ADMS 2610 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Concurrent Jurisdiction
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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
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 Parliament or 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