Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
CRIM 3335
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course focuses on the relationship between government and the individual. The primary focus is on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its interpretation by the judiciary. An examination of issues including equality before the law, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and democratic rights are examined. A study of rights at the international, federal and provincial levels will also be included.
Course Content


  1. Introduction and Overview
    • Historical context for human rights and civil liberties
    • Current context for human rights and civil liberties
    • The role of judicial review
  2. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    • Interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    • Limits placed upon Charter rights
    • Charter litigation and remedies
    • Fundamental Freedoms, Life, liberty and security of the person, Legal Rights, Equality Rights
  3. Non-Charter Protection for Human Rights
  • Provincial Human Rights Acts
  • Federal Human Rights Act
  • International Human Rights


Learning Activities

The following methods of instruction will be utilized:

  • Lectures
  • Class discussions
Means of Assessment

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

  • Exams
  • Research paper or other written assignment
  • Class attendance and participation

An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Class attendance and participation:  10%
Midterm exam:  30%
Research paper:  30%
Final exam:  30%
Total 100%
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the historical context within which the Charter was developed.
  2. Illustrate other legal protections for human rights and civil liberties, aside from the Charter.
  3. Examine the applicability of the Federal Canadian Human Rights Act.
  4. Explain the applicability of Provincial Human Rights Codes.
  5. Illustrate the overall structure and purpose of the Charter.
  6. Compare and contrast the competing views on the legitimacy of judicial review under the Charter.
  7. Identify and describe the limitations on legislated human rights.
  8. Explain the basic structure and process of human rights litigation.
  9. Identify and describe the remedies available under human rights law.
  10. Explain Charter fundamental freedoms, equality rights, s.7 rights, democratic rights, mobility rights and legal rights with reference to leading case law 
  11. Apply Human Rights Law to current social, political and economic issues in Canada.
  12. Interpret the protection of human rights at the international level
  13. Analyze the overlap and distinction between the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and International Human Rights Law
  14. Examine the complexity and competing claims for the protection and limition of human rights, civil liberties, and collective interests.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks will be updated periodically.  Typical examples include:


  • Sharpe, R. & Roach, K. (2017) The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (6th Ed). Toronto: Irwin Law.



The text will be supplemented by more recent case law and legislation as required. Web-links to this case law and legislation can be provided to students so they can be accessed at no cost and without any copyright violation by the college.




Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CRIM 3335
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU CRIM 3XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG CRIM 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CRIM 335 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CRIM 3359 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HUMA 3XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC SOSC 3XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CRIM 335 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC SOCI 3XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU CRIM 400 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023