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3135 Course Syllabus Fall 2013-14.doc

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York University
Political Science
POLS 3135
Tamara Kelly

PUBLIC L AW I AS/POLS 3135 3.0 (F) SECTION A (Crosslisted to: AK/POLS 3135 3.00, AK/SOCI 3135 3.00, GL/POLS 3135 3.00, AK/PPAS 3135 3.00) T HE C ONSTITUTION AND THE COURTS IN CANADA FALL TERM 2013-14 Course Director: Ray Bazowski Office: 233 McLaughlin College Office Hours:W, 3-4 pm; F, 1:00-2 p.m., and by appointment Contact: (416) 736-2100 ext. 20723 [email protected] Lectures: Fridays, 2:30 – 4:30 Tel 0010 Tutorials: 01 F 11:30 TEL 0004 2 F 11:30 TEL 0009 3 F 12:30 TEL 0004 4 F 12:30 TEL 0009 THE COURSE: This course will examine the role of the courts in the governmental process in Canada, and particularly in relation to leading Supreme Court of Canada decisions regarding the Division of Powers between the federal government and the provinces. Attention will be paid to formal constitutional interpretation, the politics of the judicial process, and the relation between law, public policy and administration in Canada. Relation Between POLS 3135 and POLS 3136: Most students who take Public Law I (3135) also take Public Law II (3136) (though there is no requirement to do so). Public Law II is taught during the Winter Term in the same time period and focuses on Supreme Court of Canada decisions relating to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This course outline and links to some of the readings are posted on Moodle. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Please note that the last day to withdraw from this course without receiving a grade is November 11. Please consult the “Refund Tables” at the following address to determine the portion of fees that will be refunded at different drop dates: 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… R EADINGS : Required: Peter Russell, Rainer Knopff, Thomas Bateman & Jane Hiebert. The Court and the Constitution: Leading Decisions. Toronto, Edmond Montgomery. Recommended: Peter W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada Student Edition. Joanne Buckley, Fit to Print: The Canadian Student’s Guide to Essay Writing (Toronto: Harcourt, 2001). Web Resources Supreme Court of Canada homepage: Reported decisions of the Supreme Court: Canadian Legal Information Institute (a search engine for reported court cases in all Canadian jurisdictions) Osgoode Hall Law School sponsored blog containing commentaries on and discussions of Supreme Court decisions: Centre for Constitutional Studies (University of Alberta research centre promoting the interdisciplinary study of constitutional matters) Homepage of the Canadian Judicial Council: Homepage of the Office for the Commissioner For Federal Judicial Affairs: Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School), a legal resource for U.S. constitutional law: 2 3 A SSIGNMENTS AND G RADING : Assignments and Grades : Mid-Term Examination (October 21) 20% In Class Essay: Factum (due November 8, 22) 40% Tutorial Participation 10% Final Examination (scheduled during examination period) 30% Note: All assignments are mandatory. Failure to hand in an assignment will result in an incomplete for the course. In-Class Essay: Factum: The major written assignment for this course is a “factum”. A factum is a legal brief prepared by counsel in appeal cases that presents in written form the arguments that will be made in court. Both the counsel for the appellant and the respondent in appeal cases draft these legal documents. Interveners who have been granted standing in a case are also allowed to submit facta. Typically a factum contains a statement of the facts of the case and a detailed summary of the legal and policy arguments that will be made in oral argument. For this course students will be assigned a specific legal dispute (from among a small list) to research early in the term. These disputes will be based on issues currently before the courts. Researching the legal dispute means trying to figure out what kinds of persuasive arguments can be made by counsel for the appellant and the respondent. This will mean looking at case law that involves principles similar to those at issue in the present dispute. It also means looking at academic and legal writings on the subject matter. In the first part of this assignment students will prepare an annotated bibliography of case law and academic and legal work with an eye to showing how these sources are relevant to the legal dispute at hand. These annotated bibliographies will be submitted to tutorial leaders for grading on Nov. 8. On Nov. 22 students will write an in-class essay that will consist of a factum for either the appellant or the respondent in their assigned case. Students will not know whether they are to write an appellant or respondent factum until the time of the in-class essay. For this reason students must come to class prepared to write either type of factum. Students will be allowed to bring in their notes for this in-class exercise but must write the factum in long- hand. A total of 40% of the total grade for this course is allotted to the annotated bibliography and in-class essay. Grading Breakdown : For the purpose of averaging grades on assignments to arrive at the final course grade, the following numerical equivalents for letter grades will apply: A+ 90-100 A 80-89.9 B+ 75-79.9 B 70-74.9 C+ 65-69.9 C 60-64.9 D+ 55-59.9 D 50-54.9 E 40-49.9 F 0-39.9 3 4 Academic Honesty : Students who cheat on exams or written assignments will receive an F in the course and may be subject to expulsion from the university. Please familiarize yourself with the Faculty Policy on academic dishonesty. Students With Special Needs: Students with physical, psychological or learning disabilities may request reasonable accommodations in teaching style or evaluation methods, as outlined in the York University Senate Policy on Students with Special Needs. They should advise the Course Director and the Teaching Assistant at the earliest opportunity, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Religious Observances : Should students require accommodation because of religious observance reasons, please contact the Course Director or Teaching Assistant at the earliest opportunity. …………………………………………………………………………………….. Lecture Schedule September 13: Course Introduction and Preliminary Observations on the Law Lecture: Objectives of the course are explained. This lecture will introduce some of the distinctions in law and explain the various sources of law. It will also provide some observations on the nature and functions of the law. September 20: Structure of the Courts and Basic Con
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