Dalhousie Law Journal


Supreme Court of Canada, harmonization, domestic law, international law, immigration law, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, judges, human rights, courts


Since 1999, the Supreme Court has explored the linkages between domestic statutes and international norms and values and has slowly developed the basic principles underlying a new mechanism of relevancy that the authors call harmonization of domestic law with international law The authors analyze this development in PartI of the present article. In Part II, they study the application of this harmonization mechanism in the field of Canadian immigration law Of, particular importance in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is s. 3(3)(f), for it directs judges to construe and apply the IRPA in a manner that "complies with international human rights instruments to which Canada is signatory" They found that instead ofharmonizing the interpretation ofall relevant IRPA provisions with international law, courts are harmonizing the application of the legislation as a whole with international law They conclude that s. 3(3)(f) has been reduced to a merely symbolic value.