2 Defining CrimeA crime is any act or omission of an act that is prohibited (not allowed) and punishable by federal statute.Omission of an act – In some circumstances the law requires us to do something and if we don’t we can be charged. For example, if we are involved in a car accident, we must stop at the scene (s. 252 (1) CCC).
3 Four conditions that must exist for an act or omission to be considered a crime. The act must be considered wrong by society.The act causes harm to society in general or to those who need protection.The harm must be serious.The remedy must be handled by the criminal justice system (police, lawyers, judges)
4 Remember, law reflects our society’s values. Adultery used to be a crime in Canada, but isn’t any longer.Capital punishment is no longer used in Canada, but in 1795, 12 people were hanged in Halifax for the crime of theft.In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law that required people who committed certain crimes to be sterilized.
5 What does “cause harm to society mean”? Think about the societal harm caused by these two examples:A priest molests an 8 year-old member of his congregation.A girl steals make-up from Wal Mart.
6 Three main purposes of criminal law in Canada: Protect people and propertyMaintain orderPreserve standards of public decency
7 Figure Page 162The crime rate is going down. Most Canadians think that crime is on the increase. One in 5 fears being a victim of crime in their own communities. One in 6 thinks their neighbourhoods are unsafe. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS???
8 The Criminal CodeFederal statute (criminal law is the same across Canada)Contains the majority of the criminal laws passed by Parliament (other crimes are under the drug-related laws)Lists the offences (crimes), the sentences and the procedures to be followed in the trialCan be amended by Parliament (i.e. to include new crimes related to technology)
9 In NB, criminal cases are heard in either provincial court or the Court of Queen’s Bench, depending on the crime.In certain circumstances the accused has the right to have a jury, if she wants it.
10 Provinces have the right to make laws in those “areas” that are under their jurisdiction (liquor, traffic)These laws are called quasi-criminalLess serious offences, the usual penalty is a fineTrials for breaking these laws are heard in provincial courtsJudge alone/no jury