Rosalie Abella is an example of a member of the Supreme Court who was not born in
Canada, was born in Germany and came here as a child: Do not have to be a born
- Do courts exercise too much power?
- Do courts reflect inherent elite bias?
- What is the relationship between courts and elected officials? (Egypt)
Why do legal systems change?
- Turnover of courts
- Political culture change (same sex marriage)
- Scientific advances (E.g. HIV cases, GHG USA)
- New law: Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)
- Other jurisdictions
Types of Law
- Public Law: Constitutional and criminal
- Private Law: Disputes between citizens; corporate
- International Law: WTO, Geneva Conventions, UN treaties
- Common Law: Stare decisis “let the decision stand previous decisions”
- Distinguish a case is to make a new decision
- Common law jurisdictions can use other jurisdictions’ decisions
- Massachusetts’ same-sex marriage decision used elements of Ontario’s decision
- Civil Code: Continental Europe, Quebec, Louisiana. Law applied freshly –
theoretically – to each case