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What Kind of Legal System Does Canada Have

There are, of course, many other differences between the Canadian and U.S. legal systems, some of which will be discussed in future blog posts. Nine of the provinces, with the exception of Quebec and the federal territories, follow the common law legal tradition. [23] Although federal territories apply customary law, Indigenous nations and their associated territories do not (see below). Similarly, under provincial court statutes, courts have the power to enforce justice. Canada`s legal system is pluralistic: its foundations are based on the English common law system (inherited from its time as a colony of the British Empire), the French civil law system (inherited from its past from the French Empire)[1][2] and the Indigenous legal systems developed by the various Indigenous peoples. The Constitution Act, 1982 states that the Constitution of Canada contains this Act, a set of thirty Statutes and Ordinances listed in a list accompanying that Act (the most notable of which is the Constitution Act, 1867), and any amendments to any of those Acts. [6] However, the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that this list should not be exhaustive, and the 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec named four “principles and supporting rules” contained as unwritten elements of the Constitution: federalism, democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law, and respect for minorities. [7] Although these principles are an integral part of the Canadian Constitution, Canadian courts have not used them to override the written text of the Constitution, but have limited their role to “filling in the gaps.” [8] Provinces may also establish courts of limited jurisdiction whose jurisdiction is limited exclusively to what is contained in the legal grant of jurisdiction. These courts are often referred to as “provincial courts,” although the high courts established by the provinces are also provincial courts. Provincial courts have extensive criminal jurisdiction under the Federal Criminal Code, and generally also have limited civil jurisdiction in matters under provincial jurisdiction, such as small claims and certain family matters.

Provincial court judges are appointed by provincial governments. [81] The Canadian Department of Justice views access to justice as a fundamental value of the Canadian justice system, stemming from our country`s respect for the rule of law. The Constitution of Canada provides the framework within which systems interact and function. Canadian constitutional law describes the Canadian system of government and the civil and human rights of citizens of Canada and non-citizens of Canada. [3] Canada is a nation governed by laws, and the Canadian legal system is the means by which those laws are written, organized, applied and interpreted. A violation of a federal or state law is called a regulatory or quasi-criminal offense. Penalties typically include fines, forced compliance, or the closure or seizure of businesses or property. It is rare to go to jail for breaking these kinds of laws. When there is little or no existing Canadian decision on a particular legal issue and it becomes necessary to turn to a non-Canadian legal authority for guidance, English and American court decisions are often used. [27] Given the long history between English and Canadian law, the English Court of Appeal and the House of Lords are often cited as persuasive authorities and considered persuasive and often followed.

[27] However, where the legal issue at issue relates to issues of constitutional or data protection law, U.S. court decisions are more likely to be used by Canadian lawyers, as there is much more case law in U.S. law in these areas than in English law. [Citation needed] Criminal law in Canada falls under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal government. The power to enact criminal law derives from section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867. [63] Most criminal laws have been codified in the Penal Code, as have the Drugs and Controlled Substances Act, the Juvenile Justice Act, and several other peripheral laws. This memorandum confirms anak Nu`at`en (or Inuk Nuatden, as written in the Memorandum of Understanding) as the Wet`suwet`en legal system of governance. The Wet`suwet`en system of government is closely linked to hereditary chiefdom. Clan structures and ruling leaders, in turn, are closely linked to Yin`tah, their country. [57] Canada was founded on the territories of origin of more than 900 different Indigenous groups, each using different Indigenous legal traditions. Cree, Blackfoot, Mi`kmaq and many other First Nations; Inuit; and métis will apply their own legal traditions in everyday life, drafting contracts, working with government and corporate officials, environmental management and criminal proceedings, and family law. Most abide by their laws through traditional governance alongside elected officials and federal laws.

[31] The legal precedents created thousands of years ago are known through stories and are derived from the actions and reactions of the past, as well as from the ongoing interpretation by elders and law enforcement – the same process by which almost all legal traditions, customary laws, and civil codes are formed. Canadian copyright law governs legally enforceable rights in creative and artistic works under Canadian law. [62] Federal and provincial laws that concern private affairs rather than public interests are called civil laws (not to be confused with the civil law system, see above). Unlike criminal laws designed to protect all Canadians from general danger, civil laws govern relationships between individuals or businesses. Civil laws typically regulate things like employment contracts, construction contracts, marriages, divorces, wills, and custody arrangements, and attempt to protect individuals from abuse or exploitation. When a Canadian sues another — which he often does, usually for committing tort or negligent negligence — he is dealing with civil law. The Constitution divides responsibility for different types of civil law between the federal and provincial governments. Laws are transmitted by means of a symbolic wampum and are divided into a total of 117 articles.

The transmission takes place each year by telling orally the story of confederation. This story tells the journeys and history of the Great Peacemaker, Lake Jigonh and Hiawatha, when they brought peace to the Haudenosaunee country. Through them, governmental structures and legal institutions have been created to unite families metaphorically, socially, economically and concretely. As such, nations are conceived as older and younger brothers, and when asked how this new structure would work, the peacemaker replied: “It will take the form of the longhouse, in which there are many herds, one for each family, but all live as one household under a main mother. They should have a mind and live under a law. Thought will replace murder, and there will be a community. [47] Canada`s justice system is unique in the world. Two official languages (English and French) and two legal traditions (common law and civil law) coexist in our legal system. As Canadians, we all have a responsibility to understand our rights and freedoms and duties as members of society.


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