Thursday, March 24, 2016
CFP: Conference on THE CANADIAN CONFEDERATION: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
FACULTÉ DE DROIT
PROGRAMME DE COMMON LAW
THE CANADIAN CONFEDERATION:
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
May 16-18, 2017
The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The passage of the
Constitution Act (1867) opened a new chapter in the history of the Canadian people, providing them
with a measure of self-determination that has served as a model of effective and stable government
for more than a century and a half. Although the road has not been without obstacles and some
turbulence, Canada’s progress from a loose association of provinces governed by London to a nation
that extends A Mari Usque Ad Mare — or more properly, “from sea to sea to sea,” — has served as
an inspiration to movements for democratic reform throughout the world.
This conference will bring together scholars from around Canada, the Commonwealth, and the world
to explore the origins, present state, and future prospects of the Canadian constitutional settlement.
Experts in law, history, politics, and economics will present papers on the history of the
Confederation settlement, the role of Québec, the development of human rights and the Charter,
federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, judicial review, private law in a federal system, as well as the
role of Canada in the Commonwealth.
We are currently seeking proposals for papers or full panels relating (but not limited) to the
The Background and Origins of the Constitution Act 1867
The history of the constitutional settlement. People and events. London, Ottawa and Charlottetown.
Imperial imperatives. The Canadian People: French, English and First Nations and their reactions
or role in the process. Elites and commoners.
The Structure of Confederation
Necessary compromises. Language and culture. The Anglo-American tradition. Federalism. The
Provinces. Sections 92, 92A, 93.
Prime Minister or President? The Senate. The House. The Westminster system in the Canadian context.
The “Living Tree.” PrivyCouncil to Canadian Supreme Court. Judicial review. Role of the Courts
Role in Confederation (1867). Independence. Civil law system and influence on English Canada.
The First Nations
The Crown and the First Nations. The duty to consult. Grassy Narrows. Tsilhqot'in Nation. Self-
government. The Indian Act.
The Charter of Rights
Bill of Rights to Charter. International Law and the Charter. The Charter and private law.
Provincial human rights codes.
Private Law in the Canadian Context
English precedent. International influences. Civil andCommonLawcross-fertilisation. Uniformity.
The Administrative State
Reasonableness, fairness and correctness. Judicial review. Dunsmuir. Baker.
Aspects of Law
Criminal. Immigration. Procedure.
Commerce and Trade
A national Canadian securities law? Commercial regulation. Companies. Securities. Fiduciary
Canada, the Commonwealth and the World
How has Canada influenced and been influenced by the world around us? “Soft power”.Diplomacy. Human rights. Peace-keepers or warriors? Old alliances and new. France and Québec.
Englishmen at home and in North America. Our American cousins.
Wither Confederation? Proposals for reform?
We seek presentations from both established and new scholars. Perspectives from Québec and the First Nations are especially welcome. Presentations may be made in both official languages.
For more information or to discuss a panel or proposal, please do not hesitate to contact:
Professor Matthew P Harrington