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Family Law in Canada

Family law is critical to most Canadians as it governs relationships between spouses, and between parents and their children. In family law, marriage and divorce fall under federal jurisdiction but most other issues, including adoption and matrimonial property disputes, fall under provincial laws that vary widely. Traditional family structures have changed significantly over time, with increasing numbers of same-sex and common law relationships, and growing divorce rates. This has led to intense debates over the future of family law, court challenges and provincial reviews of legislation.

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Impaired Driving

Impaired driving, also known as drunken driving, driving while impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI), has been a serious social problem as far back as the beginning of this century, when social scientists took note of the often deadly combination of alcohol and motor vehicles.

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Patriation Reference

The Patriation Reference, formally known as Re: Resolution to Amend the Constitution, was a reference case of the Supreme Court of Canada. On 28 September 1981, the court decided that it was legal for the federal government to patriateand amend Canada’s Constitution without the consent of the provincial governments. But it also found that to do so in areas that affect provincial powers would be a breach of constitutional convention. The court’s decision concluded that such conventions are of great significance. In the words of the court, “Constitutional convention plus constitutional law equal the total constitution of the country.”

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Civil Defence

The development of nuclear weapons and the COLD WAR in the 1940s and 1950s forced Canadians to consider even more extensive measures.

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International Law

International law is the body of rules that governs the conduct of STATES and other international associations, such as the UN, although in the human rights area international law, in some instances, may be directly applicable to individuals as well as to states.

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Torts in Canada

​Tort law provides compensation for people who have been injured, or whose property has been damaged by the wrongdoing of others.

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Landlord and Tenant Law

Landlord and tenant law, governed by provincial statutes and judge-made law, varies considerably from province to province. Essentially, a landlord and tenant relationship is contractual (see CONTRACT LAW).

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Copyright Law

Copyright law is included in what is commonly known as the law of intellectual and industrial property. This branch of law also includes PATENTS, TRADEMARKS and the law of industrial designs.

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Sexual Assault

Until it was amended in 1982 the Criminal Code contained the offence of rape. The offence required proof that a man had sexual intercourse with a woman other than his wife without the woman's consent. It was punishable by up to life imprisonment.

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Civil Procedure

Civil procedure, the body of law concerning the prescribed methods of resolving disputes through litigation (see Civil Law). "Civil" distinguishes this body of law from criminal procedure, which concerns the methods of prosecuting criminal offences.

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Section 98 Criminal Code

Section 98 was an offence in the CRIMINAL CODE of Canada from 1919 to 1936. The section was drafted in 1919 in response to the general labour unrest in the country, which culminated in the WINNIPEG GENERAL STRIKE.

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White-Collar Crime

White-Collar Crime consists of occupational crime and corporate crime. Occupational crime refers to offences committed against legitimate institutions (businesses or government) by those with "respectable" social status.

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Homicide

International homicide statistics are generally unreliable and always outdated, but Canada usually ranks at the lower end among similar nations. In 1996, for example, Canada's rate of 2.1 per 100 000 population ranked above Japan (1.0), Sweden (1.1) and England (1.

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Defamation in Canada

Defamation law protects an individual's reputation and good name. It also restricts freedom of speech. Therefore, courts must carefully balance these two important values in deciding defamation actions.

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Corporation Law

A corporation is an artificial entity created by or under the laws of a state. Corporation law (also referred to as company law) is the body of law that governs the formation, governance and dissolution of corporations. The corporation is the dominant form of business organization in Canada.

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Duty to Consult

The duty to consult is a statutory, contractual and common law obligation that must be fulfilled by the Crown prior to taking actions or making decisions that may have consequences for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The duty to consult has been affirmed and clarified by various Supreme Court of Canada rulings, such the Haida case (2004) and the Beckman v. Little Salmon/Carmacks case (2010). The duty to consult is considered by many to be an important step toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.