Over at Slaw yesterday I posted about JADE – a web service for locating decision from Australia that is aimed at law firm users. Today’s Tip is about when you would look to foreign decisions.
In The Comprehensive Guide to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis by Moira McCarney, Ruth Kuras and Annette Demers (Emond Montgomery, 2013), the writers remind us:
…not all legal disputes can be resolved by Canada’s domestic legal system. Foreign domestic law becomes relevant in many situations, including:
- acquiring, disposing, or bequeathing real or personal property located in a foreign jurisdiction
- incorporating in, trading with, or conducting business in a foreign jurisdiction
- banking or investing in a foreign jurisdiction
- suing or enforcing a judgment against another’s property located in a foreign jurisdiction
- resolving family issues such as child custody of and access to minor children where one parent resides in a foreign jurisdiction
The authors go on to say:
Canadian courts use the law of a foreign jurisdiction to interpret domestic law that is not yet settled. Although legislation and judicial decisions from foreign jurisdictions are not binding on Canadian courts, domestic law from Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, and from common-law jurisdictions such as the United States, may be used to inform Canadian courts of the development of the law in countries with domestic legal systems that are similar to that of Canada.
There you have it.