POGG and treaties: the role of international agreements in national concern analysis

Three references arising from Parliament’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act will soon be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In each case, Canada is defending the legislation as valid under the national concern branch of Parliament’s peace, order and good government (POGG) power. And in each case Canada is invoking the state’s obligations under international climate change agreements. International agreements have played a central, if somewhat uncertain, role in POGG cases going back to the days of the Privy Council. How treaties ought properly to be used in determining Parliament’s POGG jurisdiction is a constitutionally-fraught question. I explain the issue, and attempt to distill some conclusions from the case law, here. [PDF] Continue reading “POGG and treaties: the role of international agreements in national concern analysis”