Business Law Ch. 2 Notes.docx

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2275A/B
Philip King

Business Law Chapter 2 Chapter 2 The Canadian Legal System  Statement of Claim: a document setting out the basis for a legal complaint  Canadian legal system has three branches: o The Legislative branch  Creates law in the form of statutes and regulations  Passes laws that impact on business operations  E.g. when the government enacts a law, failure to comply can result in fines and penalties, including business closure o The Executive branch  Formulates and implements law and government policy: the central ideas or principles that guide government in its work, including the kind of laws it passes  Implements and generates policy that may be directed at business o The Judicial branch  Adjudicates on disputes  Provides rulings that resolve existing legal conflicts but also impact on future disputes  Constitutional Law: the supreme law of Canada that constrains and controls how the branches of government exercise power o Charged with upholding “the values of a nation”; these values are tied to the political philosophy known as liberalism: elevates individual freedom and autonomy as its key organizing value  Canadian legal system: the machinery that comprises and governs the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government The Canadian Constitution  Located in a variety of places, both legislative and political, written and unwritten  Can more easily grow to resolve questions or issues related to government  The written elements of the Constitution include The Constitution Act and The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom  Constitutional Conventions: important rules that are not enforceable by a court of law but that practically determine or constrain how a given power is exercised o “Code of law that governs our political processes” o Not binding the way that constitutional rules contained in legislation would be o In place because politicians historically have agreed to abide by them Legislative Branch of Government  Legislative Branch: the branch of government that creates statute law  Statute law: formal, written laws created or enacted by the legislative branch of government  E.g. Criminal Code of Canada, Tobacco Control Act  Three levels of government make legislation in Canada o Federal o Provincial o Municipal  For legislation to become law, it must first be passed by the House of Commons and then approved by the Senate  Each province also has a law making body  Statute Law and Jurisdiction o The Constitution dictates whether each level of government can make a given law or not o Jurisdiction: the power that a given level of government has to enact laws o Jurisdiction is divided in this way because Canada is a federal state, which means that governmental power is split between the central, national authority (federal government), and regional authorities o The provincial governments empower municipal governments to legislate in specifically defined areas o The federal government has jurisdiction over criminal law o Because criminal law falls under federal jurisdiction, there is a Criminal Code of Canada but there are no provincial codes o Exclusive jurisdiction: jurisdiction that one level of government holds entirely on its own and not on a shared basis with another level  E.g. federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal law o Concurrent jurisdiction: jurisdiction that is shared between levels of government  E.g. public health (federal and provincial governments legislate) o But, the provincial government cannot enact legislation that would create a conflict with federal legislation o Paramountcy: a doctrine that provides that federal laws prevail when there are conflicting or inconsistent federal and provincial laws  If a person could simply comply with the stricter law – and thereby comply with both pieces of legislation – then Paramountcy would not apply; both laws would operate fully o The regulation of business is generally a provincial mater because the provinces have jurisdiction over property and civil rights o Bylaws: laws made by the municipal level of government The Executive Branch of Government  Formal, ceremonial function o The executive branch supplies the head of the Canadian state, the Queen o Formal executive: the branch of government responsible for the ceremonial features of government  Political function o Political executive: the branch of government responsible for day-to- day operations, including formulating and executing government policy, as well as administering all departments of government  The chief executive of the federal government is the prime minister, while the chief executive of provinci
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