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ADMS 2610 (409)


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York University
Administrative Studies
ADMS 2610
William Pomerantz

ADMS 2610, Section A– INTRODUCTION UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE USED: One of the problems with any text on the subject is some key terms are used before you get to the various chapters which better explain them. For example, in Chapter 1 you will find reference to terms such as action, case, legislation and jurisdiction, each of which has a specific meaning or meanings, but you will not yet have a proper basis for understanding what is meant. Thus, to help you, before you begin to read the materials and even if you have already begun to do so, let me try to explain to you four of the terms that you are going to meet time and time again throughout the course. 1. Action: Commonly called a law suit, an action can be thought of as being a claim brought in court by one or more people (or entities who have legal rights, such as a company) against one or more people or legal entities. It begins with a claim and ends in a decision of the court. Other words for action are, law suit, legal proceeding, action at law and case. 2. Case: Although this does mean action, more often than not, it refers to the decision of a court which usually sets out the type of case, the facts on which a decision will be made, the legal principles used in making the decision and the decision itself. Decisions of cases are identified by the name or names of the person or persons bringing a law suit or action at law (called the plaintiff(s)) and the name or names of the person or persons against whom the action is brought (the defendant(s)). For example, consider the following: Stewart Jones v. Bank of Montreal. The plaintiff or person who brought the law suit or action or case was Stewart Jones and the defendant against whom the law suit was brought was the Bank of Montreal. This case can also be referred to as Jones v. Bank of Montreal. You will learn more about cases/legal decisions when we discuss the Common Law system which, leaving legislation aside, is the fundamental basis for law in Canada. 3. Legislation: Legislation is in the form of written law which is passed by a particular level of government, determined by the Canadian Constitution. Generally speaking, when it comes to the federal government, we mean the House of Commons or federal legislature, and when it comes to the provincial government we mean the provincial houses or legislatures. When a given level of government passes legislation we can also say that it makes or enacts legislation=. The legislation so passed, made or enacted becomes law. Another word for legislation is Statutes or Acts, and when talking about legislation, you will see variations such as Act of Parliamentor federal or provincial statutes, Acts or legislation. Legislation is usually presented to the federal or provincial legislatures in the form of something called a bill setting out the written law to be considered by a federal or provincial member of parliament, and when passed, the bill becomes a piece of legislation, legislation, a statute or an enactment or an Act. All of these words mean the same thing. For example, the Income Tax Act, Canada, is a statute or Act or enactment or piece of legislation or simply legislation made, passed or enacted by the federal government (federal parliament or House of Commons), while the Libel and Slander Act of Ontariois an example of a statute or Act or enactment or piece of legislation or simply legislation made, passed or enacted by the Ontario government. 3. Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction can be thought of first as the power or authority of either a level of government or a court over something and/or the right of the federal or provincial government to make laws in a specific area. For example, when it comes to government, under sections 91 and 92 of the Canadian Constitution, the power or authority over specific areas of law or to make law in a specific area is divided between the federal and provincial governments. Section 91 deals with the areas of law under the control of the federal government or the areas in which the federal government can make laws such as criminal law, while section 92 deals with the a
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