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Lecture 4

POLS 2200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Judicial Independence, Summary Offence, Freedom Of Movement

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2200
Khashayar Hooshiyar

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Week 4 Roles of Courts
-the structure of the system has been evolving slowly
-difference between canadian/us system
-canadian is intergrated law
-america is dual-corp system
-canadian moving more towards the US system
Judicial System
-canada became head of the judicial system after 1949
-in 1974, took control of its own agenda
-constitution act 1982 expanded the position of the judiciary to that of the thi
rd branch of the gov't
-political importance of the SCC
Political Role of the SCC
-under the charter the SCC can "overrule legislation and executive acts of gov't
not only on the grounds that they
violate the federal division of powers but also on the grounds that they violate
fundamental rights and freedoms
of citizens"
-judges are not promotings change in public policies
-current reform proposals for the SCC: establishing it in the Constitution (curr
ently relies on federal legislation
for its existence)
Why do we have open courts?
-fundamentally right to a democracy
Does open court impact presumption of innocense?
-the press will usually be involved somehow, may influence
Exceptions to open court:
-young offenders
-application to a judge for a closed hearing
-sexual assault trials
-national security cases
-preliminary hearings in notorious cases - to permit fair jury selection
Is closing the court justified in these situations?
-the press
Problems With the Justice System
-for some litigants + lawyers, it's a game
-delay is in clients interest
-judges limited by adversary system
Independence and Accountability
-judicial independence: purpose is to promote judicial impatiatlity
-security of tenure
-if you're a judge, you're a judge til you retire
-can't be fired unless you do something retarded
-financial security
-judicial control over adjudicative matters
-judicial discipline: canadian judge council and provincial judge councils
-hrychiuk suspended from Ontario CT of Justice after judicial inquiry
Appeal Courts
-minor appeals heard by a single judge in a higher court (summary conviction app
-major appeals heard by provincial court of appeal
-Ontario has about 18 court of appeal judges, usually they sit in panels of 3 (s
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