LGL180 - Introduction to the Legal System

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-09-15 12:25:37.232
Last review date 2017-09-15 12:25:37.233

Subject Title
Introduction to the Legal System

Subject Description
This course introduces students to important elements of the Canadian legal system. Topics include an introduction to the nature of law, the sources of law, the legal system, the Court system, the legal professions, the Canadian Constitution, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Credit Status
This is a credit course applicable to the Paralegal Certificate Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1.  Describe the nature of law as a social institution, including an appreciation of its limits.
2.  Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of the Canadian government/political system and how the legal system operates within the federal system of government.
3.  Identify the components of the common law system and demonstrate an understanding as to how common and civil law system differ.
4.  Compare and contrast the components of private and public law, procedural and substantive law, and develop a general knowledge of the various fields of law.
5.  Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of the Canadian court system including the jurisdictional boundaries among the courts.
6.  Interpret and apply substantive knowledge of the Canadian Constitution and the rights set out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
7.  Identify the various sources of common law and demonstrate an understanding of how the various sources interact and are applied.
8.  Describe the adversarial system and alternative dispute resolution methods.
9.  Discuss the main sources of law regulating business organizations in Canada and identify the advantages and disadvantages associated with each kind of business organization.
10. Discuss the differences between real property and personal property and differentiate between the various estates and interests in land.
11. Identify the most important Ontario and federal consumer protection legislation as well as the laws and regulations governing collection agencies.
12. Explain principal concepts dealing with intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Course content and your instructor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Topic Outline

  • Legal terminology, sources of law and the concept of law
  • The structure of the Canadian Government and systems of law
  • Property law I (real property and mortgages)
  • Property law II (intellectual property, negotiable instrument)
  • Consumer law (provincial and federal consumer protection legislation)
  • The Ontario Court system
  • Business law (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations)
  • The concept of jurisdiction
  • Introduction of the Canadian Constitution
  • The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through interactive classroom lectures, discussion and group problem solving.

It is the student's responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on Blackboard or in class. Students will not be able to access Blackboard as of the last day of the student's class.

Prescribed Texts
John Fairlie, Philip Sworden Introductio to Law in Canada. Toronto: Higher Education Law School Professional, 2014 ISBN#978-1-55239-375-8

Reference Material
Dukelow and Nuse, Pocket Dictionary of Canadian Law. Toronto: Carswell, Latest Edition.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Team Assignment     35%

Test                               35%

Final Exam                   30%

Materials permitted into tests and exams are at the discretion of the instructor.

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

Please note

  • Exams are evaluated on subject knowledge as well as correct language usage, organization, and mastery of the subject.

Prior Learning Assessment
Please be advised that, in accordance with current Law Society of Upper Canada Paralegal Education Program Accreditation Policy guidelines (September, 2017, ss. 2.15 and 3.8), PLA for prior work experience is no longer permitted in any of the compulsory legal courses in the certificate program, including the field placement. All students, regardless of prior work-related training must fulfil the requirements of all components of the Paralegal Program.

Approved by: Sandra Noble