Has there been a case where a Canadian court refused to enforce a court order from the United States?


2 Answers 2


There are many, but an interesting one that comes to mind is Gulf Oil Corporation v. Gulf Canada Ltd. et al., [1980] 2 SCR 39, 1980 CanLII 192 (SCC). The Supreme Court of Canada got involved in a case where the parent company in the U.S. was requesting production of evidence (through the American courts) from its Canadian subsidiary. As there was legislation preventing the release of this information, the subsidiary applied to the Canadian courts for permission, which was refused.

Other cases where I would expect the occasional refusal would be in extradition requests, enforcement orders and letters rogatory requests, etc.


Canada refuses extradition to the United States for any crime that could have a capitol punishment (death penalty). This isn't malicious as the United States will only sign extradition treaties where the crime has a similar crime and penalty under both legal systems. Since Canada has no death penalty, it meets the treaty terms. There are some work arounds as they will extradite if the state that is trying the crime abolished the death penalty OR the prosecution gives explicit guarantees that it will not seek the death penalty.

Conversely, the United States will not extradite someone who is about to be tried under Canadian Hate Speech Laws, as there is no U.S. equivalent. In addition, defamation is harder to secure an extradition for because U.S. has stricter burdens of proof than most countries in the world

  • Is there a recorded instance of Canada refusing such a request?
    – user6726
    Apr 27, 2018 at 1:40
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… It's estimated that anywhere from 50,000 to 125,000 Americans migrated to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. This is the largest politically motivated migration from the U.S. since the loyalists move to modern day Canada territories during the Revolutionary War. They were never extradited during their time as criminals and both draft dodgers (who have since been mass pardoned) and deserters (who have not been Pardoned) became welcomed citizens of Canada including many taking office
    – hszmv
    Apr 27, 2018 at 18:48
  • Do any of those cases actually involve a Canadian court refusing a US court order? Even one?
    – user6726
    Apr 27, 2018 at 19:12
  • 1
    @user6726 See United States v Burns. Both the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and the Canadian Supreme Court blocked extradition to the US from murder charges, where there was potential for capital punishment. They were later extradited on assurance that no death penalty would be pursued.
    – Zizouz212
    May 14, 2018 at 17:02

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