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Legal theory and the paramountcy rule
McGill Law Journal (1979)
  • Eric Colvin, University of Saskatchewan

Under the constitutional rule of federal paramountcy, provincial enactments or orders will be inoperative to the extent that they conflict with federal enactments or orders. In addition, there have been some suggestions that simple duplication, as well as conflict, will lead to the suspension of provincial law. However, the paramountcy rule is controversial both in its theoretical formulation and in its practical application. It is difficult to interpret the pattern of the cases because there is confusion regarding the meaning of and relationship between the various tests for the invocation of the rule. Recent cases have done little to dispel this confusion, and it seems unlikely that substantial progress can be made without greater attention being given to the theory of legal conflict. The purpose of this article is to clarify the competing tests through a theoretical analysis of the conflict of law and to assess the present support for each test.

  • paramountcy rule,
  • legal conflict,
  • jurisdiction
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Citation Information
Eric Colvin. "Legal theory and the paramountcy rule" McGill Law Journal (1979)
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