Royal Bank of Canada v. The King

Royal Bank Of Canada V. The King

Royal Bank of Canada v. The King

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Royal Bank of Canada v. The King, A.C. 212 is a notable Canadian constitutional decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council where the Council limited the province's ability to create laws in relation to extraprovincial contractual rights.

The Alberta provincial government passed a law to expropriate the bonds from a London railway company kept in an Albertan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada on the basis that the company had defaulted on the construction of a railway.

The Council held that the law was ultra vires the province's law-making powers. The Council noted that the right to appropriate the bond would only be valid where the Royal Bank of Canada was headquartered and where the bonds were deposited. The Council incorrectly identified Quebec as the province where the bonds were deposited when in fact it was Alberta. Consequently, the Council reasoned that Alberta was denying Quebec from recovering any of the assets and so the law was unconstitutional.

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