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Law 2101 (127)

Section 1: Introduction to the Legal System - Textbook Notes

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Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

SECTION 1 Introduction to the Legal SystemSOURCESDIVISIONS OF LAWSources of Law Most common sources of Law in Canada are o The Constitution o Statutes enacted by the Federal Parliament or a provincial legislature o Federal or provincial regulationso Decisions rendered by judges in the cases they decide Two major sources of law are 1 the law made by courts common lawcase law and 2 the law made by legislatures statute lawStatute a written law of a legislative bodyo Laws may be passed by both federal and provincial legislatures in Canadathere are both federal and provincial statutes in Canadao Before it becomes a statute an act proceeds through the legislature in the form of a bill Common Law deals with changing social or legal conditions only as they emerge in actual disputesit cannot anticipate themo Response to new situations is built up slowly case by case o At a disadvantage in confronting rapid social changeo Traditionally considered the best guardian of civil libertiesThe effectiveness of legislation in helping the legal system adapt to change eventually made it indispensable Legislation is better suited to accommodate changeo Statutes deal in generalities Can be enacted in anticipation of future eventsspecific cases need not arrive first Does not rely on past decisions for its legitimacy Constitutionally only federal and provincial legislative bodies have the right to legislateo High volume and complexity of legislationo Most acts passed by legislatures provide a general frameworko Filling in the details around that framework is the responsibility of the Cabinet More detailed laws enacted by the Cabinet are called delegated legislation or regulationsRegulations are enacted by the Cabinet acting as GovernorinCouncilo Most regulations are eventually tabled in the legislatureo Some are not tabled and remain outside Parliamentary scrutiny Many statutes contain sweeping enabling clauses which give the Cabinet virtually the same lawmaking powers as the legislature Divisions of LawKey distinctionProcedural Law vs Substantive Law
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