An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights)

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

This bill was previously introduced in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session.


Peter Julian  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of April 1, 2009
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Federal Courts Act to expressly permit persons who are not Canadian citizens to initiate tort claims based on violations of international law or treaties to which Canada is a party if the acts alleged occur outside Canada. It also sets out the manner in which the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal can exercise their jurisdiction to hear and decide such claims.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Federal Courts ActRoutine Proceedings

April 1st, 2009 / 3:20 p.m.
See context


Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-354, An Act to amend the Federal Courts Act (international promotion and protection of human rights).

Mr. Speaker, I should note at the outset that this very innovative bill was developed in close cooperation with Nick Milanovic, a research professor with the Department of Law at Carleton University, and Mark Rowlinson, the counsel for the United Steelworkers. Mr. Milanovic's daughter and mother are in the galleries today.

The bill would ensure corporate accountability for Canadian firms operating abroad. It would broaden the mandate of the Federal Court so that it protects foreign citizens against rights violations committed by corporations operating outside of Canada. This bill would hold violators accountable for gross human rights abuses, regardless of where they take place, and it would allow lawsuits in Canada for a host of universal human rights violations.

Essentially, this bill would provide legal protection for those in other countries who are the victims of gross human rights violations. It is supported by the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers.

I hope this innovative bill, which replicates what happens in the United States under the alien tort claims act, will be receiving the support of Parliament.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)