Sources of law
1. Sources of law
b. Statues enacted by the federal Parliament or a provincial legislature
c. Federal or provincial regulations
d. Judges' decisions rendered in the cases they decide
Law made by the courts: common law or case law
Law made by legislature: statute law
Statute: a written law of a legislative body (i.e Act of Parliament)
-Law may be passed by both federal and provincial legislatures; there are both
federal and provincial statues in Canada.
Process: *Bill -> Legislature -> Act
Historical bases of law:
Custom, morality and precedent
History: Customary (norm) Law -> English Common (precedent) Law -> Statute
Common Law: Deals with changing social or legal conditions only as they emerge in
actual disputes; cannot anticipate them.
Disadvantage: fails to confront rapid social change.
Statue Law: Deals in generality and affect broad classes of persons - can be enacted
in anticipation of future events; cases don't need to happen first.
Advantage: does not rely on past decisions; new laws can immediately replace
*Common law used to be considered individual liberties, thus law alternation was
As a result, Statute was subordinate to the common law
*Presently, due to the effectiveness of the legislature and its Statutes in dealing with
rapid changes, Statutes law has become more important. (i.e Criminal Code and the
Income Tax Act.
Only federal and provincial legislative bodies have the right to legislate.
However, they are unable to deal with many technical aspect as most acts
provide only a general framework.
o Filling in the details is the responsibility of the cabinet. (Detailed version
of an act is REGULATION - routine matters and important issues)
o Regulations - enacted by the cabinet acting as governor in council and
most are eventually tabled in the legislature.
Sweeping enabling clauses which give the cabinet same powers to
make law as the legislature - exercise this power with little public