The case of Quebec within Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada's case on the legality of secessionist attempts by Quebec, is one example of the tension associated with the relationship between self-determination and a right of secession. The object of the book is to render available to the international community the expert opinions and legal arguments associated with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on the
Quebec Secession Reference. The questions put to the Court in large part concerned international law, leading the parties to the Reference to seek opinions from international law experts around the world as they prepared their arguments which are presented in this book.
Self-determination is an idea rooted in human dignity and its meaning and force parallel the emergence of new understandings of the nature of sovereignty and the role of international law in the protection of human rights. The UN Human Rights Committee has identified self-determination as one of the most awkward principles to define because abuse of this right could jeopardize international peace and security. Self-determination, as formulated by the International Court of Justice, requires a free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples concerned. But serious questions remain about the extent of the relationship between self-determination and a right of secession. Does self-determination legitimate internal self-government, association of some kind with another state, or statehood, and in what contexts?
Part I: The Three Questions Put to the Court in the Reference.
Part II: Expert Opinions on International Law.
A. Expert opinions accompanying the Attorney General of Canada's Factum.
B. Expert opinions accompanying the
amicus curiae's Factum.
C. Expert opinions accompanying the Attorney General's Reply Factum.
D. Expert opinions accompanying the
amicus curiae's Reply Factum.
E. Expert opinion accompanying the Addendum to the Amicus Curiae's Factum.
F. Expert opinion accompanying the Ad-Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution's Reply Factum.
G. Expert opinion prepared in 1992 upon request of the Government of Quebec.
Part III: Selected Factums Presented by Parties and Intervenors.
A. Main Factums.
B. Reply Factums.
Part IV: The Supreme Court's Questions to the Parties.
A. Questions to the Attorney General of Canada.
B. Questions to the Amicus Curiae.
Part V: Written Answers by the Parties to the Court's Questions.
A. Written Response of the Attorney General of Canada to Questions From the Supreme Court of Canada.
B. Written answers to questions asked by the Supreme Court of Canada to the amicus curiae on February 19, 1998.
C. Reply to the Attorney General of Canada to Written Responses of the Amicus Curiae to Questions From the Supreme Court of Canada.
D. Reply of the amicus curiae to answers given by the Attorney General of Canada to questions asked to him on February 19, 1998 by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Part VI: Oral Intervention by
Professor Anne Bayefsky, Counsel for the Ad-Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution.
Part VII: The Decision on the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference.