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LS202 Lecture Notes - Crown Attorney, Family Law, Provincial Superior

Legal Studies
Course Code
Frances Chapman

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January 17, 2013
Adversarial System
Disputes between parties are resolved by IMPARTIAL decision maker (judge)
after hearing evidence of both sides based on law
Judge can jump in and ask questions if they want to do so but normally they
In case of unrepresented people they may try helping the party who is
Crown has a duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt very close to the
guilty part of the spectrum versus 50% for balance of probabilities, not level
of certainty but close to it
Jury number of challenges are dependent on crime that has been charged
Representative and impartiality are characteristics jury must have (Justice
Hierarchy of Courts
Provincial courts are bottom level most important for us is Ontario Court of
o By Justices of the Peace
o Under control of higher courts, includes; youth court, family court and
traffic court
o Gives preliminary hearings
o Power is given to these provincial courts for very specific offences
such as keeping gaming house or driving while disqualified
Supreme court is at the top
Superior court is higher than Ontario court of justice but lower than Supreme
Trial Courts in Canada
o Section 469 says that some offences must be tried by Provincial
Superior Court of Justice Treason, murder and all other serious
o Other indictable offences can be tried in this level of court
o Have more options in terms of what kind of judge you want, if you like
a jury or not etc.
o Appeals from provincial court criminal division and family law courts
if they were started at the lower level
Courts of Appeal
o Reviews decision of lower courts
o Not seeing witnesses based solely on the law, very limited time
o Panel of 3 judges
o Apply law to the facts that were presented at the trial
o Trial = facts, Appeal = legal rules
Supreme Court of Canada is the highest level of court in Canada
o Highest court since 1949
o 8 Justices, 1 Chief Justice
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