The Dalhousie Law Journal has published an independent academic study supported by the Canadian American Bar Association focusing on the First Generation Limitation (the “FGL”) imposed on the transmission of Canadian citizenship abroad.
The study was undertaken by citizenship law professor Michael Pal and Luka Ryder-Bunting of the University of Ottawa with support from CABA’s Cross-Border Research Program.
The FGL was enacted by the Canadian Parliament in 2009. As a result, children born to Canadian parents on foreign soil will not, absent certain exceptions, acquire Canadian citizenship “by blood” — through the application of jus sanguinis — where both parents are also foreign-born. The FGL replaced a more expansive policy that permitted the transmission of Canadian citizenship to consecutive foreign-born generations, but required that these individuals apply to retain their citizenship prior to their 28th birthday. The Canadian government has justified the FGL as a way to simplify the previous law and to preclude the creation of so-called “Canadians of convenience” who lack a true attachment to Canada.
At the outset of their in-depth study, Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting observe that the imposition of the first-generation limitation is controversial, as it is much more restrictive than the previous Canadian rules or those in many comparable jurisdictions. Their article then outlines the operation of the current Canadian rules around citizenship, analyzes the first-generation limitation, and sets out relevant international comparisons. After evaluating the current legal regime in light of debates about the principles of jus soli, jus sanguinis, and jus nexi, Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting conclude that Canada’s regime is overly restrictive when considered against those of Canada’s international peers as well as its own legal tradition. Finally, Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting present a range of alternatives that would better meet the underlying values of Canadian citizenship law.
Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting’s academic study is timely. The FGL has recently been challenged in Canadian court as violating Canada’s constitution. As the only in-depth scholarly treatment of the subject, Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting’s study is sure to be of interest to the courts and litigants involved in that dispute.
CABA’s policy and advocacy program seeks to promote the rule of law, bilateral trade and the interests of the cross-border legal community through submissions to legislative bodies, educational programs and, where appropriate, direct legal action. CABA’s support for Professor Pal and Mr. Ryder-Bunting’s academic research extends CABA’s prior work on the exercise of fundamental associational and democratic rights across borders. That work has included CABA’s participation in Supreme Court of Canada proceedings that invalidated legislative restrictions on expatriate Canadians’ right to vote in Canadian elections.
New York, NY, March 14, 2022: As a cross-border bar association committed to the principle that a rule based international order is among the best tools we have to ensure peace, prosperity, and mutual respect across international borders, the Canadian American Bar Association is deeply concerned by Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine and condemns it in the strongest terms.
When the United Nations was formed in 1945, the “suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace” was proclaimed as one of the organization’s founding purposes. Its charter made most uses of force illegal, aside from those authorized by the body’s Security Council “to maintain or restore international peace and security” and those undertaken in self-defense.
That rule-based international order, while admittedly flawed in its design and imperfect in its adherence, is a cornerstone of a civilized international arena that places limits on more powerful states and protects the community of sovereign nations from acts of aggression. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a repudiation of those principles and of the multinational organizations and legal institutions created to channel and resolve international conflict.
Lawyers on both sides of the Canada and U.S. border have not hesitated in taking action that address the legal and humanitarian ramifications of the unfolding Ukraine conflict, including in legal proceedings against Russia in the International Court of Justice and amendments to immigration rules aimed at accommodating fleeing refugees. CABA is supportive of these efforts and is exploring ways of addressing the unfolding crisis that are consistent with its values and cross-border mission.
On February 1, 2022, CABA’s partner organization, the Canada-United States Business Association, held its Tenth Annual Cross-Border Economic Forecast examining the outlook for economic and business activity on both sides of the border. Once again, the virtual seminar offers rich analysis by industry participants and policy makers and is a must watch for cross-border legal professionals. A replay of the seminar is available here. [https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3595220/FC4729C410A0CDC8C998AED23EAAB569]
New York, New York, April 30, 2021: The Canadian American Bar Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Lanz as its Director of Policy and Advocacy. Julie brings a wealth of experience to CABA’s cross-border advocacy initiatives during a dynamic period for cross-border law and legal practice. Julie practiced in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s corporate restructuring department in New York for 10 years. She has represented a diverse client base in complex restructuring transactions, both in and out of court, many of which have included significant cross-border considerations. She completed her J.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School and clerked for the Hon. Justice Ian Binnie at the Supreme Court of Canada. She is licensed to practice in New York and Ontario.
On February 2, 2021, CABA’s partner organization, the Canada-United States Business Association, held its Ninth Annual Cross-Border Economic Forecast examining the outlook for economic and business activity on both sides of the border. This virtual seminar is replete with expert analysis and data-driven insights of an unprecedented time for industry actors and policy makers. It is a must watch for understanding the economic impact of the Pandemic from a cross-border perspective. A replay of the seminar is available here. Registration is required.
New York, NY, August 24, 2020: The Canadian American Bar Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Shashi Dholandas as CABA’s Director of Communications. Shashi is a litigation and arbitration attorney at Bailey Duquette P.C. in New York, where he provides counsel to clients in both international and domestic matters.
He previously served as a Director and as International Case Counsel with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and ICDR Canada. Born in Montreal, but raised in New Jersey, Shashi received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his J.D. from Rutgers Law School. He is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey, and is an active member of the international arbitration community.
New York, NY, June 6, 2019: The Canadian American Bar Association (CABA) has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in voicing opposition to Bill 115 presently awaiting passage by the Ontario legislature. Bill 115 purports to unilaterally terminate a duly concluded contract between the Ontario government and several foreign private parties involved with The Beer Store without provision for compensation and while denying them all rights of action and remedies in legal proceedings. In a letter submitted to the Ontario Attorney General, CABA states its concerns that Bill 115 risks eroding public confidence in the rule of law, discouraging U.S. investment in Canada, and placing a chill on cross-border trade. CABA’s letter may be accessed here.
We are pleased to share that the CABA Happy Hour in NYC held on Thursday, May 23, was a success. Thank you to all who attended. Over the course of a few hours, participating firm and in-house cross-border lawyers mingled, enjoyed excellent food and drinks and discussed several new CABA projects, including further research and advocacy in the domain of Canadian rights and freedoms and other cross-border-focused initiatives. We are grateful for the support of Latham & Watkins LLP.
CABA expects to provide more social and networking opportunities to its members and advisory board in the months to come. We thank you for your continuing support of CABA and we ask that you remember to support the cross-border legal conversation by renewing your membership as and when it comes due, as well as share ideas on future priorities for CABA.
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