With just two weeks to go before the start of the ADCS-ADSC FATCA lawsuit, U.S. based MLex reporter Paul Merrion has written a nice piece about our upcoming FATCA Canada lawsuit.
The court documents can be accessed on the ADCS-ADSC site. For those who are not up to speed on what has happened so far, you might reference the “FATCA Trial: Law Students Edition” which is found on the Alliance blog.
How we got there – Canada’s Standing Committee on Finance May 2014
2019 – The Trial Begins In the Federal Court of Canada – January 28, 2019
Mr. Merrion’s article contains a nice summary of the legal issues, the impact of the outcome of the decision, a description of the plaintiffs, a summary of the legal issues AND (by discussing Representative Holdings’s 2018 bill) an acknowledgement of the role of “citizenship based taxation”.
You can read his article here which is posted with the permission of MLex® US Tax Watch and attribution to MLex® US Tax Watch.
You can follow me at: @ExpatriationLaw
Canada is a Westminster Parliamentary democracy. Historically it has had a constitution (British North America Act) which defined how Canada was to be governed. In simple terms: the Federal Government has the jurisdiction to legislate in some areas (example criminal law). The Provincial Governments have the right to legislate in other areas (property and civil rights). These laws are made by democratically elected legislatures. Prior to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (April 17, 1982), the only limits on the legislative bodies were jurisdictional. Any law could be enacted. It was just a question of whether it was the Federal Government or the Provincial Government that could enact the law.
In 1982 the Charter of Rights became part of Canada’s constitution. The Charter imposed limitations on the powers of elected legislatures. In other words, there were certain areas of activity that were presumptively beyond the reach of legislatures.
The Alliance For The Defence Of Canadian Sovereignty FATCA lawsuit is a Charter of Rights lawsuit against the Government of Canada. Our claim is the Government of Canada does not have the right to enact the legislation which requires banks to (1) Search for customers who are U.S. citizens and (2) then turn their account information over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In general terms the arguments are based on the theory that by so doing the Government of Canada has violated Charter Rights which include the:
– S. 15 Equality rights; and
– S. 8 rights against unreasonable search and seizure
Essentially the court will be asked to rule that the laws enacted by a democratically elected legislative body (the Parliament of Canada) violate the Constitutional rights of Canadians.
In other words: Does a democratically elected legislature prevail or do the rights of individuals prevail?
Supports of the our FATCA lawsuit might frame the question this way:
Should we have rule by law (the legislature prevails) or rule by justice (the law should be declared unconstitutional)?
On January 11 and 12, 2019 the Runneymede Society is running its annual law and freedom conference. In general terms, the Conference is designed to debate the question of whether there should be limits on the powers of democratically elected legislatures. If so, what should those limits be? How does S. 1 of the Charter interact with the rights enshrined in the Charter? This should be of interest to all of those who are interested in the ADCS-ADSC FATCA lawsuit.
You can attend the Conference by Facebook and follow the conference on Twitter
Twitter – Hashtag = #RSCON19
Facebook live –