Lecture 2 Saturday, July 6, 2013
- Not just a law course and a series of statutes
- It’s going to be a course that puts things in context—nothing happens in a
vacuum. th th
o Late 18 century and early 19 century: English legal reforms in criminal
law which form the basis of our Canadian Criminal Code happened as a
result of influences (French Revolution, American Revolution, age of
Enlightenment, philosophy, arts, literature, which changed people’s
perception of humanity)
o Early criminal law: we’re dealing with a mindset that was driven by a
Man was concerned with the next life, life was not valuable, life
was subsumed by religious connection/life of the manor/etc.
We move from that around the 18 century—Hogarth (engraver in
England) made prints about life in England (boy run over by a cart,
lamb being slaughtered, prostitutes drinking gin, etc.)—people
The notion that man could rise to something more, there were great
things that people culd accomplish
Henry VIII’s reign: 70,000 English people executed. You
wandered around the village gate and saw tons of corpses. What
was the law?
o How the law evolved—from the time of Robin Hood, the Crusades, the
arrival of the Normans
1066 AD: most of English law and English language was really
French—we owe it to the Normans
England after Rome’s removal from the scene—left an imprint of
peace and whatnot. England also got an impact from the Picts, the
**We’ll see the roots of the RULE OF LAW—what are the
notions of criminal law, what do we consider worth sancitonoing
o As late as 1800, on the books in England, there were books on over 200
offenses over which you could swing (including pickpocketing at a public
hanging)—our British tradition moved in that period from the perception
of universal cruelty and harshness to proportionate sentencing, a Criminal
Code, something that’s transparent and can be relied on—move from
universal severe punishment (capital punishment).
- Challnge: the aftermath of the post-9/11 era, how the state is involved in security.
Grand ethical questions such as the use of drones (US drone strike that killed 9
Pakistani Taliban)—just wars, sovereignty, interventionism, war crimes
o When you send a drone to another person’s country, what are you doing?
o In light of the Nuremberg principles… - We will begin a long time ago and move through the early middle ages into the
pre-Enlightenment era, the origins of jury, the eternal cry to reform or eliminate
the jury system (in Canada, we don’t have an absolute right to a jury trial…only a
maximum of 10% of cases have a jury trial…only if you’re in danger of a 5-year
prison term or more)
- Great shift in societal morays
o Women were nothing, were cattle, had no legal rights, were custody,
property passed from father to husband, no charges of spousal abuse
We go from there to special topics where we see development of
spousal abuse syndrome (battered women syndrome)
The pendant may have swung too far—how far can physical threat
to female spouse go before it ceases to be a viable offence?
• Woman who shot her husband was not arrested, just taken
to a mental institution!
• That’s some difference from the Lavalee case (the seminal
case of battered women’s syndrome)
• Interesting subtle developments—men should be wary!
It wasn’t until the 20 century that women were recognized legally
as persons—this all happened recentl
o War crimes, international court
o Terrorism, post-9/11, the West and its response
**looking at how we responded. Did we give away too many civil
liberties? Were our fears well-founded?
What is occupying our budget in terms of border services? Have
things really changed at all?
What are the consequences in our rush to secure ourselves in
issuing security certificates?
Cases like Omar Khadr, Malki—sometimes Canadian citizens have
been imprisoned or kept under surveillance with our national
complicity, tortured, sued the government and the government took
the view that it has nothing to apologize for.
Taxpayers in a future government will pay compensation
The Supreme Court has chastised the government for its treatment
of these people.
- From the Norman period through early middle period,
o looking at state of justice, early reforms, English Civil War and how that
changed the government (king couldn’t appoint certain officials at his own
whim), Hades’ Corpus, the jury
- Then Enlightenment
o Age of Reason
o Influences that caused the Western world to reconsider state of man in the
world, what their potential was
o Wordsworth, John Locke, Voltaire, Goya, Dickens
**READ DICKENS!! • He gave primary impetus to publishing with his famous
stories and serials
• Irish dock workers in America would rush every morning
to get the off-load and see the latest segment on the Old
Curiosity Shoppe to read what Dickens wrote
• Oliver Twist, David Copperfield…books that really
changed the world. Not because he was a social reformer
and wanted to change the classes, but because as a human
being, he captured the popular imagination about the ills of
the period (cruelty to children, people dying of TB, etc.)
• **A Tale of Two Cities is a goo