WDW101Y1 Lecture Notes - Common Law Offence, Sylvia Fedoruk, Summary Offence

15 views10 pages
user avatar
Published on 16 May 2011
Woodsworth College Courses
of 10
Thursday September 23rd 2010
Lecture 1: Nuts and Bolts
Uses of Criminal Law
1. Regulate morality historically, this was primary focus
Denounce immoral conduct
Reflect societal values
2. Define the limits of acceptable behaviour
Forms the basis of thesocial contractwhat it is we essentially all agree to do and
not do
Boundaries change over time
Limited consensus of what should be crime
i.e. Possession of Marijuana, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution
3. Justify imprisonment/deprivation of liberty
4. Protect society from harm
Other Mechanisms?
1. Informal societal controlcommunity/peer pressureaboriginal justice
2. Formal social control
oRegulation (i.e. Non-criminal offences, licensing etc.)licensing prostitutes etc.
don’t have to make it criminal in order for it to be controlled
oIncentive structures (i.e. Tax incentives)want people to act a certain way – tax
incentive, charity, etc.
oPublic education (i.e. M.A.D.D) -
oTherapeutic model
3. Nothing
Throughout the course, ask yourself:
1. What sorts of activities should the state criminalize should have some grasp whats right and
2. What limits should be places on the states ability to enact criminal law?
3. What should the role of the Courts be in defining/applying criminal law?- big debate
whether courts are too interventionisttoo much social policy work
Players in the System?
1. Parliament
Enact legislation explains what it is
2. Police
Investigate crime- they initiate investigations, no lawyer to direct the investigation,
they are the first step
3. Crown attorney
Prosecute crimethey get the case from the police once charges have already been
4. Defence counsel
Defence those accused of crime
5. Court
Interpret legislation, strike down unconstitutional legislation, apply legislation,
determine guilt/innocence, impose sentence
Remand= appear one day and check in with the courtprogress report/update
What is a crime?
Basic Definition:
Crime = Prohibited Act + Potential for PENAL SANCTION - this definition is a bit too simple
Will be distinguished CRIME from another prohibited or regulated conduct which carries potential
for penalties
Parking enforcement
Owning an illegal pit bull
Operating a hot dog stand without a license
Sources of Crimes in Canada:
Only the Federal Government has the power to enact CRIMINAL law in Canada provincial and
munipical can regulate conduct and even cerate OFFENCES but they are NOT crimes! Why?
S.91 and s. 92 of the constitution
Set out the powers of Federal and Provincial governments
S. 91(27) – gives Federal government exclusive authority – over criminal lawsame across
s. 92 (14) – gives the provincial legislature the authority overthe administration of justice in the
provinceincluding the constitution, maintenance and organization of criminal courtsthe
administration of justice is a provincial power, so they get to decide where court houses are, create
rules about courts etc. AND
s. 92 (15)gives the provincial legislation the authority over the imposition of punishment |
which is how they have the authority to impose a fine, so its a complicated mess with OVERLAP
with the FEDERAL and PROVINCIAL! Sometimes the SAME conduct is both the CRIME AND A
PROVINCIAL OFFENCE! Example: riving car insanely and run over cyclist, could be charged
with dangerous driving OR might be charged with careless driving – could be enraptured by both
Main Sources of Crimes in Canada
1. Criminal Code of Canada
First enacted in 1892
Amended from time to time because the province has the power to administer
criminal law, the people who prosecute crime under the c.c are employed by the
province, but if charged with controlled drugs and substances act you would be
prosecuted by federal crowns, so thats why there is DRUG COURTS and then
everything else = provincial ones
2. Controlled Drugs and Substances Act