Canadian Law Course Descriptions

Global Professional Master of Laws in Canadian Law in a Global Context

 CORE COURSES

Foundations of Canadian Law 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to and overview of Canada's legal system and the role of law in Canadian society.  Topics considered will include the overarching legal framework, sources of legal authority, separation of powers, the role of international law, the nature and function of common law reasoning and judicial review, and selected issues relating to law and Aboriginal peoples. 

Professional Responsibility 

This course examines the fundamental concepts of professional responsibility for members of the Canadian legal profession. While the regulation of lawyers in Canada is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, the course will use as national models the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Code of Professional Conduct and the Canadian Bar Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, which function as the national standards for professional legal conduct in Canada. Topics covered will include the legal landscape in Canada, the conduct and responsibilities of lawyers within that landscape, and how to identify and address professional issues that arise in practice. 

Canadian Administrative Law

Administrative law regulates the ways in which government operates, establishing rules and limits that apply not only to the operations of the Crown, Cabinets, Ministers, government departments, and municipal corporations but also to the various administrative tribunals and agencies deployed by governments for the carrying out of governmental functions of all kinds. This course will focus on the circumstances under which government decision-makers are subject to an obligation of procedural fairness, the content of that obligation, the extent to which decisions are subject to judicial review and the principles and standards involved, and the remedial framework within which courts exercise their powers, including monetary compensation for wrongful administrative action.           

Canadian Constitutional Law          

This course addresses the nature and sources of the Constitution, the distribution of legislative powers, principles of interpretation, specific powers (including property and civil rights, trade and commerce, peace, order and good government, and criminal law), and the rights and freedoms outlined in the Canadian Constitution, including freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and religion, life, liberty and security of the person, equality rights, language rights, and Aboriginal rights. 

Canadian Criminal Law        

This course will examine essential aspects of criminal law, including sources and types of offences, elements of offences and particular issues such as intention, knowledge, consent, causation, and omissions. Other topics to be addressed will include extensions of criminal liability such as aiding and abetting, counselling, attempts and corporate liability, and defences such as mental disorder, intoxication, necessity, duress, provocation and entrapment. Finally, the course will consider issues relating to the criminal justice process, sentencing and appeals. 

 

ELECTIVE COURSES 

Property Law

This course is designed to teach the fundamental principles of the law affecting real property as applied in the common law jurisdictions in Canada. The course will introduce students to the concepts that lawyers use in dealing with competing interests in land, chattels and other forms of wealth. The concept of "property" is examined as are the concepts of possession and ownership, and the consequences flowing from these concepts. Adverse possession, finders, bailment, gift, estates, easements, appropriation of personality, and intellectual property are among the other topics which will be covered. 

Tort Law

The law of torts deals with the sorts of disputes which arise when one person has caused injury or property loss to another. Different theoretical perspectives on tort law will be analyzed in the course and some consideration given to alternative methods of compensating for personal injuries. 

Contract Law

This course examines the enforcement of promises and agreements. The matters considered include the requirements of enforceability, remedies for breach, the effect of contracts on third parties, the effect of writing, and excuses for non-performance. These excuses include unfairness, unexpected circumstances, and public policy. 

Business Organizations

This course is concerned with the law of business corporations. Students will be introduced to the three most common forms of organization through which business activity is carried on, including proprietorships, partnerships and corporations of various kinds, and the contracts between the forms of companies, partnerships and proprietorships. The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of corporate law in light of the current statutory regimes and evolving case law. Particular emphasis will be placed on the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers, and their relationship to the shareholders. 

Applied Legal Research and Writing 

This course will teach students how to perform basic legal research, understand legal reasoning and analysis, and draft a select number of legal documents, including a legal memorandum. Throughout the course, students will work independently or in small groups to complete a variety of legal research and writing exercises – many of which are consistent with the types of research and writing they will be expected to perform in law firms, government departments, and other legal environments. Students will also have the opportunity to practice and refine their oral advocacy skills.