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Canadian Law


Hammurabi's Code Famous king, ruled Babylonia (now Iraq). His code is one of the most important record of written laws. Nearly 300 laws carved in columns of stone, organized under different headings. Principle that strong could not injure the weak.
Funtions of Law 1) Establich rules of conduct. 2) Protect rights and freedoms. 3) Protect people. 4) Settle disputes and disagreements
Devisions of Law Procedural and Substantive. Under substantive are Public Law (Criminal, Constitutional, Administrative) and Private law (Family, Contract, Tort, Property, Labour)
Development of Canada's Constitution First constitution: British North America Act / Statute of Westminster gave Canada control over foreign affairs / Consitution Act, 1867 then 1982 (now with amending formula and Charter of R&F)
Criminal Law Offences against society. (Ex: murder, kidnapping, assault, B&E)
Constitutional Law Government does not have unlimited power. Laws that set out structure and devisions of power among federal, provincial and territorial governments. (Ex: Canadian gov. tries to pass law allowing same-sex marriages)
Administrative Law Controls relationships between citizens and government agencies (Ex: businesses)
Family Law Deals with relationships between spouses, parents-children. (Ex: Unpaid support payments, divorce, child custody, devision of property)
Contract Law Outlines requirements for legally binding agreements, which impose rights and responsibilities on parties involved. (Ex: buying CD, agreement between company and governebment)
Tort Law Deals with wrongs, other than breach of contract, that one person commits against another. (Ex: suing malpractice, negligence)
Property Law Deals with anything with cash value. Set of legal rules that control the use, enjoyment and rental of property. (Ex: Biking on private property)
Labour Law Governs relationship between employer and employee. (Ex: issues about minimum wage, working conditions, worker's compensation)
Bill of Rights List of the most important rights of the citizens of a country to protect them against government. John Diefenbaker passed the Canadian Bill of Rights.
Predjudice Preconceived opinion of a person based on the person's belonging to a certain group
Stereotype Judging one person of a group and applying that judgement to all members of the group
Discrimination Action or behaviour that stems from prejudice
Civil rights citizen's rights (political, social freedom and equality) which limit the power a government has over its citizens; as guaranted in the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Charter
Human rights Rights that protect one from discrimination by other individuals
Euthanasia Mercy killing. Painless death because victim might be suffering from incurable, disabling disease.
Infanticide Killing of infant shortly after birth becuase mother's mind is disturbed (eg. post-partum depression)
Actus Reus "A wrongful deed": the criminal act or omission to act
Mens Rea "A guilty mind": knowledge, intent or recklessness of one's actions, which together with actus rea, makes one criminally responsible.
Why do we need law? Keep order in society, ephasize prevention and penalties. Restitution (fines), retribution (revenge), rehabilitation (reforming)
Discrimination: Women & how they became equal Few jobs, low pay, no right to vote, property went to husband. Steps to equality: Suffragette women, Person's Case
Distinguish between civil and criminal law Criminal law: offences against society. Civil law: offences committed against individuals
Aiding and abetting Helping someone commit a crime, encourage someone to commit a crime
Accessory after the Fact Someone who helps criminal escape capture. Ex: providing food, clothing, shelter, a car.
Summary Conviction Offence minor criminal offences, arrested and summoned to court without delay. Max. penality: $2000 and/or six months. Examples: Soliciting, causing disturbance, injuring animals, motor vehicle theft
Indictable Offence Serious crimes with severe penalties. Examples: Abduction, aggravated assault, murder, Aason
Hybrid Offence Crown attorney can proceed summarily or proceed by indictment. Examples: Forgery, failing to appear at court, false alarm of fire, pointing firearm
Two Types of Homicide? Culpable (murder, manslaughter, infanticide) and non-culpable (accident, self-defense)
Classifications for murder First degree (Planned and deliberate, law enforcement agent, while another offensive crime or terrorist act is being committed) Second degree murder is any intended murder that is not first-degree murder
Elements of Manslaughter Causing death of a human (indirectly or directly) by means of an unlawful act. Only general intent needed. (Ex: speeding and killing pedestrian, provocation, intoxication)
3 levels of assault? 1) Assault 2) Assault causing bodily harm 3) Aggravated assualt
Assault Applying intentional force to someone without their consent, threatening iwth gesture to apply force, approaching someone with a weapon
Assault causing bodily harm interferes with victim's health or comfort in more than a fleeting way or threatens to use a weapon
Aggravated assault Person is wounded, maimed, disfigured or has life endangered
3 levels of sexual assault? Sexual assault (1) involves minor physical injuries/no injuries to the victim. Sexual assault (2) involves sexual assault with a weapon, threats or causing bodily harm. Aggravated sexual assault (3) results in wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangerin
Abortion (and how Canada dealt with situation) Abortion removed from crinial code in 1989. Supreme court of Canada has not ruled on when a fetus because a human being.
Property crimes Crimes against property. Arson: intentional or reckless causing of fire causing damage. Theft: under $5000 or over $5000, accused must have intent to deprive owner of item. Break and Enter. Possesion of stole goods. Fraud.
Drug Any substance that by its chemical nature alters structure of function in a living organism.
List some controlled substances heroine, cocaince, cannabis, LSD, barbiturates
Controlled Substances Act Criminalizes possession of, and trafficking in, a variety of illegal and controlled drugs. Has four schedules.
Laws surrounding drug possession and search and seizure Charged even if you don't use the drug. An officer may act without a warrant if situation is urgent and obtaining one is impractical. Reasonable grounds for searching bags, cars.
Dangerous driving offences Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle (in public place), Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident (must give name and address, help if assistance required), Impaired driving
'Care and Control' Not necessary for vehicle to be in motion or running. Mens rea exists when blood alcohol level is over 80. Sitting in the drivers seat implies care or control
Consequences of drinking and driving ordered not to drive after release from prison, demerit points, increase in insurance rate, insurer can refuse to pay if accident caused by impaired driving or while licence was suspended
Reverse onus responsibility of proving is placed on the defence rather than the Crown (e.g., in a bail hearing involving a serious criminal charge, the accused must show they should be released from custody
Order of court systems in the court ladder p. 208
3 ways to compel accused to appear in court Issue an appearance notice, arrest suspect or obtain warrant for an arrest
Distinguish between appearance notice and a summons An appearance notice is given to a person before they are charged with an offence (usually given by police). A summons is given to a person once they have been charged with an offence.
Rights of accused upon arrest Informed of reason for arrest, must truely understand them (ex: wait until sober, interpreter), Obtain lawyer without delay, private talk with lawyer
Item present on a search warrant? Only search on date indicated, between 6 and 9.
Search proocedures surrounding drugs, liquor and illegal weapons? Police can search any place not a private property (ex: car) if it is reasonable to believe there are illegal drugs, alcohol or weapons
When can police fingerprint suspect? After accused has been charged, fingerprints and photographs taken
2 circumstances when accused may be denied bail? 1) Crown attorney shows accused will not show up 2)Accused is a threat to public
Legal aid A court appointed lawyer paid for by the government if accused cannot afford lawyer
Disclosure Defence & crown attorney show all evidence so accused can prepare defence (for fair trial). If defence can prove with evidence that there is no case, charges dropped & no trial (saves money and time).
Preliminary hearing Provincial court judge decide if evidence is sufficient to proceed with trial in a higher court when accused pleads not guilty to indictable offence. Defence doesn't need evidence but can Cross examine crown witness
Plea bargaining? If there is strong evidence, accused may plead guilty to lesser charge for light sentence. Pros: saves time, money, no jury selection, no victim witness reliving ordeal Cons: compromising justice, revealed evidence can be used against accused
DNA evidence Crown can enter into evidence a DNA match to place someone at scene of the crime. Also, defence can show there is no match between evidence collected at crime scene and accused. Warrant required to collect DNA evidence.
Adversarial system Two opposing sides. Crown (representing society), defence (representing accused)
Advantages and disadvantages of trial by jury Pros: Educate public, fresh perpective, current social values, empathy, reasonable doubt Cons: Judge accused based on clothes, disgusted by crime (child abuse, impaired driving). Confused by legal technicalities, convinced by eloquence of lawyer
Advantages and disadvantages of trial by judge Pros: Less prejudiced, trained to decide based on facts & law, presents reason for decision Cons:
Outline process of jury selection (Empanelling) Computer generated list of people around area, 75-100 randomly picked by sheriff (can be criminally charged if you don't appear), exempt anyone with personal interest in case, lawyers can eliminate jurors based on answers to questions SEE PAGE 222
Arraignment Reading of the charge to the accused. Accused enters plea of guilty or not guilty. Usually arraigned in first court appearance, rearraigned for trials in higher courts
Opening statement Summarizes case against accused
Examination in chief First questioning of a witness. Because Crown interview witness before, it knows what answers to expect. No leading questions (that indicate answer, usually yes/no response
Cross-examination When Crown is finished, defence cross-examines the witness and may use leading questions
Credibility Reliability is a key factor. Questions that have little to do with the case can be asked if they reveal character of witness. Each side tries to uncover conflicts or contradictions with previous evidence, try to cast doubts on other side's evidence
Reasonable doubt If jury believe defence's evidence or cannot decide whom to believe, it must acquit. Jury must give accused benefit of the doubt
Subpoena A court document that orders witness to appear
Contempt of court An witness who fails to attend a trail to give evidence may be found guilty of contempt of court and fined or imprisoned for 90 days
Perjury Occurs when a witness knowlingly gives false information wit hintent to mislead. Maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment
Different types of defenses? Duress, self-defense, legal duty, honest mistake, mental fitness at time of the offence, intoxication, automatism, consent, entrapment, mistake of fact, double jeopardy
Duress Provocation defense, where accused had no other choice. Only successful in urgent situations and imminent peril
Honest mistake Offender truely didn't know they were offending (Ex: unintentional shoplifting)
Mental fitness Accused is not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder, go to mental institution.
Intoxication Intoxicated person unable to form intent, conviction lowered. There are situations where self-induced intoxication is not a defense (ex: aggravated sexual assault)
Automatism Unconscious, involuntary behaviour. (Ex: sleepwalking, convulsions, PTSD, seizures)
Entrapment Police action that encourages a person to commit an offence.
Mistake of fact 1. Mistake was genuine, not neglect to find out facts (counterfeit money) 2. Law accepts ignorance of fact as defence (possession of stolen property)
Double jeopardy You cannot be tried twice for the same offense. Pre-trial motion made using one of two please: autrefois acquit, autrefois convict.
Different types of evidence, which are admissible in court? admissibility of evidence determined in voir dire
Privileged communications communications that cannot be required to be presented in court as evidence (ex: between spouses)
Similar Fact Evidence Shows accused has committed similar offences in the past, imply accused committed offence again or refute claims that offence was mistake or accident.
Hearsay evidence Something that someone other than the witness has said or written. Admissible under certain circumstances: quoting dying person, must be necessary and reliable
Opinion Evidence What expert witness thinks about certain facts in a case. Judge will only allow evidence if it is on a topic that is outside the "experience and knowledge of a judge or jury"
Character Evidence Crown wants to introduce evidence of any negative characer traits and previous convictions of accused. Because it's prejudicial, Crown can show evidence when defence introduces character evidence to support accused's credibility.
Photograph evidence Entered as evidence if they can be identified to be accurate portrait of the crime scene. Judge has right to not admit photographs that are only meant to inflame jury
Electronic devices and video surveillance Cannot be used to intercept private conversations. "Treated as a last resort." Search warrants not needed to video surveillance in public places.
Confession evidence Accused's acknowledgement that charge or some essential part is true.. If confession was not voluntary (police promised leniency or lengthy questioning) judge may reject it as evidence.
Illegally obtained evidence Must be decided if admitting evidence in question would bring the "administration of justice into disrepute." Severity of the offence, how it was committed and how evidence was obtained must all be considered
Charter of Rights and Freedoms Lists the civil rights and freedoms of all Canadians, guarantees them at every level of government. Purpose of Charter is to limit power of government.
Read Discrimination Chapter Page 68
Created by: stephanie23