Federalism and Transnational Law: The Case of CITES Implementation in Canada


This paper applies ideas of transnational legal process to federal environmental governance in Canada. Part I of the paper demonstrates that successful domestic implementation of international norms follow a pattern of relations described as transnational legal process whereby international and domestic actors, both governmental and non-governmental, interact in a variety of public and private fora to make, enforce and ultimately internalize rules of international law. Legitimate policy must be used to internalize rules of international law domestically.

Environmental governance in Canada is based on an institutionalized form of collaborative federalism with deep historical and philosophical roots. This pattern of relations cannot be ignored when implementing international environmental law domestically in Canada. This is demonstrated in Part II of the paper through a case study examining the domestic implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


International Law

Date of this Version

February 2007