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Laws and Their Laws

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Part A: Definitions (10/23)

1. Secure custody- Custody in a place designed for secure containment or restraint of young persons

2. Mens rea- The guilty mind; mental component of criminal conduct

3. Automatism- The state in which a person is unaware of what he or she is doing-unconscious, involuntary behaviour

4. Positive law- Law based on human authority, such as political leaders or lawmakers

5. Aggravating circumstances- Factors increasing the seriousness of conduct

6. Mitigating circumstances- Factors decreasing seriousness of conduct

7. Felonies- Major crime, such as treason or murder

8. Misdemeanours- Petty transgressions, such as trespassing

9. Recognizance- A promise made to the police or court by an accused to pay a certain amount of money if he or she fails to appear for fingerprinting or in court

10. Community service order- An order requiring an accused to perform a specified number of hours of work in a community service program, usually a charitable program

11. Plea Bargaining- A process resulting in an agreement between the defence and prosecution in which some charges are dropped or reduced in return for a plea of guilty

12. Civil liability- A person's legal responsibility to pay monetary compensation to another who has suffered a loss because of a violation of private law

13. Natural law- An ideal, enduring, and universal moral order that is independent of human will, habits, or political decrees

14. Criminal attempt- An attempt to carry out a crime whether or not it was possible under the circumstances to commit the offence

15. Voir dire- (To speak the truth) A trial within the main trial to determine the admissibility of statements or other evidence

Part B: Constitutional Concepts

1) Parliamentary supremacy-

a) Parliament/legislature has right to make or unmake any law. These officials are elected by Canadian citizens

b) Parliament/legislature is also responsible to uphold these laws

2) Responsible government

a) A government is responsible to make laws, and if unhappy, we can elect new people

b) Canadians make laws through officials they elect

3) Rule of law

a) One of most important unwritten parts of law making, based off three concepts

i) Everyone gets a say (their day in court)

ii) We have the right to expect that judge or official is able to make a right decision

iii) We can expect this decision to be fair/just

b) This should not just apply in court, rather anywhere a decision is made

Part D: Short Answers (2/4)

1) Outline what is meant by jurisprudence

a) The science of law that deals with the investigation of concepts, notions and principles of legal thought

b) Allows us to

i) Understand court decisions, statutes and legal institutions

ii) Understand society's attitude towards the law

iii) Gives us the tools to predict the future path of our legal thinking

2) Negative and positive aspects of an entrenched Charter of Rights and Freedom

a) Pierre Trudeau believed as Locke did, that individuals have the basic right to life, liberty, and property, and that these rights supersede any government authority

b) Concerns were raised that the Charter would transfer ultimate legal authority from the legislature to the judiciary

c) Therefore, control of law would change from elected officials to appointed jurists who were unanswerable for their decisions

d) Others argued that the judiciary provided an effective counterbalance to the legislative branch of the government

Part E: Essays (2/3)

7 Defences

1) Automatism

a) A state where people are unaware that they are committing a crime

b) Only a voluntary act can be considered criminal

c) As a result, unconscious acts do not constitute the full Actus Reus of a crime

d) Automatism is not the same as insanity, however

e) The best definition for Automatism



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