Canadian Constitution First real class, week one was just an overview.

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Sept 20
Canadian Constitution
Canada was "born" on July 1st, 1867
-has both written and unwritten elements
-the british parliamentary heritage and the democratic norms and values
-the BNA act of 1867 and the Canada act of 1982
BNA act: set out the basic terms of federalism and outlined the machinery of gov
't based on the british model
-it also outlined the provinces to join the political union
Canada act: amending the formula and the charter
-roles of the courts
What is a constitution?
-a set of laws, principles, and procedures
-stability and order
-guidelines for political life
-it embodies the aspirations of the society
-conflict resolution
The Canadian constitution is the supreme law in canada
-The three fundamental cornerstones of the Canadian system of gov't embedded in
the constitution
-the executive and responsible gov't
-rule of law
-federalism
Public Policy
-"public policy is the outcome of the struggle in gov't over who gets what"
-Clarke L. Cochran
-"public policy consists of political decisions for implementing programs to ach
ieve societal goals"
-Charles L. Cochran
-"Stated most simply, public policy is the sum of gov't activities, whether acti
ng directly or through agents, as
it has an influence on the life of citizens"
-Guy Peters
-government response to public issues: it regulates state - society relations
The Canadian Legal System
Common Law
-has its foundation in the british system
-law developed through decisions of courts and other tribunals
-different from legislative statute
-hthe important role of the judges: create and define the law
Civil Law
-starts with abstract rules - codes of law
-judges apply them
Public Law
-concerns the manner in which courts can review the decisions of adminis
trative decision-makers
Constitutional Law
-basic laws of nation states
Criminal Law
-body of law pertaining to crimes against the state or conduct detriment
al to society as a whole
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