browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Understanding Canadian Law, University/College Prep (CLU3M)

A – The Inquiry Process and Skill Development in Legal Studies

A1 – The Inquiry Process in Legal Studies

– formulate different types of questions to guide investigations into law and legal issues in Canada

– select and organize relevant evidence and information from primary and secondary sources

– assess the credibility of sources relevant to their investigations

– interpret and analyse legal issues using evidence and information relevant to their investigations and a variety of tools and strategies, and taking into account relevant legal theories and ethical and equity concerns

– use the concepts of legal thinking when analysing, evaluating evidence about, and formulating conclusions and/or judgements regarding legal issues

– evaluate and synthesize their findings to formulate conclusions and/or make informed judgements or predictions about legal issues they are investigating

– communicate their ideas, arguments, and conclusions using various formats and styles, as appropriate for the audience and purpose

– use accepted forms of documentation

– use terminology appropriate to the audience and purpose when communicating the results of their investigations

A2 – Developing Transferable Skills

– describe ways in which investigations related to law can help them develop skills, including the essential skills in the Ontario Skills Passport

– apply in everyday contexts skills and work habits developed through and relevant to the study of law

– use the concepts of legal thinking when analysing current events related to legal issues in order to enhance their understanding of these events and their role as informed citizens

– identify careers in which a law background might be useful


B – Legal Foundations

B1 – Legal Principles

– explain categories of law and the role of law in Canadian society

– explain the fundamental principles of justice in Canada and their significance in the legal system, including the rule of law, parliamentary supremacy, the presumption of innocence, the principle of equality before the law, the right of habeas corpus, elements in establishing degrees of liability

– describe the structure of the Canadian court system, including the function and status of each court within the hierarchy of the legal system

B2 – Legal Heritage

– describe how early legal systems have influenced Canadian law

– explain the relationship between Roman law and codes of law developed from it

– analyse how legislation of the past influenced Canada’s Constitution (1982)

B3 – Legal Roles and Responsibilities

– describe the roles of the three branches of government (i.e., executive, legislative, judicial) in the Canadian legal system and how the roles are interrelated

– explain the legal significance of some key aspects of the Canadian Constitution

– analyse the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the role and influence of the judiciary in Canada’s legal system

– identify the roles and responsibilities of various individuals and groups within the Canadian justice system

B4 – Development of Law

– explain how evolving societal attitudes and values have promoted or prevented changes to Canadian law

– evaluate the responsiveness of Canadian legislation to societal issues raised by developments in science and technology

– explain how points of view and issues associated with diverse groups and individuals have influenced the development of law in Canada

– describe how legislation and recent landmark cases relating to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples have influenced the circumstances of Aboriginal people and the interpretation of Aboriginal rights in Canada


C – Rights and Freedoms

C1 – Human Rights

– identify the protections provided by the Charter and provincial and federal human rights codes and explain their significance

– describe historical and contemporary barriers to the equal enjoyment of human rights in Canada and the laws intended to help people overcome such barriers

– describe the legal instruments and procedures available for resolving complaints regarding human rights violations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Charter, and the Canadian Human Rights Act

C2 – Development of Human Rights Law

– explain the concepts of justice, equity, and inclusiveness and the ways in which they influence human rights law in Ontario and Canada

– analyse how various social factors have contributed to change over time in Canadian human rights law

– analyse and describe how the actions of various individuals and groups have contributed to the development of human rights law in Canada

– analyse landmark cases related to human rights law in Canada and assess their significance

C3 – Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms

– explain the significance for human rights in Canada of historical and contemporary laws and judicial and other inquiries/commissions

– assess from a legal perspective the differences between the rights protections entrenched in the Constitution Act, 1982, and the rights protection afforded by earlier legislation such as the Canadian Bill of Rights

– explain how human rights legislation and the courts attempt to balance minority and majority rights

C4 – Legal Limitations of Human Rights

– analyse from a legal perspective situations in which a right or freedom may be limited in Canadian law

– evaluate the legal arguments used to justify laws limiting individual rights and freedoms or institutional and/or police powers


D – Civil Law

D1 – Introduction to Tort Law  

– describe the legally accepted defences for some key intentional torts

– explain the function of the various legal processes, courts, and alternative procedures involved in settling civil disputes, and the remedies available for enforcing a judgement

– describe the legal status and/or function of specific individuals and groups that may be participants in a civil law dispute

– explain the legal reasoning behind various legal decisions involving torts

D2 – Introduction to Family Law

– describe the definitions of a valid marriage and a common-law relationship in family law as established by federal and provincial law and recent court rulings and explain their legal implications for the partners in a marital or alternative partnership

– the legal differences in the ways a marriage can be dissolved and the procedures available for resolving disputes arising from each of these circumstances

– explain the differences between the legal rights of married spouses and the rights of common-law partners in Ontario upon the dissolution of the marriage or common-law partnership

– analyse how changing societal values and legal decisions have promoted or prevented changes in family law in Canada

D3 – Introduction to Employment Law

– identify the areas of federal and provincial jurisdiction in employment law and explain the key reasons for the distinction between them

– explain the difference in Canadian law between “employment law” and “labour law”

– describe issues related to the protection of employees’ rights and the legal avenues and processes for adjudicating disputes and enforcing regulations related to employment conditions

– analyse from a legal perspective the roles and responsibilities of employers, employees, and governments in employment law

– analyse issues related to contract negotiations between employers and organized labour (i.e., federations, unions) and how these issues have influenced the development of labour law in Canada

D4 – Introduction to Contract Law

– explain the legal significance of the main elements of a legal contract

– explain from a legal perspective the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties involved in a contract

– explain from a legal perspective the types of penalties that may be imposed or damages that may be awarded in an action for breach of contract

– explain the legal implications of various types of contracts and describe ways in which contract law may need to be updated to respond to changing conditions


E – Criminal Laq

E1 – Foundations of Criminal Law  

– explain the legal meaning of key terms used to describe the elements of a crime and different types of crime

– describe some summary and indictable offences identified in the Criminal Code of Canada, and their related penalties

– explain the philosophical principles and legal reasoning underlying the laws dealing with youth crime and the administration of justice for youth in Canada

E2 – Legal Processes and Procedures 

– describe the requirements associated with the process of bringing an accused person to trial, including procedural variations related to the nature of the alleged crime

– describe the processes and the roles of key participants involved in a criminal trial and explain how the various elements are related to one another

– explain how various sentencing options are related to the purpose of the sentence

– describe the legal reasons/grounds for granting an appeal in criminal cases and the available avenues for an appeal

– describe the sentencing options for young people who contravene the existing youth criminal law and the factors that influence which option is chosen

E3 – Criminal Justice System

– assess from a legal perspective how well the rights of various parties are protected in the Canadian criminal justice system

– identify the purposes of sentencing and assess the effectiveness of the Canadian prison system in achieving those purposes

– identify some contemporary and emerging challenges that people face in dealing with law enforcement, including those that police face in carrying out their responsibilities and evaluate their ability to respond to these challenges

– analyse how the media influence society’s perceptions and expectations related to the criminal justice system and legal procedures and trends

E4 – Development of Criminal Law

– identify defences that, over time, have become legally accepted under Canadian criminal law and explain the factors influencing their acceptance

– assess, from a legal perspective, how various individuals, groups, and cases have influenced the development of Canadian criminal law

– assess the significance of cases in which legal rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been invoked in an effort to change the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada