Critique of Customary International Law

The main critiques of Customary International Law are that the two requirements of state practice and opinion juris are too simplistic. There is not enough guidance from scholarship vis what is meant by these two requirements. Customary IL is in the ‘eye of the beholder’. There is no reason for the rule of custom or lack thereof. The science of customary law is lacking. Guidance from ICJ is vague. Opinion juris is also vague.

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Opinio Juris Brief Notes

In international law, opinio juris requires evidence which usually comes from resolutions. For example, general assembly resolutions. However, just because there is a general assembly resolution, does not mean that the resolution is law itself. There has to be state practice connected to the resolution. In international law general assembly resolutions must be approached with caution.

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Pulling the Plug When Family and Health Care Providers Disagree on Care

Some are curious what the law has to say when it comes to making a decision about the care of someone who’s incapacitated. When it comes to the critically ill, when family members and health care providers disagree on the plan of the care, what is the appropriate role of the courts to intervene? Some thoughts.

You could: a) Do what the families say.

    This would mean removal of life support measures without consent constitutes battery. (However, any interference with the body without consent is battery.)

    – the law is also obsessed with the autonomy of the individual. The needs of the family is largely irrelevant within the legal model.

Another scenario b) Do what the doctors say.

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Legal Framework of Health Care System in Canada

Fundamental issues

Division of Powers.

Impacts how health system is structured. Recent decision in QB CA summarizes federal and provincial responsibilities regarding health care. At issue is whether assisted human reproduction should be federally or provincially regulated. The federal government has traditionally placed this matter under the criminal law head of power. If defeated, they may try to classify it under POGG power. However, that would be a difficult argument as POGG is not used very often, and it would be difficult to argue that this is a matter of national concern.

Federal heads of power: criminal law. POGG, spending power (i.e. collection and distribution of taxes), quarantine and border control, patent, defence, penitentiaries, immigration. As we can see, the federal role is indirect, supervisory.

Provincial heads of power: hospitals (92.7); medical profession and the practice of medicine (92.13 – property and civil rights; 92.16 – matters of a local and private nature); education (s93) – includes professional regulation.

At issue here, reproduction is held to be under provincial regulation. Human reproduction is not an ‘evil’, hence cannot be regulated by federal criminal law power. On the other hand, true prohibitions, such as stem cell research can rightly be under the federal criminal head of power.

Canada Health Act. Central piece of federal legislation for health care. Canada Health Act does not prohibit anything explicitly, but rather relies on conditional funding. If programs meet criteria then they are funded. If programs do not meet the criteria then they are not funded.   The act lists five program criteria and conditions that provinces must follow in order to receieve their federal transfer payments: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. There are two additional conditions which must be met: first, feds are entitled to specific information ; and second, the province must “give recognition” to the federal government in all health documents.

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Federal Courts Act and Rule of Law (CANADA)

Federal Courts Act s 2(1):

“federal board, commission or other tribunal” means any body, person or persons having, exercising or purporting to exercise jurisdiction or powers conferred by or under an Act of Parliament or by or under an order made pursuant to a prereogative of the Crown, other than the Tax Court of Canada or any of its judges, any such body constituted or established by or under a law of a province or any such person or persons appointed under or in accordance with a law of a province or under section 96”.

There are exceptions to the above definition:
-if statute gives power to another Court
-if remedy is not provided by Federal Court act e..g habeus corpus application

There are two grounds for judicial review – Procedural and Substantive.

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Definitions of Administrative Law (Canada)

Administrative actor: subject to the principles of admin law. Includes persons or bodies that exercise statutory or prerogative power. Boards, tribunals, etc are usually given authority pursuant to statute.

Judicial review: administrative actors are subject to judicial review. It is part of public law where superior courts under s96 engage in surveillance of lower tribunals to ensure they are acting legally. S96 courts derive their power from s96 of constitution, hence the name. The role of s96 courts in judicial review is part of their inherent authority. Federal courts operate differently they operate as equivalent as s96 court however they have statutory power, not inherent power. When they invented federal courts they took some powers that should belong to s96 courts and gave them to federal courts.

Sample cases where judicial review does or does not apply.

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More Info and Details on the Development of Security Agreements

An oral security agreement is valid. But that agreement is only enforceable as between the parties. If you want to have priority rights against third parties then there has to be a security agreement in writing.

“Enforceability” against third parties:
A security interest is enforceable against a third party only where… a description of the collateral by item or kind or by reference to one or more of the following: “crops”, “goods”, “chattel paper”, etc. etc.”

“by kind” – i.e. a generic description of the item. So you can refer to the item as “a car” rather than “a black on black 2008 BMW M3 with six speed manual transmission” or whatever. That being said, while this generic description may satisfy s10, in real life it may not be specific enough for the world of evidence or contracts if things ever went to litigation.

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Secured Financing Intro

The idea of modernizing finance law has spread around the world. Secured financing is a way to stimulate economic growth and modernize an economy. In theory, capital is not used to develop the community because of the lack of legal infrastructure by which banks can lend capital and can hold an expectation to get it back. Many developing countries adopt systems patterned on the Canadian system.

In Canadian law, the core of the system is the security interest. What is a security interest? A secured interest is Propriety interest in the debtors property. This allows assertion of the nemo dat principle. The secured creditor defeats anyone who thereafter who takes an interest in the property.

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Intro to Regulatory Offences

Regulatory offences: Some offences utilize the machinery of criminal law, but are not truly considered to be criminal offences. These offences deal with everyday civil matters such as traffic infractions, pollution, hunting regulations, and so forth. Besides the supremely important fault requirement (discussed below), there are a number of ways to identify a “regulatory offence” from a “true crime”:

1. true crimes are usually more socially and morally condemned than regulatory offences.
2. regulatory offences are usually aimed at deterring harm to the public, rather than the individual.
3. regulatory offences are often part of a complex regulatory framework.
4. regulatory offences are not in the Criminal Code (R. v Wholesale Travel, 1993).

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