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PSYC39H3 (172)
Lecture 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Lecture 2-Sept 16 3 Functional Levels of the Judiciary • lower courts: o adjudicate (try individual cases) o determine if a citizen broke the law or not • appellate (appeal courts) o decides whether a lower court judge made a mistake in applying the law o new evidence cannot be considered (this is done in the lower courts) o judge has to give permission to file the appeal o 3 judges that hear the case (and majority rules) o usually not filed by the lawyer who defended the case, but a specialized lawyer for appeals (trial lawyers hire an appeal lawyer) • Supreme Court o interested in broader issues especially a charter issue o interested in cases that have larger implications for society o hear less than 10% of the cases that are submitted • lawyer has a different ethic than a professional witness: o expert: must describe the truth as best as they comprehend it o lawyers: ethic is the protect their client, cannot lie but do not have to volunteer info that may hurt the client's case o *canada has an adversarial system: each lawyer presents the best possible case for their client and the judge needs to decide (the judge realizes that neither party is telling the whole truth) Philosophy of Canadian Law • rules of morality cannot be enforced by the courts, but laws can • advantages of laws o allows people to resolve dispute peacefully (e.g. business) o balances respect for individual rights with maintaining order and rights of society • Magna Carta o same law applies to everyone • in canada, orderly society has a higher priority whereas the US values individual freedom more • laws are intended to carry out social policies o makes Supreme Court very powerful (able to interpret the law not the way parliament wrote it)  Supreme Court can strike down laws they think are against the charter of rights  gives the ability to engage in social engineering Common Law • developed in Great Britain (after Norman Conquest) • a system of rules based on precedent o judges decisions that are to be legally enforced become precedents (judges will then use the cases in making subsequent decisions in similar cases) • common law cannot be found in a code or body of legislation, but exists only in past decisions • very de-centralized system • when judges make a decision, they are making a law Charter of Rights • protects: o fundamental freedoms o democratic rights o mobility rithgs (to move between Canadian provinces) o legal right o Aboriginal rights o equality and language rights Legal Rights • habeas corpus o if someone is going to be incarcerated, have the right to challenge being detained • presumed to be innocent until proven guilty o guaranteed in constitution o very different from inquisitorial judicial system in Europe • once charged: the accused has the following rights: o have to be informed of what they are charged with o have to be tried within a reasonable time o cannot be compelled to testify at their own trial (to prevent torture...they used to torture them to confess) o not to be denied reasonable bail without cause  denied if: 2 grounds  flight risk  (likely to leave the country or leave e.g. no roots in Toronto or very likely to run away)  danger risk:  e.g. domestic abuse (spouse may hurt when they get out)
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