Presentation on theme: "C HAPTER O NE Introduction to the Legal System. In Canada laws are made by our elected representatives or by the courts The process of passing a bill."— Presentation transcript:
In Canada laws are made by our elected representatives or by the courts The process of passing a bill and creating a law usually involves three readings in the legislature, debate, vote by elected reps and royal assent Compliance with laws is mandatory – other rules such as customs, moral values and social norms are not compulsory Rule of Law – this is a legal principle that no one is above the law, even the law makers, law enforcement, courts and political leaders The Constitution is the supreme law of Canada, it includes the Constitution Act 1867 (BNA Act), and the Constitution Act 1982 (including the Charter)
If a law is in conflict with the Constitution or the rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is invalid and all or part of it will become void The exception is that there are reasonable limits on Charter Rights, there is also a Notwithstanding Clause provision The Constitution creates a division of power between the federal and provincial governments, when a government makes a law outside of its jurisdiction it is unconstitutional There are three branches of government (legislature, executive and judiciary) There are three levels of government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal)
Elected representatives – governments – sometimes pass laws delegating the power to make rules/regulations or to adjudicate disputes The bodies that receive these delegated powers are government agencies, boards, tribunals and commissions, they are still responsible to and are overseen by a specific government department and are accountable to the public through the department cabinet minister who is an elected representative Laws made by the federal or provincial government are called statutes. Regulations can be drafted to compliment statutes and deal with the fine details of the legislation – regulations do not go through the reading and voting process and are easy to amend
Municipal governments do not have constitutional status and they are only capable of passing by-laws to deal with local matters Canada is a common law country, we follow the centuries old common law system from Britain, found in most commonwealth nations Common law = law made by judges. Precedents. Decisions. Our legal system is a mix of statute law and the common law Our legal system is set up as a hierarchy, judges from the lower courts must follow the decisions of the higher courts. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the land
The process of taking common law rules and principles and turning them into statutes is called codification Public law addresses how the government interacts with the public, how it is structured and functions Private law addresses disputes between citizens, businesses, etc Administrative law is a diverse form of public law - think of all of the government agencies, boards, tribunals or commissions you and your family members may have personally had interaction with – pensions, employment insurance, car accidents, tenancy disputes, immigration, human rights, labour disputes, workplace injuries, etc.
WEEK ONE HOMEWORK Review the Key Terms found on pages 19 and 20 in your text book, you will be having a quiz on them in the near future. Consider the Review Questions found on page 21 (3, 4 and 5). Become familiar with the hierarchy of Canadian courts in the chart found on page 12. We will be referring to the Statutory Powers Procedure Act in this course. It can be found at http://www.e- laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statut es_90s22_e.htm http://www.e- laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statut es_90s22_e.htm