Legal History

Course Code: PLBA 2000

Academic Year: 2022-2023

This course examines the development of the English common law in Ontario and the other common law provinces and the recognition of the French civil law in Quebec. The sources of constitutional law in Canada are identified, followed by the contentious history of constitutional amendments. The distribution of legislative powers under the Constitution Act, 1867 to 1982, is examined together with the role of the Privy Council and the Supreme Court of Canada in interpreting these powers and shaping federalism in Canada. The origins of the Canadian Criminal Code are contrasted with the common law approach in England. The evolution of the court system in Ontario is explored together with legislative modifications to the common law that reflect current norms and values. Special attention is given to the evolving recognition of aboriginal rights and the emergence of women's rights in the Canadian context.