The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the various components of Canadian constitutional law, and to the basic principles necessary to understanding and applying the provisions of the constitution in legal practice. The course begins with an introduction to the nature and sources of the Canadian constitution, followed by an overview of amending procedures, and an introduction to the federal nature of the state and the role of the judiciary in upholding the federal division of legislative powers. The course then engages in an in-depth study of constitutional law in relation to federalism, Aboriginal peoples, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The examination of the federal division of legislative power will begin with general principles of interpretation, and will then focus on a handful of the most important legislative powers, including the federal powers in relation to “peace order and good government” [opening language of s. 91], “trade and commerce” [s. 92(2)], “criminal law” [s. 92(27)], and the provincial power in relation to “property and civil rights”. The course will then examine the federal and provincial powers to pass laws in relation to Aboriginal peoples and lands, and the Aboriginal and treaty rights entrenched in s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The final part of the course will focus on the rights and freedoms protected by the Charter, including freedom of conscience and religion [s.2(a)], freedom of expression [s.2(b)], life, liberty and the security of the person [s.7] and equality rights [s. 15] – as well as the provisions dealing with the application of the Charter [s. 32], reasonable limits [s. 1], the notwithstanding clause [s. 33] and remedies [s. 24, s. 52]. This course is taught in an interactive online format, with regular instructor and classmate interaction. In each section of the course, students will do independent reading, review multimedia content in the course website, and communicate with their instructor(s) and fellow students. Regular group work, problem-based learning, practical exercises, and research and writing assignments will be required at key points during the course. At the conclusion of the course, students will participate in exam review and write an invigilated final exam.

Pre/anti-requisites

Open only to current and prospective NCA candidates.

Pre-requisite: N/A

Anti-requisite: CCLW 6847: Canadian Public and Constitutional Law, CCLW 6841 - Canadian Constitutional Law

NCA equivalence:

Yes - satisfies Canadian Constitutional Law competency

Terms Offered

Winter 23

Video conference only

Course Section: M

6.0 credits

Fall 23

Video conference only

Course Section: A

6.0 credits

Fall 24

Course Section: A

6.0 credits

Winter 24

Course Section: M

6.0 credits

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