British Journal of Canadian Studies

Comparing British and Canadian Perspectives on International Law

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2007), 20, (2), 231–248.

Abstract

After signposting some of the developments towards a self-confident and self-consciously Canadian voice in international law, this article asks what the Canadian perspective on international law actually is. It suggests, through a comparison with the UK along three axes (government, courts and media portrayals of international law), that the Canadian international law reflex has been multilateralist/internationalist but that this description needs to be nuanced. An accurate description of the Canadian perspective(s) on international law must take into account: disconnects between stances taken by the federal government on the world stage and implementation of international obligations at home; instances where Canadian governments and courts have treated international law in a less than principled way while nonetheless paying it 'lip service'; and the Canadian public's lack of understanding and engagement with international law.

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Author details

Waters, Christopher