Dalhousie Law Journal


comparative law, canadian charter of rights and freedoms, United States law, legal profession


Comparative law may be entering its golden age in Canada. Particularly with the advent of the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, courts, practitioners and professors in Canada seem to be looking increasingly at the decisions of foreign tribunals for what guidance they may offer for the construction and development of Canadian law. For a number of fairly obvious reasons - the sheer number of American cases and their easy accessibility, common language, basic similarities in legal systems and so forth - there appears to be a very distinct trend toward reliance on United States cases in particular. An American practitioner with a considerable practice in the area of United States/Canada bilateral issues cannot, of course, help but welcome such developments as good for business. Judging from a number of recent instances of such attempts at legal borrowing, however, it would appear that a very basic summary guide to the nature of the United States judicial system might be of use to Canadians in their quest to find and understand United States law.