Law 12


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Course Learning Outcomes


General Learning Outcomes


Students will:

q       develop, express and defend a position on an issue and explain how to put their ideas into action

q       identify major Canadian social policies and programs and their impact on society

q       recognize the importance of both individual and collective action in responsible global citizenship

q       identify the major provisions of the Canadian constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislation.

q       describe the fundamental principles of the Canadian federal and provincial legal systems, including the rule of law

q       identify and assess critical legal issues facing Canadians


Specific Learning Outcomes



HL 1 · evaluate different concepts, principles, philosophies, and theories of law;

HL2 · demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between law and societal values;

HL3    trace the development of law from its primary sources in religion, customs, and social and political philosophy;

H14 – explain the distinction between common and civil law, substantive and procedural law,

domestic and international law, and private and public law;

HL5 – compare various historical methods and systems of adjudication (e.g., trial by ordeal, trial by combat, adversarial versus inquisitorial systems).

HL6 – analyse the views of historical and contemporary philosophers of law (e.g., Socrates, Aristotle,

John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Hobbes, R.M. Dworkin, H.L.A. Hart);

HL7 – evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different theories of law (e.g., natural and positive

law, legal realism, feminist law);



TL1 – explain the differences between intentional and unintentional Torts

TL2 – understand the differing forms of defences possible in a legal proceeding

TL3 – identify the forms of property crime and the relevant definitions.

TL4 –demonstrate an understanding of the premise of liability and personal responsibility within Canadian society

TL5 – identify types of motor vehicular offences within the Canadian Criminal Code



RF1 – explain the evolution of Canadian human rights legislation from English common law to the

Canadian Bill of Rights and then the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

RF2 – evaluate the protections provided by federal and provincial human rights legislation;

RF3 – identify historical and contemporary barriers to the equal enjoyment of human rights faced by

individuals and groups in Canada and analyse their effects.

RF4 – explain what a constitution is and why it is necessary;

RF5 – distinguish between the law-making powers of the federal, provincial, and municipal


RF6 – demonstrate an understanding of key events in Canadian constitutional history (e.g., the British

North America Act, 1867; the Constitution Act, 1982; the Meech Lake Accord; the Charlottetown


RF7 – explain what is meant by entrenching rights in a written constitution;

RF8 – explain the definitions of legal rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic, language,

equality, and mobility rights under the Charter;

RF9 – explain how citizens can exercise their rights under the Charter (e.g., by initiating Charter

challenges in the courts to legislation or government action; by raising the Charter as a defence when

charged with an offence).

RF10 – explain how rights may be limited or overruled according to the Charter (e.g., section 1,

section 33);

RF11 – evaluate the role of the courts and tribunals and, in particular, the Supreme Court of Canada in

interpreting Charter rights;

RF12 – describe how Charter rights are enforced.

RF13 – assess historical and contemporary examples of conflicts between minority and majority rights

(e.g., the Quebec sovereignty debate; Aboriginal land claims; affirmative action programs);

RF14 – demonstrate an understanding of the difficulty of balancing rights in a democracy;

RF15 – evaluate the political and legal avenues available for resolving conflicts (e.g., the courts,

tribunals, referendums).



IL1 – explain the major concepts (e.g., extradition, customary law, diplomatic immunity) and

principles (e.g., general principles, treaties and customs) of international law;

IL2 – demonstrate an understanding of the sovereignty of nation-states as an overriding principle of

international law;

IL3 – identify global issues that may be governed by international law (e.g., human rights,

jurisdictional disputes, refugees and asylum, collective security, trade agreements);

IL4 – explain the role and jurisdiction of the agencies responsible for defining, regulating, and

enforcing international law (e.g., the United Nations, the World Health Organization, war crimes

tribunals, the International Monetary Fund, Interpol).

IL5 – evaluate the effectiveness of international treaties for the protection of human rights (e.g., the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child);

IL6 – explain the role of the International Court of Justice in the Hague in resolving issues between





CL1 – demonstrate an understanding of the main theories that philosophers, psychologists,

sociologists, and criminologists use to explain deviant behaviour;

CL2 – outline the relationship between criminal law and morality and explain what is meant by

criminal conduct;

CL3 – explain the legal definition of a crime and the concepts of mens rea, actus reus, and strict and

absolute liability;

CL4 – explain the purpose of criminal law;

CL5 – explain the terms that relate to selected criminal offences.

CL6 – explain the processes of police investigation, arrest, search, and interrogation of suspects;

CL7 – explain pre-trial procedures, including plea bargaining and release procedures;

CL8 – explain the purpose of key features of the criminal trial process (e.g., burden of proof,

admissibility of evidence, the role of the judge and courtroom personnel, jury selection and the role

of the jury);

CL9 – outline legally acceptable defences to criminal conduct and evaluate some of the more

controversial defences (e.g., the “battered spouse syndrome” defence; the defence of diminished

responsibility as a result of drunkenness);

CL10 – describe and evaluate the types and purposes of different sentences imposed in criminal law.

CL11 – explain the concepts and principles of justice as they apply to criminal law;

CL12 – analyse situations in Canadian law in which principles of justice conflict (e.g., victims’ rights

versus the rights of the accused);

CL13 – analyse cases in which the principles of justice have been violated (e.g., the cases of Donald

Marshall, David Milgaard, and Guy Paul Morin).


Units of Study


Unit One:  An Introduction to Law

·        The purpose of law and its history

·        The rights and freedoms of Canadians


Unit Two:  Humanitarian Law

l                  Bill of Rights

l        Charter of Rights and Freedoms

l        League of Nations / United Nations

l        Nuremburg / War Crimes


Unit Three:  Tort Law

1.     Civil procedure and compensation

2.     Negligence and unintentional torts

3.     Intentional torts


Unit Four:  Criminal Law

·        Criminal offences

·        Bringing the accused to trial

·        Trial procedure

·        Sentencing, appeals and prison

·        The criminal code

·        Drug use, drinking and driving

·        Youth Criminal Justice Act (Young Offenders)