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LWSO 335 Week 1 Notes

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University of Calgary
Law and Society
LWSO 335
Linda Mc Kay- Panos

Handout #1 Primary Sources of law-We use case law because we are a common law jurisdiction – Quebec uses civil law – civil law is more common. Common law is mostly inherited from Britain, -U.S, India, New Zealand, Australia have common law. Secondary sources of law – books, etc. a judge trying to figure out what to do in a situation has to apply primary law – if there is no primary law to deal with the situation they will look to secondary sources – if it hasn’t happened in Canada they will look to other common law countries Regulations – rules – less important procedural matters – regulate our day to day lives Case Law and Common Law countries – stare decisis - means “stand by your decision”- once a court has come up with a decision then subsequent courts will have to follow it as well – precedence Court of Queen’s Bench – In BC is called the Supreme Court – is not the same as the Supreme Court of Canada – if starts in provincial court and then is appealed in court of Queen’s Bench – the Queen’s Bench court takes precendence Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal – Tax matters would go to federal court, then federal court of appeal, then supreme court of Canada, used to be privy council in England that would be the last court but after the second world war supreme court of Canada became the last stop Change the law through amendments Parliament and legislatures have this authority and can also modify common law principles – can pass a law that either passes it or adopts it as something in the statute – so people can get a statute remedy of some kind Court of Equity – they had two court systems – common law and equity courts – we decided not to have two separate court systems In common law in most cases the remedy that you get from a court when you have a problem is damages Equitable remedy – injunction – to get abortion physcos to stay back The province appoints provincial court judges International Law and Domestic Law Domestic Law – passed in Canada somehow – subdivided into two aspects – procedural law is how things are done Substantive law – the legal principles that have developed through the statutes or the cases over law Substantive law can be further subdivided into public or private – public – state has interest in case – private law two private parties Tort Law Sexually assaulted at work, there are 3 places you can go: -Human resources -Criminal charges -Cannot sue for harassment – can sue for inflicting harm, can sue for wrongful dismissal Handout #2 Her colleagues role in the case (link in outline) is as an intervener You can intervene in any case – most frequently in court of appeal and supreme court of Canada cases The group she was working with still exists it is called LEAF –Legal Education Action Fund Human Rights Act – protects against discrimination in public activities – employment, renting an apartment, on a basis of a number of grounds like age, race, gender, etc. there was no protection for sexual orientation in Alberta He was a science teacher in a private religious college and the principal asked if he was gay and fired him on the spot. He complained to the Alberta human rights commission – discrimination based on sexual orientation. He went to the Court of Queen’s Bench saying the act violated his rights in that it was underinclusive. In the court of queens bench he was successful – she ordered that the word sexual orientation be placed in the human rights act – government Alberta appealed this, court of appeal agreed with the government and overruled the court of queens bench. After the court of appeal the supreme court of Canada came next as the highest court – LEAF stepped in to support “Shaking the apple tree” –brought in evidence to share the impact on homosexual society The supreme court agreed with the court of queens bench and ordered that sexual orientation be added Wasn’t added until 2010, the legislature writes the law and the courts interprets it The Charter of Rights and Freedoms – passed in 1982 Most sections were enforced in 1982 except section 15 in 1985 We had rights and common law principles before this and also had the Canadian bill of rights – this was not entrenched meaning anyon
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