Criminal Law and the Charter


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LAW120 - Criminal Law and the Charter

This course provides the imperative foundation for the intensive criminal law studies that follow in further semesters. The basis of and responsibility for criminal law in Canada is discussed, and the Criminal Code examined as to its purposes, structure, format and uses. The concept of criminal responsibility and the classic defences to a criminal charge are analyzed.
The innovation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 has had a dramatic effect on criminal law in its emphasis on individual rights, and especially those of an accused person. This has compelled the police to be meticulous in their adherence to such procedures as providing information to an accused person, obtaining evidence and conducting searches in a manner sanctioned by statute and precedent law. The principles and purposes of the Charter, its override powers by the state where necessary and appropriate, and the remedies to a Charter breach, are discussed as an integral preface to further criminal law studies.

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