Introduction to the law and legal system of canada
The Canadian Legal System
As a federal State, it has both a federal parliament in Ottawa to make laws in matters of national interest for all of Canada, and a legislature in each province and.and season episode
After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:. Law has different meanings as well as different functions. Philosophers have considered issues of justice and law for centuries, and several different approaches, or schools of legal thought, have emerged. In this chapter, we will look at those different meanings and approaches and will consider how social and political dynamics interact with the ideas that animate the various schools of legal thought. Law is a word that means different things at different times. That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequence is a law. In a nation, the law can serve to 1 keep the peace, 2 maintain the status quo, 3 preserve individual rights, 4 protect minorities against majorities, 5 promote social justice, and 6 provide for orderly social change.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Recognition of the Queen as head of State is largely symbolic -however, laws are still enacted in the name of the monarch. The sovereign is represented in Canada by the Governor-General at federal level and provincially by Lieutenant-Governors. Canada is made up of 10 provinces -. These judges generally have unlimited jurisdiction.
The Canadian legal system has its foundation in the English common law system, inherited from being a former colony of the United Kingdom and later a Commonwealth Realm member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The legal system is bi-jurisdictional, as the responsibilities of public includes criminal and private law are separated and exercised exclusively by Parliament and the provinces respectively. Quebec , however, still retains a civil system for issues of private law as this domain falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces. Both legal systems are subject to the Constitution of Canada. The federal government has jurisdiction over certain exclusive domains which are regulated exclusively by Parliament, as well as all matters and disputes between provinces.
The cornerstone of Common Law is the Magna Carta of , an ancient list of regulations on the British monarch which, although mostly obscure and irrelevant today, still serve as a symbolic monument to the idea that government power should be controlled and limited. According to this concept, there was no authority higher than the Canadian Parliament when it came to deciding what was legal and what was not. Parliamentary supremacy ended in , when the Canadian Constitution was reformed and a new section called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added. Since , the rights of Canadians have become much clearer and more easily protected than in previous decades. Parliament no longer attempts to pass laws that threaten certain rights, and if they do citizens can take the government to court to get the law overruled by a judge.
The common law is law that is not written down as legislation. Common law evolved into a system of rules based on precedent. This is a rule that guides judges in making later decisions in similar cases. The common law cannot be found in any code or body of legislation, but only in past decisions. At the same time, it is flexible. It adapts to changing circumstances because judges can announce new legal doctrines or change old ones. Civil codes contain a comprehensive statement of rules.
Law of Canada
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