Two Major Legal Systems in Canada

Canada`s legal system is pluralistic: its foundations are found in the English common law system (inherited from its time as a colony of the British Empire), the French civil law system (inherited from its French Empire past)[1][2] and the Indigenous legal systems developed by the various Indigenous peoples. Depending on your income, you may be able to get a lawyer for free. This is called legal aid. Each province and territory has a legal aid society. You can also ask an immigrant organization in your city to help you hire a lawyer. Canadian patent law is the legal system that governs the granting of patents in Canada and the enforcement of those rights in Canada. [72] The laws are transmitted by symbolic wampum and are divided into a total of 117 articles. Transmission takes place annually by oral narration of the story of Confederation. This story tells the travels and stories of the Great Peacemaker, Lake Jigonhsa and Hiawatha, when they brought peace to Haudenosaunee land. Through them, governmental structures and legal institutions were created to unite families metaphorically, socially, economically and concretely. As such, nations are conceived as elder 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 flocks, one for each family, but all live as one household under a main mother. They should have meaning and live under a law.

Thought will replace murder, and there will be a policy. [47] The existence of these three distinct legal traditions in modern Canada can be traced back to Canadian history, our Indigenous peoples and Canada`s colonial roots. Aboriginal law has been practised and continues to be practised by the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. The interface between indigenous legal systems and civil and customary law legal systems is complex and evolving. In some aspects of their lives, Aboriginal peoples may be subject to traditional laws and customs, but in others they may be subject to common law or civil law. Some indigenous communities are autonomous; Some are not. Our documents on Aboriginal law and property rights in Canada highlight some key dimensions of the Aboriginal legal system. Nine of the provinces, with the exception of Quebec, and the federal territories follow the common law tradition.

[23] While federal territories apply common law, Indigenous nations and their associated territories do not (see below). Similarly, under provincial court statutes, the courts have the power to apply fairness. At the beginning of the colonial period, “Canada” did not really exist legally. The nation was simply an overseas part of British territory, subject to British law. Things began to change in the late 18th century when Britain allowed its Canadian colonies to have their own parliaments, allowing Canadian politicians to draft some of their own laws for the first time. In 1867, Britain approved the creation of Canada`s Constitution and Canada received many new legislative powers. In 1931, Canada officially ceased to be a colony of Great Britain, and the British Parliament lost its power to pass laws for Canada. The last cord was cut in 1982 when Britain relinquished the power to amend Canada`s constitution.

As a country founded by England, the basic principles of Canadian law are not very different from those governing the legal system of Great Britain, the United States or any other country with a history of British rule. This English tradition states that laws must be clear and rational, that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, that the evidence against him must be of the highest quality, and that the power of the law over the individual is limited by precedent and the Constitution. When there is little or no Canadian decision on a particular legal issue and it becomes necessary to turn to a non-Canadian legal authority, the decisions of the English and American courts 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 authority and considered persuasive and often followed. [27] However, if the disputed legal issue is related to constitutional or privacy issues, U.S. court decisions are more likely to be used by Canadian lawyers, as there is much more jurisdiction in the United States. Both law and English law in these areas. [ref. needed] The Constitution Act, 1867 assigns powers to the provincial and federal governments. Matters under federal jurisdiction include criminal law, commerce and industry, banking and immigration. [11] The federal government also has residual power to pass laws necessary for the “peace, order and good government” of Canada.

[12] One of the most important areas of provincial jurisdiction is property and civil rights, which include broad powers to make laws of a civil nature, such as property law, contract law and family law. Provincial jurisdiction includes other matters such as natural resources, hospitals, communities, education (except education on First Nations reserves). [11] [13] From about 1931 (when Britain stopped legislating for Canada) until 1982, Canadian law operated on a principle known as parliamentary supremacy. According to this concept, there was no higher authority in the Canadian Parliament when it came to deciding what was legal and what was not. Every rule passed by Parliament was the law, and it was. Here is a list of some things you may not know about the legal system in Canada since it is related to criminal law: The majority of Canadian crimes are found in the Canadian Criminal Code, a massive 300,000-word law that is constantly updated as Parliament creates new crimes. Every year, various legal groups publish an updated version of the penal code in book form, which lawyers and laymen can easily search to see what is illegal and what is not. Canadian copyright law governs legally enforceable rights in creative and artistic works under Canadian law. [62] Anishinaabe laws come from a vast body of stories that create a narrative structure from which laws or modes of being (as a community and as an individual) have been interpreted. [41] These stories include stories of Nanabozho and a wide range of other beings and peoples, and the moral implications and practical applications that flow from them. [42] Anishinaabe law has always interacted with the legal systems of other nations, such as the Gdoo-naaganinaa treaty (court with a spoon) with the Haudenosaunee.

[43] Despite Canada`s physical and cultural proximity to the United States, Canadians are quick to point out larger cultural differences, such as free health care in Canada, our penchant for politeness, and our rainbow currency. But many Canadians who grew up with the American film and television regime do not know that our legal systems are very different. Although both the American and Canadian legal systems are based on British common law, there are significant differences in practice. The Revised Statutes of Canada are the legislative consolidation of Acts passed by the Parliament of Canada. In all Canadian provinces, there is a similar codification of the province`s By-laws Act. The Revised Statutes of British Columbia, Revised Statutes of Alberta, Statutes of Manitoba, Revised Statutes of Saskatchewan, 1978, Revised Statutes of New Brunswick, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, Statutes of Prince Edward Island, Consolidated Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador, Revised Statutes of Ontario and Revised Statutes of Quebec are the legal consolidations of each Canadian province. They contain all the major issues and most of the laws passed by the provincial governments. These laws in these provinces do not contain criminal law because criminal law in Canada is an exclusive jurisdiction of the federal Parliament, which has enacted the Criminal Code contained in the revised statutes of Canada.

Canada has three distinct legal traditions: common law, civil law and Aboriginal law. Common law, derived from English law, is a body of law based on judicial precedent and custom. It differs from legal law, which is written law, as established by laws that express the will of the legislator. Civil law is based solely on codified law, which is a comprehensive set of rules such as the Civil Code of Quebec or the Criminal Code of Canada. Many of them are formulated as general principles for the settlement of disputes that may arise.