News For This Month: Attorneys

Be Informed of the Canadian Legal System

The common law system of the United Kingdom is the basis of the complex code of the Canadian legal system. All acts of the Canadian law system are highly controlled by the Constitution of Canada in order for it to become enforceable in statute and to remain consistent with this Constitution. Its supreme law however is described as a much more complex process compared to a single document being ratified one time. The Canadian Constitutions has the independent sections that for over years been ratified separately and its acts were passed as simple statues in the legislature and later codified in the Constitution. Additionally, contained in the Supreme Court of Canada is a ruling that the Constitution has to also contain unwritten principles such as federalism, democracy, constitutionalism, the rule of law and respect for minorities.

Under the Canadian Constitution is the Constitution Act of 1847 which is one of the main acts in the Constitution enumerating the powers of the governments under the federal and provincial system. Included in the powers of the federal government are the enforcement of criminal law, immigration enforcement, banking regulation, laws that promote peace and order in the country, and the regulation of trade and commerce in the provinces. On the other hand the provincial governments control the municipal law, civil rights laws, hospital regulation and creation, and government education. It is the Supreme Court of Canada that will analyze questions about the situation, if there are some disputes as to which entity has the right to create a law if need be, and it is the decision of the Supreme Court considered as final and indisputable.

Being the active federal lawmaking entity for the whole nation, the Canadian Parliament has powers that span into three branches of which are the House of Commons, the Canadian Senate, and the monarch. In the case of the role of the monarch in the Parliament, his or her main duty is to grant the Royal Assent which is a passive and very symbolic. The Senate on the other hand can serve the same function when passing the bill. The House of Commons is considered as the most important section of the Parliament, and there are 308 elected representatives in the House who are to be elected and re-elected on an annual basis. Further, the House of Commons also has the responsibility of drafting and ratifying any proposed legislative acts, while the mere granting of assent falls on the Canadian Senate and monarch.

Even if the power to create laws about criminal law enforcement falls on the Canadian Parliament, the provinces are still responsible for each of their administration of provincial criminal courts that operate on the basis of common law.

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