Law 12 (E)


Term 3

Final Assignment


Tuesday May 24
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic

Full Complaint filed with the Canadian Privacy Commissioner

CBC articles

Wall Street journal

Thursday May 19
Class Notes: Finished Social network, dicsussion on privacy and intellectual property WRT Facebook.
Homework: read the backgrounder on the Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s investigations in Facebook.

Friday May 13th and Tuesday May 17
Class Notes: The Social Network

Monday May 9th
Class Notes: Presentations, Intellectual Property take 2.
Resources: Slides, questions,

Wednesday April 27th
Class Notes: Child Abuse
Resources: Slides, Assignment
Homework: Presentations due May 2

Thursday April 7
Class Notes: Family Law (family as basic social unit of society, value of), Essential Requirements of Marriage, Formal Requirements of Marriage.
Homework: Select one of two challenges to current Canadian Marriage laws (polygamy or same-sex marriage) and do the following: identify what the current law is, identify how this law is being challenged and what the sides are saying, what the status of the challenge is (ongoing? resolved?), your opinion on how the challenge should be resolved (in other words what you believe the law should be) and why.

Tuesday April 5th
Class Notes: Intro article study for Family Law.
Resources: Question Sheet, Why Canada Needs a split from its messy divorce laws (Anderson), A program to fix our ailing family courts (Makin)
Homework: Complete questions for hand in Thursday.

Term 1 and 2

Welcome to Law 12!

This page will be one of the many resources available to you, to help you succeed in this class.  After every class, I will post notes, handouts and resources (where possible) along with instructions and reminders.  This won’t take the place of being in class, but will serve as a reminder and a backup to your own organisation.

Block E meets on Day 2, in Room 307.  On the first day of class, September 8th, we will meet briefly from 11:30-11:55am. 

The course is divided into four themes: Foundations of Law; Civil Law; Criminal Law; Family Law.  We will approach these themes as units, though students should be prepared for overlap and flexibility as these themes/units cannot be thoroughly studied and understood if fully separated from the other.  Our primary focus is the Canadian context- historical development of law, the design and function of our modern legal system, noteworthy statutes and persons of interest.  We will also consider alternative justice systems and global issues that have particular relevance to Canada and our place in the world.

Before each unit, a detailed outline will be distributed.  These will be subject to change based on student interest, time constraints and other factors. In general, the course will flow as follows:

September/October Foundations of Law
October/November Criminal Law Part 1
January Criminal Law Part 2
February Civil Law
March Family Law
April Synthesis
May Independent Inquiry Projects and Presentations

Throughout each inquiry, theme, unit and discussion, we will consider these fundamental questions:

  • What does this reflect in and about Canadian values and beliefs?
  • Who or what benefits as a result of this action/inaction?
  • Who or what is left out as a result of this action/inaction?
  • Who or what are the influences on and of this action/decision?

September 8, 2010
Class Notes: Welcome to the 2010-2011 School year!  Today was a short, 30 minute introduction to me, your classmates and the course.
Handouts: Course Syllabus.
Homework: None.  See you Friday. SC.

September 10, 2010
Class notes:
Discussion of yesterday’s decision by the Ontario Superior Court upholding Canadian Blood Services ability to disallow donations from gay men.  Divided into 2 working groups and each created their own system of law.  Group rules can be found here.  Benedict- if you have some of Group 2s laws, can you email them to me or post them below please.
Handouts: Unit Outline, Ethical and Moral Dilemmas, Creating a Law System and Personal Response
: Reading as on unit outline (pages 3-6), read moral dilemmas handout, personal response (at least 1 page).  All due next class, Tuesday.  SC.

Tuesday September 14th
Class notes:
Discussed the imbalance of relief response to Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods, considered moral dilemmas, discussed purposes and functions of a system of law and who has/who should have influence in that system.  Began case study, Anti-terrorist laws, page 30.
Resources: Presentation: Moral DilemmasPresentation: Purposes and Function of a System of Law
Homework: Read and do discussion questions on case study, be prepared to do SWOT analysis next class.  SC.

Thursday September 16th
Class Notes:
Case study, Anti-terrorist laws.  Lecture codes and codification and the foundational systems of Canadian laws.
Handouts and Resources: Presentation (codes and codification), Great Debates: Criminalization Debate.
: Read Great Debates: Criminalization Debate  and respond as follows; 1) List of what must be codified/criminalised 2) List of what may be codified/criminalised 3) Argue for more or less codification/criminalisation.  Reference a high profile Canadian issue (marijuana, gun control, safe injection sites).  SC.

Monday September 20th
Class Notes: Share responses to Criminalisation article.  Hand in.  Start research on Myth, Perception and Reality of Law.
Hand in: Response to Criminalization (that was for homework), reading worksheet to selected article (this is done in class today).
Handouts and Resources: Myth, Perception and Reality Research, Reading Worksheet, Article #1: Matrix Myth and Reality (ACLU), Article #2 Cyber Crime Separating Myth from Reality (Political Wag).
Homework: None.

Wednesday September 22nd
Class notes: Complete Myth, Perception and Reality research.
Handouts and Resources: all previously posted/distributed.
Homework: Complete presentation, due Friday.

Tuesday September 28th
Class notes:
Lecture/discussion on the Canadian Law system overview, types of law, process of legislation and agents of influence.  Inquiry/discussion into major agents of influence on the Canadian law system.
Handouts and Resource: Presentation, Agents of Influence articles.
Homework: Complete assignment on myth vs. reality, presentations done on Thursday.

Thursday September 30th
Class Notes:
Presentations from Evan, Jack, Michael and Benedict on the perceptions and realities of prosecutors, healing circles, euthanasia and anti-terrorism laws.  Discussion and feedback on the class so far- thanks for your input and insight.
Resources and Handouts: None.
Homework: Please read pages 22-29 and 38-43 for Monday.  SC.

Monday October 4
Class Notes:
Final presentation from Nabil.  Those who did not do the myth/reality presentations will receive another assignment as substitution.  Those who did do the presentation may also do the assignment and either substitute it for a mark of similar weighting this term, or another suitable arrangement.  Lecture #1 on international law, we discussed the types of law and bodies that orchestrate it.  Began lecture from Philip Allott on “Intentional Society and the Ideal of Justice.”  This will be continued on Wednesday, and we’ll look more in depth into the ICC and tribunals.
HandoutsInternational  Law lecture 1 slides, question page for  Allott Lecture,  Allott lecture.
Homework: Make a discussion posting responding to the question “what is the most significant aspect of international law” on the wikispace, and complete the understanding questions on page 29 of text, both for Wednesday.  SC.

Wednesday October 13
Class Notes: Media Analysis on recent ruling by Ontario court on prostitution laws and introduction of ongoing media analysis work.  Introduction to Criminal  Law unit, textbook focused to build foundation for future classes.  Test on Unit 1 and vocabulary from Unit 2 next week.
Handouts and Resources: Media Analysis template, Unit 2 Criminal Law Introduction
Homework: Complete introduction for Friday.  SC

Tuesday October 19th
Class Notes:Media Analysis and discussion of The Current (Part 3- Omar Khadr and Child Soldiers) and distribution of outline for assessment on Thursday.  We also started the Case study of R. vs. DS.
Handouts and Resources: Unit outline, R vs. DS case study.
Homework: Review for assessment, and finish reading case for Wednesday.

Wednesday October 27th
Class Notes: Media Analysis and discussion of the Russell Williams sentencing.  Finishing case study of R vs. DS.
Homework: Section 1 Questions 1 and 3, Section 2 Question 2.

Friday October 29th
Class Notes: Introduction to the Criminal Code of Canada, discussion of Criminal Code reform, and work time for case investigation.
Handouts and Resources: Presentation, legal research resources

Homework: Complete case investigation (see below), review Chapter 5.


•To investigate a topical criminal law-related news event from the legal perspective
•To become familiar reading and interpreting the Criminal Code of Canada
•To become familiar with legal research


•From a Canadian newspaper (national or local), select an article that reports on a specific crime.
•Identify precisely what section of the Criminal Code has been contravened.
•Read that section and related ones.
•Summarise the case, the Criminal Code section and the penalties.
•Discuss the high values/social values that have been contravened, and how those have changed, or will change, over time.
•Should this section be subject to reform? Why or why not. Be specific.


•A one to two page report.
•Bibliography (see style guide on Library website, MLA format)


Tuesday November 2
Class Notes: Investigative Process 1, overview of unit to come, discussion of Omar Khadr plea deal.
Resources and Handouts: Presentation, replacement Myth and Reality assignment
Homework: Posting to wikispace, complete assignment from last day.
Monday November 8th
Class Notes: Presentation and discussion on Adversarial System and Trial Process, explaination of case preparation for next class.  Media analysis on refugee claims, particularly that of Randy Quaid.
Homework: Complete prepatory reading for the R v Keegstra case next day.
Monday November 15th
Class Notes: Indepth look at the details and some issues in the Jury system.
Handouts and Resources: Presentation, Article: Jury Composition, Article: Jury as Democracy, BC Jury Duty Brochure, Canadian Judicial Council model instructions.
Homework: Review pages 220-225 and questions on page 225.  Read article, Jury as Democracy.
Wednesday November 17th
Class Notes: Finished discussion on Jury as Democracy.  Discussion on Defenses.
Handouts and Resources: Defenses presentation, Exam Outline
Homework: Read case study on page 240/241.
Friday November 19th
Class Notes:

Homework: Exam Review.
Tuesday November 23rd:
Class Notes: Exam review. Final media analysis on the reference case on polygamy, links we referenced are below:

Friday December 3
Handouts and Resources: Courts questions, Macleans article

Homework: Courts questions and all other missing course material due.

Tuesday December 7th
Class Notes: Introduction to Courts, including videos and discussion.
Handouts and Resources: Handout: Introduction to Courts, BC Courts page (video clips)
Homework: Read handout and make a posting to wikispaces on one of three issues: accessibility, judicial activism, judicial independence.

Thursday December 9th
Court house visits to BC Provincial Court at 222 Main Street and BC Supreme Court 800 Hornby Street.

Monday December 13th
Class Notes: Review and reflection of court house visit, including overall impressions, reflections on the physical space and the role of judges.  Investigation and notes on the appointment of judges in BC and Canada (based on article from Law Connection, and group think on ultimate qualifications (should judges be bilingual?) and process for judges.
Homework: Complete the courthouse visit package (See Dec 7) and read the article on Judicial Activism with the question in mind: Is judicial activism democratic?

Wednesday December 15th
Class Notes: Discussion on Judicial Activism Article and factual overview of sentencing including notes, discussions and case studies.
Handouts and Resources: Judicial Activism and Sentencing
Homework: Review Chapter 9. See you in January!  SC

Tuesday January 11th
Class Notes: Discussion on the decision from SK Supreme Court regarding marriage commissioners and same-sex marriage ceremonies.  Discussion/lecture on sentencing (principles, options, etc).
Handouts and Resources: Globe and Mail article, Regina Leader-Post article, CBC video clip, Sentencing slides.
Homework: Read pgs 265-271 for Thursday.  Keep in mind we may be in a different room for guest speaker, Catherine Bargen.  Chapter 9 is your responsibility to read on your own time.

Thursday January 13th
Class Notes: Guest speaker Catherine Bargen on Restorative Justice.
Handouts and Resources: Restorative Justice: Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; Restorative Justice in BC
Homework: Respond to posting on wikispaces.


Monday January 17th
Class Notes: Restorative Justice Part II.  Remember that you should be taking away an ability to: compare RJ and the traditional criminal justice systems, identify the values and assumptions that underpin RJ and comment on the usefulness of RJ philosophy and programs.

Impressions on RJ:

  • should only be used in petty theft offenses
  • childish/soft
  • some help for offenders- a second chance
  • easy way out
  • not meaningful, empty
  • too soft on offender, to much focus on the offender, too much credit to the offender
  • some court options

Handouts and Resources: Howard Zehr excerpt, slides, New Zealand case study documentation
Homework: Complete discussion from last day if you haven’t already done so.  Read Zehr excerpt.  Take one of the impressions we listed (see above) or from someone’s discussion posting (other than your own) and locate a resource (website, article, video, program) that addresses that impression, either by supporting it, deconstructing it, etc.

Wednesday January 19th
Class Notes: Part I- practical examples of RJ in action on the local, domestic and international levels.  Part II- introduction to Corrections.
Handouts and Resources:
Corrections Canada, BC Corrections Strategic Plan
Homework: Read pages 272-278  Questions 1-4 page 279, Question 6 (pick 2) page 280, Question 7 or 8 (page 281), read BC Corrections Strategic Plan.  Please bring laptops for Tuesday Jan 25th.

Friday January 21st
Guest Speaker– Sandra Thiessen, Corrections Canada.

Tuesday January 25th
Class Notes:


Select a major Canadian (federal) political party (NDP, Green, Liberal, Conservative, Bloc Quebecois) and identify the following:

  • Their current stance on law and order issues including
  • Claims made of other parties

Select two elements of their policy/policies and outline the implications on the justice system, particularly focusing and referencing the areas of expertise of our two recent guest speakers, Restorative Justice and the Corrections System.


Compose a letter to either Sandra Thiessen or Catherine Bargen in which you

  • Show you were paying attention to their remarks
  • Challenges an assumption of their area of expertise
  • Ask two thought-provoking questions of their work.

Your letter should then be:

  • Peer reviewed
  • Revised
  • Teacher reviewed

Homework: Finish classwork from today.  Prepare for quiz to be completed by Friday (Chapter 9).

Thursday January 27th
Guest Speaker– Madame Justice Miriam Maisonville

Monday January 31st
Class Notes: Word period, all items in the image below are due at the start of class Wednesday, no exceptions.  QuizStar.
Homework: Catch up.

Tuesday February 8th
Class Notes: Intro to Youth Criminal Justice

Homework: Scan Pocket Guide, read text section.

Wednesday February 16th
Class Notes: Youth Justice 2.  Intro to Assignment.

Homework: Assignment.

Friday February 18th
Class Notes: Work period on YCJA Assignment.
Homework: Complete assignment- post presentations on to wikispace or email.

Tuesday February 22nd
Class Notes: YCJA Presentations.

Thursday February 24th
Class Notes: YCJA and extrajudicial measures.
Resources: Slides, Assignment, Clips of  Beyond Scared Straight (A & E), Project Turnaround Article (Justice Canada).

Monday February 28th
Class Notes: Finishing off of extrajudicial measures discussions, YCJA presentations, and discussion/debate if time on the case of the “Toronto 18” and the issue of identification.
Resources:CBC Indepth Toronto 18, Audio clip, Discussion handouts (Ontario Justice Education Network), CTV Clip (Tuesday April 15 2008), “Unfair Dealing” , YCJA Act

Friday March 4th
Class Notes:
The “Right” To Know.  1) Identifying Young Offenders 2) Sex Offender Registry
CPAC Clip (2009), RCMP: National Sex Offender Registry Backgrounder, Canadian Civil Liberties Association response to proposed bill, BC Civil Liberties Association Newsletter Summer 2001 (see page 10)
Prepare for test on chapter 9 and 10 on Tuesday (open book, some short answer, choice of issue topics to respond to).

Tuesday March 8th
Class Notes:
Test on Sentencing and YCJ

Thursday March 10th
Class Notes:
Wrongful Convictions- Day 1.
The Hurricane, CBC: Canada’s wrongful convictions, assignment (what happens when the law fails?)
Complete assignment (what happens when the law fails) and the additional question of designing a consistent system for compensating individuals affected by wrongful convictions.  Remember compensation need not only be money, and need not only be directed to the wrongfully accused/convicted.

Monday March 14
Class Notes: Wrongful Conviction 2 ( Compensation)
Resources: Assignment, Minister of the Attorney General (ON) Truscott, Ministry of Justice (MB) Federal/Provincial Guidelines, The Hurricane

Wednesday March 16th
Class Notes: Hurricane, discussion on guest speakers.
Homework: Finish compensation chart, and three questions for 1988 Guidelines (see assignment document from Monday)


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