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Lecture 1

POLS 3136 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Precedent, Parliamentary Sovereignty, Judicial Activism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3136
Professor
Danny O' Rourke- Dicarlo
Lecture
1

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POLS 3136
● Philosophical concepts
● examination of having limits on the constitution
● Charter cases
● Rule of the courts
● Charter has significantly changed, is it better or worse?
● What the law can be and what enforcement can it do?
● Does the supreme court of canada have enough power? - a key question for exams and
whole course
● Judicial activism and against it - argument
● Parliamentary supremacy and against it - argument
● Second half of the course is all cases
● Various sections of the charter and how does sections have been defined through common
law
● The function of the supreme court with reference to charter- how the law is defined
● How should judges make decisions
● Analysis of S.1 of the Charter - none of these rights and freedoms are actually protected
● Unpacking the case law
● Key Case laws define each section of the Charter
● First midterm is take-home, 2 questions - second Question will have 2 options- 1 week to
response- return to class
● Final exam is only CASES !! It begins with only definition, define the term! 2-3 questions per
section of the Charter. You have options, if 6 sections you have to answer 4. There will be
options.
● Case study - provide a case summary (tell the reader the key issues in the course, why did
it even go to trial, lower court decisions, reasons for appeal, reasons for decision at the
supreme court, relate the information, discuss the reasoning behind the decision by
summarizing the majority position, the majority which becomes law) Did the Supreme Court
get it right? (you have to evaluate, make an argument, use reasons, critical analysis, use at
least 2 academic sources) you need to know how to read cases and communicate the
ideas, you have to make the case notable, for summary it should be clear, define key terms,
outline common law and all the arguments, in PLAIN ENGLISH, avoid latin or other terms.
Describe the case in plain language and make it accessible to everyone not just lawyers.
Use words you know how to use.
● Case studies are due last days of class.
● Case study should not exceed 10 pages. Summary in 4 pgs and analysis in 6. Double
space…
● Functions as a seminar
● Things we cover in lecture, things you must know for exam
● 2 hours lecture- 1 hour tutorial you are not required to stay, only if you have questions or
ect. There is no mark for participation. You can leave or stay
● Before class you will get a outline about what will be discussed
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