CRIM 230 Criminal Law in Canada
This course introduces students to the nature, purpose, scope, sources and basic principles of criminal law in Canada. Topics include such fundamental legal concepts as mens rea, negligence, and strict liability. Students will learn how to read sections of the Criminal Code of Canada to determine the basic elements of a criminal offence-the elements that must be established for an individual to be convicted of a crime. Legal principles relating to specific crimes, such as first degree murder and break and enter, will be covered. Major defences to criminal charges will be discussed with particular attention being given to the defence of not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder. These topics will be discussed against the larger philosophical background of analysis of the concept of criminal responsibility in Canada. In addition, students will be asked to examine critically the legislative policies expressed in the Criminal Code. Issues of particular concern will be access to justice and changes to the practice of criminal law intended to accommodate First Nations principles of justice. The impact on criminal law of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be discussed.
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