THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S STANDING TO SEEK RELIEF IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: THE EVOLVING DOCTRINE OF PARENS PATRIAE

  • Craig E Jones
Keywords: Attorney-General, United States of America, Parens Patriea

Abstract

The expression parens patriae in this context refers to the standing of Attorneys General to pursue litigation in the public interest. In this article, the author traces the historical use of the doctrine in public interest claims in England and Canada, contrasting it with its more aggressive employment in the United States where it has been an important part of states’ regulatory powers. He then discusses the significance of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in British Columbia v. Canadian Forest Products Ltd, which confirmed, somewhat surprisingly, that provincial Attorneys General enjoy parens patriae authority equivalent to their US counterparts.

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Published
2007-09-01
Section
Legal Commentary