Archive for January 27th, 2008

Arthur Ponsonby and the Canadian DMCA

Arthur Ponsonby, the British Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the 1920s, is best known for establishing a principle regarding Parliamentary oversight of international treaties.  In what later became known as the Ponsonby Rule of 1924, he indicated that his government would table every international treaty before both Houses of Parliament for 21 sitting days before moving forward with ratification (ie. in the period between signing a treaty and ratifying it, Parliament would be given 21 sitting days to review and debate the treaty before formal ratification).

On Friday, Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier announced that the Conservative government was, effective immediately, implementing the Ponsonby Rule into Canadian practice.  The release notes that under the new policy, the House of Commons will be given the chance to examine, debate, or vote on new treaties before ratification and that "the government intends to table all international treaties in the House of Commons before taking further steps to bring these treaties into force."  Citing with approval the UK model, the release notes that the Clerk of the House will distribute the treaty and an explanatory memorandum to every MP.  It will then observe a waiting period of 21 sitting days before taking any action to bring the treaty into effect.  When legislative change is required, the release says that "the government is committed to delaying the legislation until the 21-sitting-day period has passed."

I mention this welcome policy because it would seemingly apply to the WIPO Internet Treaties and the move to ratify them via Industry Minister Jim Prentice's Canadian DMCA. 

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January 27, 2008 5 comments News

Arthur Ponsonby and the Canadian DMCA

Arthur Ponsonby, the British Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the 1920s, is best known for establishing a principle regarding Parliamentary oversight of international treaties.  In what later became known as the Ponsonby Rule of 1924, he indicated that his government would table every international treaty before both Houses of Parliament for 21 sitting days before moving forward with ratification (ie. in the period between signing a treaty and ratifying it, Parliament would be given 21 sitting days to review and debate the treaty before formal ratification).

On Friday, Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier announced that the Conservative government was, effective immediately, implementing the Ponsonby Rule into Canadian practice.  The release notes that under the new policy, the House of Commons will be given the chance to examine, debate, or vote on new treaties before ratification and that "the government intends to table all international treaties in the House of Commons before taking further steps to bring these treaties into force."  Citing with approval the UK model, the release notes that the Clerk of the House will distribute the treaty and an explanatory memorandum to every MP.  It will then observe a waiting period of 21 sitting days before taking any action to bring the treaty into effect.  When legislative change is required, the release says that "the government is committed to delaying the legislation until the 21-sitting-day period has passed."

I mention this welcome policy because it would seemingly apply to the WIPO Internet Treaties and the move to ratify them via Industry Minister Jim Prentice's Canadian DMCA. 

Read more ›

January 27, 2008 Comments are Disabled Stop CDMCA

Joe Clark on the CCC

Joe Clark focuses on the recent CCC proposal and its impact on rights of people with disabilities.

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January 27, 2008 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Chicago Tribune on the SAC Proposal

The Chicago Tribune applauds the SAC proposal, responding to CRIA's "pipe dream" remark by noting that "if anyone's dreaming, it's the recording industry thinking it can police file-swapping."

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January 27, 2008 Comments are Disabled Must Reads