POLI 204 Chapter 18: Chapter 18 someone else

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18 Feb 2016
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Course
Chapter 18
The Judicial System: Law and the Courts
The Rule of Law and the Judiciary
-Protects citizens from arbitrary actions by government and those empowered by the state.
-Key feature of Liberal democracy
-Law in meant to be blind, does not see race, gender, class, social status, wealth, political
position...that's actually a load of shit!
-Judges administer law and penalize those who break it.
-Are also crucial in interpreting the laws
-Courts have authority to review laws and determine their validity
-Play role in resolving disputes between businesses and individuals
Laws
2 basic categories
-Public and Private
Public Law, concerns the relationship of the state to individuals and the operations of the state.
Includes…
1. Criminal Law
2. Constitutional Law
3. Administrative Law
4. Tax Law
Private Law, deals with relations between individuals, businesses, individuals that are of private
interest.
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The Sources of Law
-Constitution divides authority to make laws between Parliament and provincial legislatures.
-Parliament is responsible for criminal law
-Provincial law responsible for much of private law
-Laws that have been passed by either are known as statutory laws
-Many laws based on common law
-Canada uses common law for both private and public law (except quebec)
-Quebec use the Code Civil du Quebec (1994) as the basis for private law
Judicial Review
-Courts can invalidate laws or government actions that they consider to be in violation of
constitution
-Charter of rights and freedoms grants such authority
Courts (structure)
-Canada
-unified court system
-hears cases involving both provincial and national law
-Judges in the supreme court are appointed by the government (same goes for judges of
provincial superior courts)
-Include both trial and appeal divisions
-Bottom of hierarchy are provincial courts (only trial courts)
-Paid and appointed by provincial government
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-Appeals of judges in these courts go to the superior courts
-Although Canadian governments appoints judges to provincial superior courts
-Provincial governments are responsible for setting up and administering the courts in their own
province.
-Superior court judge can hear offences such as murder, treason, piracy.
-Most cases against federal or provincial laws are heard in provincial courts.
-Exception to two tier court system that deals with both federal and provincial laws
-Federal court of Canada
-related to certain acts of parliament
-hears appeals against the rulings of the nation administrative bodies
-Supreme court of Canada, created in act of Parliament in 1875
-Since 1949, it has acted as the final court of appeal for all cases
-9 judges
-3 from Quebec, 3 from Ontario, 2 from Western canada, 1 from Atlantic Canada
-Appeals are often heard by panels of 7 selected by the chief of justice.
-Appeals from Quebec are heard by 5, including the 3 from Quebec.
-Since 1985 the right to appeal has been limited to specific circumstances
-Court's grant leave to hear appeals in a small number of cases it considers of significant public
importance
-Include aboriginal rights, unfair conviction, constitutional issues and references
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