Dalhousie Law Journal


constitutional law, extraterritorial legislation, class actions, jurisprudence, national classes, provincial classes


This article argues that provincially constituted multijurisdictional class actions violate the constitutional law of extraterritoriality. It begins with a brief overview of the lawof adjudicativejurisdiction, then provides a longer overviewof the separate body of law that imposes extraterritorial limits on substantive provincial legislation. The author then demonstrates the substantive characterof classaction legislation, which necessarily entails the applicability of the law ofextraterritoriality However, much of the relevant jurisprudence, as well as some of the relevant academic literature, has ignored this important issue.Application ofthe lawofextraterritoriality does, indeed, raise serious constitutional concerns, as the article's central section demonstrates. The desirable efficiencies of national classes may, however, be largely preserved through the use of co-ordinated parallel provincial classes. These have already worked in practice, and the flexibility of existing class action legislation can easily accommodate them.