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Woodsworth College Courses
William Watson

22/09/2011 Criminal Law How criminal law is different from other types of law in Canada. Why do we have criminal law? 1. Regulating morality. It denounces what we have collectively called immoral conduct. It is what we have called the social contract or societal values. It is a moving target as what was thought immoral a long time ago may not be thought immoral today. Whether you agree where the boundaries are drawn or not is a different question. 2. Define the limits of acceptable behaviour. Not just what is moral and immoral but what people are allowed to do. This is also the social contract. Recognition of regulation so we can maximize our liberty and freedom. Boundary of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. 3. Problem with regulating morality is that there will never be agreement on everything. 4. Both legally and ethically it justifies imprisonment. 5. Protect people from crime. 6. Each law is a social construct. It is made by the parliament who wants to call that a crime. 7. Is there a better way to this? Why do we use this system? Who does this system serve? If we did not have crime we would not have conduct. Religions are a form of peer pressure. If you don’t conform to our views then they kick you out. How many aspects of your life are regulated? You have to take this course to continue in criminology.By creating an aura of illness around certain things so that people go get help. This is the therapeutic model. When something becomes a crime it is an active choice. Criminal system keeps changing over time because of changing parliaments. What should be crime? GOVT OF CANADA IS THE ONLY BODY THAT CAN CREATE CRIMINAL LAW. POLICE ARE INVESTIFATORS OF CRIME. In Canada the police are independent from the prosecutors. Police determine the evidence they want to gather and who they want to interview and whether they want to charge someone. Therefore the police have a lot of say in a crime. They decide whether things get prosecuted or not. Have a lot of powers on what the charges look like and what they are. Once police have done their research they hand it all over they will give it to the prosecutor (crown attorney). Defence counsel. In Canada the defendant can pick their own lawyer as long as they will work for that rate. No way to write crim law without any ambiguity. Basic definition of a crime: a prohibited act “thou shalt not do act” + potential for penal sanction (potential to go to jail). The crimes given below on slide 7 are all prohibited acts but not penal sanctions. Not every offence is a crime. Only the federal govt in Canada can enact criminal law. That is because of the powers from s. 91 and s. 92. These set out the powers for federal and provincial governments. Section 92(15) gives the provincial govt the authority over the imposition of punishments, creating an overlap. Provincial govt overlooks the criminal law system while federal govt has authority to impose punishments. Criminal code of Canada was first enacted in 1892. Omnibus bill. Govt are constantly changing the criminal code. New crimes. Max and min sentences. After 9/11 whole new set of criminal offences. Income tax act, customs act all create crim
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