeeping
mission. In the late 1980s and early 1990s
Canada played a leadership in
generating global environmental
agreements including: the Montreal
Protocol on Substances that Deplete
the Ozone Layer; the UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly
Migratory Fish Stocks; and, the
Stockholm Convention on Persistent
Organic Pollutants. From 1996 to 1997, Canada played a
lead role in negotiating the Ottawa
Treaty, currently ratified by 156
countries, to prohibit the use,
stockpiling, production and transfer
of anti-personal landmines In the late 1990s, Canada
contributed significantly to the
drafting of the Statute of the
International Criminal Court (ICC)
and to its ratification process. In 2001, Canada launched an independent commission which developed The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (R2P), which outlines the responsibility of states to “protect civilian populations facing genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.” Sources of law
in Canada Legislation

Law making by decree
Sovereign & subordinate
(Parliament) (municipal by laws)
Can dramatically change a nation
Uses a wider view on the case, considers more evidence and gathered comments
Made democratically by elected representatives vs. Precedents

The use of verdicts, decisions and knowledge from other cases in regards to a current case
History and people have a way of repeating them selves
Allows uniformity and fairness
Common law is the father
Central to the operation of modern common law
Only used for questions regarding the law and its definition in the case
Decisions made after consideration of arguments address issues on individual disputes
Decisions made by judges appointed by based on their experience in law. International vs. Domestic laws in Canada Canada and International Law International law governs over every nation, these laws enforce general rights and regulations on every nation so to ensure equality and fairness in trade, courts and business.

Domestic laws usually further the protection of human rights laid out in the international laws.

However at the end of the day, it is the country which has a final say in domestic cases and law enforcement

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a central element of Canada's human security agenda. Canada played an important role in the development of the Court and the adoption of the Rome Statute, and continues to support the establishment of a strong and effective International Criminal Court. Any Questions? The most important source of International law for centuries was customary law evolving from the practice of states. National governments have less control of their policy agendas (domestic and international) than they once did. New “non-state” actors (e.g. corporations, nongovernment organizations, international philanthropists, labour unions) are driving action on the global stage. These actors are not necessarily interested in waiting for governments to act, nor are they accountable to them. As a result, governments seem to be losing some of their authority in controlling international policy. The multilateral system, which is statebased system, has not evolved effectively to accommodate these “non-state” actors, who can be both supporters and detractors in developing and implementing international law and human rights. Policy making related to international law is no longer the exclusive purview of nation states. Multilateralism is a term in international relations, which not only coordinates policies in groups of three or more states but also does so based on principles of ordering relations among those states. How Can a Nation Fix This? Canadians should consider in addressing the issue of promoting rights and the rule of law within the current international context. EMPHASIZE CANADA SERVING AS A ROLE MODEL FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW International Criminal Court A Century of Human Suffering and Human Rights The 20th century is known as one of the most violent times in human history but is also described as the century that created a international community and realized the basic human rights had to be protected by law. In the last two centuries, tools and tactics of warfare have become increasingly deadly for humanity. There was a strong need for enforceable rules governing the conduct of war and protecting the victims of war. Aftermath of World War I
and World War II World War I and World War II were some of the most destructive wars in human history. Theses wars were devastating because of the high level of violence that were committed against the civilians that were not soldiers in the war. In Nazi Germany, Jews and other groups were gathered, transported to concentration camps, and murdered in World War II. Approximately Six millions Jews were killed for no other reason than being Jewish. Nazi Germany’s intention was to destroy the entire Jewish race in Europe and in the world The “Nuremberg Trials” At the end of World War II, the United States, United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Union, agreed to set up a court that would prosecute German war criminals. These trails tried the Nazi leaders not only for crimes committed against the citizens of other countries, but the German’s as well. The Genocide Convention After the Nuremberg Trials there were still unresolved crimes committed by Nazi Germany against the Jews and amongst others. At the time there was no actual definition for these crimes The term “genocide” means the deliberate destruction of a group of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion and nationality. After World War I and World War II the vast majority of countries of the world made two promises.

First promise was never to allow a genocide to occur again.

The second promise was to ensure that no person can commit genocide or other atrocities with out facing justice or also know as the “end of impurity” Genocide is regarded as the “crime of crimes” in international criminal law. The Geneva Convention It was the first convention to protect wounded and sick soldiers on land during the war. By 1949, there were four Geneva conventions- three additional conventions were created to protect the rights of the wounded, sick, shipwrecked military personnel at sea, the rights of prisoners in war and the rights of civilians The Structure of the ICC It is an independent international organization and is not part of the United Nations system. It is funded by the states who are party to the Rome Statute but also through voluntary contributions from other governments, international organizations, and individuals.

The ICC also provides services in order to represent the rights of victims and accused. The Jurisdiction of the ICC
“Jurisdiction” is a legal term that initially means “power.” The ICC only has the jurisdiction to try cases: relating to four different crimes set out in the Rome Statute committed after July 1, 2002 (after the Rome Statute came into force) The jurisdiction of the ICC is also limited by the complementarity principle.

“Complementarity” means that nations who signed and agreed to be bound by the Rome Statute are expected to pass laws so they can try people for the crimes listed above in their own countries. The four crimes listed in the Rome Statute that the ICC can prosecute are:
The Crime of Genocide
Crimes against Humanity
War Crimes
The Crime of Aggression.

These four crimes listed are some of the worst crimes imaginable. In fulfilling the promise made after World War II to end impunity, the creators of the ICC want to make sure that such criminals will not go unpunished in the future. "The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members”
-Harry Trueman "It's his right to choose what religion he believes in. Apostasy is not recognized in international law. People have the right to have freedom of conscience."
- Brad Adams The Security Council should not only explicitly reiterate that there can be no impunity for crimes under international law, but also must decide on concrete action to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. “The following figure shows the most commonly travelled routes in the Northwest Passage. Altogether there are seven routes, though only four are pictured here. Without express permission from the Canadian government, international ships must sail an alternate route that takes much longer, both time wise and fiscally speaking." International Straight – Waters that meet the following geographical standards:
-Narrower than 39 km
-Linking two different parts of the sea together
-Serving a purpose of international shipping/boating travel
Baselines – The area in which a state can claim control over the waters surrounding the coast Questions •What is the definition of an international strait? Is this definition reasonable?
•In your opinion does the Northwest Passage fall under the Canadian Baselines? Why/why not?
•Does Canada have logical reasoning in claiming the Northwest Passage? Why/why not?
•If the Northwest Passage were to become an international strait, what do you think that would mean for Canada? "One tri, one tri One tribe, one time, one planet, one race It's all one blood, don't care about your face The color of your eye or the tone of your skin Don't care where you are, don't care where you been." "Connecting, uniting
But the evil is seen and alive in us
So our weapons are colliding
And our peace is sinking like Poseidon." "We are one people
One, one, one people
One, one, one people
One, one, one people

One love, one blood, one people
One heart, one beat, we equal
Connected like the Internet
United that's how we do

Let's break walls so we see through
Let love and peace lead you
We could overcome the complication
'Cause we need to"
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