Curriculum Guideline

The Canadian Legal System

Effective Date:
Course
Discontinued
No
Course Code
CRIM 1160
Descriptive
The Canadian Legal System
Department
Criminology
Faculty
Humanities & Social Sciences
Credits
3.00
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
PLAR
No
Semester Length
15
Max Class Size
35
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Lecture
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, audio-visual material, group work, library research, guest lectures, seminars and presentations.

Course Description
This course focuses on the history, development, and present day operation of the Canadian legal system. The topics that will be examined include: constitutional law; criminal, contract, and tort law; human rights; administrative law; the court system; the functions of judges and lawyers; and the basic elements of legal reasoning.
Course Content
  1. The Nature of Law
    • Why we have laws, legal philosophy
  2. Introduction to the Legal System
    • Main divisions of law, how to read and cite cases and statutes, the court structures
  3. Sources of Law
    • Historical sources, legal sources, constitutional sources, the legislative process
  4. British Legal Tradition
    • The Canadian reception and acceptance of this tradition, the basis of our constitutional system, the rule of law, parliamentary sovereignty, common law and equity.
  5. The Constitution
    • BNA Act, Statue of Westminster, Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), Constitution Act, 1982, Quebec Legal System.   
    • Constitutional change, Meech Lake Accord, Charlottetown Accord, Quebec Referendum, First Nations Treaties
  6. Canadian Legal Institutions
    • The courts, the role of judges and lawyers
  7. The Basic Elements of Legal Reasoning
    • Precedent and Stare Decisis
    • The process of distinguishing
    • Statutory interpretation
  8. Introduction to Administrative Law
    • Tribunals, procedural fairness, federal and provincial rule-making agencies
  9. The Nature of Tort Law
    • Definition of torts, distinction between tort and crime, categories of torts, the principle of vicarious liability, remedies for tort actions.
  10. The Law of Contract
    • Elements of a contract, remedies for breach of contract
  11. Law Reform
    • alternative methods of dispute resolution, court reforms
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

 

  1. Define the major philosophies of law.
  2. Identify how the legal system derives its authority and legitimacy.
  3. Describe the historical development of Canadian law.
  4. Discuss the Canadian Constitution, Canadian legal institutions and the role of judges and lawyers.
  5. Describe how law is made and changed.
  6. Describe administrative law, tort law, and contract law.
  7. Conduct legal research.
  8. Discuss the basic elements of legal reasoning.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will include some of the following:

  1. Quizzes
  2. Mixed format exams (e.g. multiple choice, essay)
  3. Term papers
  4. Research project
  5. Class participation
  6. Oral presentations

 

An example of an evaluation scheme would be:

Legal Research Assignment           10%
Midterm exam  30%
Term Paper  30%
Final exam  30%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:

 

Boyd, Neil.  Canadian Law, An Introduction, (latest edition).  Toronto:  Nelson Education

 

Gall, G.  The Canadian Legal System, (latest edition).  Toronto: Carswell

 

Horner, J. Canadian Law and the Canadian Legal System (latest edition). Toronto: Pearson 

 

Which Prerequisite