Osgoode Hall Law Journal

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“General jurisdiction” refers to a court’s competence to adjudicate disputes arising out of a defendant’s activities anywhere in the world. Absent consent or submission, international instruments reserve general jurisdiction over corporations to the states in which the corporation has its registered office, centre of administration, or principal place of business. The bases of general jurisdiction under the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act (CJPTA) are far broader and include simply having a place of business in the forum or even registering to carry on business there. This article locates the conceptual roots of the CJPTA approach in the traditional common law presence-based concept of jurisdiction. Although the constitutional legitimacy of the traditional common law approach was recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada, it is suggested that the international standard better balances the interests of both parties and is more consonant with territorial limitations on the exercise of adjudicatory power.

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