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LWSO 203 Lecture Notes - Law French, Coutume, English Criminal Law

Law and Society
Course Code
LWSO 203
Marywyatt Sindlinger

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Historical Development of Canadian Law
French Influences
1) French Colonization of North America
Jacques Cartier: 1st European to sail up the St. Lawrence (1534-35)
Purposes of discovery: religious and economic
- Looking for passage to the west
- To enter into the fur trade
- Bringing Catholicism to the First Nations
Samuel de Champlain: Founder of New France (1608)
Economic Activities: fur trade, obtain rights of exploration
- If you get there first; you have the right to resources
- Making alliances with First Nations
Governance: left to private companies in return for exclusive right to
Religious: Many missionaries, few conversions
- first to establish a building habitation
Roi Lous XIV: 1663 Control of colony returned to the King
- Made New France a province of France
Governance: Governeur and Intendent
- Governeur: external matters
- Intendent: internal matters
Filles de Roi French women to marry settlers
2) French Law Coutume de Paris (1663)
Coutume= custom
- Contract law: fairness over certainty
o The Paris custom emphasizes fairness of contract
over certainty.
- Preservation of family property
o Real property = land/any property with resources
o Imposed a feudal system on land holdings
All land holdings belong to the King
King assigns the land to the seigneurs and
then subdivided to the lower tenants
Habitants (people who live and work on the
- Protection of rights of women and children
- Feudal system
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