University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law is the law school at the University of Ottawa, located in Ottawa, Canada, the nation's capital. Established in 1953, the faculty is today divided into civil law and common law sections, the two formally recognized legal traditions in Canada; the faculty is highly rated and maintains close links with the legal communities in Quebec and abroad. The faculty of law is home to two respected bilingual law journals, one produced by the civil law section and the other produced by the common law section; the law school has produced a diverse array of successful alumni. In addition to the dean of the Civil Law Section at the University of Ottawa, the deans of the Robson Hall Faculty of Law, the Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of Law, the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law have all obtained at least one law degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law; as the largest law school in Canada, uOttawa Law touts the advantages of its wide range of program offerings and opportunities, including proximity to federal agencies and courts, such as the Supreme Court of Canada and the Parliament of Canada.
The law school was established in 1953 on the initiative of Gerald Fauteux, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. It began as an civil law faculty, designed to train lawyers who would enter the Quebec legal system in order to practice in the Outaouais region just across the Ottawa River. In 1957, the faculty began training students in the common law as well. Graduate programs were introduced that same year by the civil law section. Although the school has had since 1970 a system in which students enrolled in either of the common or civil law sections could receive accreditation in the other legal system, it was not until 1994 that this system was formalized into the National Program. In doing so, the faculty became one of the first in Canada to offer bi-juridical training in both the common law and civil law; the faculty of law's current building, Fauteux Hall, was named in honour of Gerald Fauteux and was constructed in 1973. During the 2006 fall semester, University of Ottawa president Gilles Patry announced that Fauteux Hall would undergo extensive renovations in 2009.
Due to funding cutbacks, a new law building expansion was cancelled. Construction of the Ian G. Scott Courtroom, a functional courtroom where sitting judges hear regular cases, was completed across the street from the main Faculty of Law building. In the Common Law Section, applicants are expected to have completed a three-to-four-year undergraduate degree. Acceptance to the common law program is competitive. Successful applicants have an A- undergraduate grade point average and a competitive LSAT score; the program requires a personal statement, two reference letters, claims to use a holistic admissions approach, taking into account a variety of factors including work experience, prior education, other exceptional circumstances. According to the Faculty of Law's website, the English-language common law program received 3469 applications in 2009, of which 280 were admitted; the French-language common law program, including the Programme de droit canadien, admits up to 80 new students each year.
In the Civil Law Section, which teaches the legal tradition practised in Quebec, applicants need only have obtained a Diploma of Collegial Studies before applying. The Civil Law Section's requirements are considered to be less stringent than those of the Common Law Section, since applicants are assessed only based on the previous post-secondary grades they received in college or university. A minimum A- average is now required for admission from university; the language of instruction depends on the program. In compliance with university policy, all written work may be submitted in either language, with the exception of the French common law program, in which all written and oral work must be submitted in French. Graduates of the common law section receive the Juris Doctor degree, while civil law graduates receive the Licentiate in Law degree. On May 3, 2010, the Senate of the University approved a motion to change the designation of the common law degree from LL. B. to J. D.. The Faculty of Law offers Master of Laws and Doctor of Laws degrees in both sections.
The following is a list of several joint programs offered by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law: The bilingual Programme de droit canadien allows only 18 to 20 students a year to earn a J. D. and a LL. L. degree in three years. The National Program allows students in either common law or civil law to separately complete a degree in the other legal system in four years; the dual J. D. program is a combined Canadian-American legal program offered in conjunction with either the Michigan State University College of Law or the Washington College of Law at American University. The J. D./MBA program is a combined law–busine
Law of Canada
The Canadian legal system has its foundation in the English common law system, inherited from being a former colony of the United Kingdom and a Commonwealth Realm member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The legal system is bi-jurisdictional, as the responsibilities of public and private law are separated and exercised by Parliament and the provinces respectively. Quebec, still retains a civil system for issues of private law. Both legal systems are subject to the Constitution of Canada; the federal government has jurisdiction over certain exclusive domains which are regulated by Parliament, as well as all matters and disputes between provinces. These include interprovincial transport as well as interprovincial trade and commerce; the criminal law is an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction, has its origins in the English common law. Prosecutions of most criminal offences are conducted by the provincial Attorneys General, acting under the Criminal Code. Canada's constitution is its supreme law, any law passed by any federal, provincial, or territorial government, inconsistent with the constitution is invalid.
The Constitution Act, 1982 stipulates that Canada's constitution includes that act, a series of thirty acts and orders referred to in a schedule to that act, any amendment to any of those acts. However, the Supreme Court of Canada has found that this list is not intended to be exhaustive, in 1998's Reference re Secession of Quebec identified four "supporting principles and rules" that are included as unwritten elements of the constitution: federalism, constitutionalism and the rule of law, respect for minorities. While these principles are an enforceable part of Canada's constitution, Canadian courts have not used them to override the written text of the constitution, instead confining their role to "filling gaps"; because the Constitution Act, 1867 provides that Canada's constitution is "similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom", considered to be an uncodified constitution, the Supreme Court has recognized the existence of constitutional conventions. In 1981's Reference re a Resolution to amend the Constitution, the Court provided three factors necessary for the existence of a constitutional convention: a practice or agreement developed by political actors, a recognition that they are bound to follow that practice or agreement, a purpose for that practice or agreement.
It found that, while these conventions are not law and are therefore unenforceable by the courts, courts may recognize conventions in their rulings. The Constitution Act, 1867 assigns powers to the provincial and federal governments. Matters under federal jurisdiction include criminal law and commerce, immigration; the federal government has the residual power to make laws necessary for Canada's "peace and good government". Matters under provincial jurisdiction include hospitals, municipalities and property and civil rights; the Constitution Act, 1867 provides that, while provinces establish their own superior courts, the federal government appoints their judges. It gives the federal Parliament the right to establish a court system responsible for federal law and a general court of appeal to hear appeals of decisions of both federal and provincial courts; this last power resulted in the federal Parliament's creation of the Supreme Court of Canada, which is, despite its role as supreme arbiter of all Canadian law, a creation of simple, rather than constitutional, statute.
The Constitution Act, 1982 created a mechanism by which Canada's constitution could be amended by joint action of federal and provincial governments. It created the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which grants individual rights which may not be contravened by any provincial or federal law. Acts passed by the Parliament of Canada and by provincial legislatures are the primary sources of law in Canada. Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 enumerate the subject matters upon which either level of government may legitimately enact legislation. Laws passed by the federal government are announced in the Canada Gazette, a published newspaper for new statutes and regulations. Federal bills that receive Royal Assent are subsequently published in the Annual Statutes of Canada. From time to time, the federal government will consolidate its current laws into a single consolidation of law known as the Revised Statutes of Canada; the most recent federal consolidation was in 1985. Laws passed by the provinces follow a similar practice.
The Acts are pronounced in a provincial gazette, published annually and consolidated from time to time. The Revised Statutes of Canada is the federal statutory consolidation of statutes enacted by the Parliament of Canada. In each Canadian province, there is a similar consolidation of the statute law of the province; the Revised Statutes of British Columbia, Revised Statutes of Alberta, Statutes of Manitoba, Revised Statutes of Saskatchewan, 1978, Revised Statutes of New Brunswick, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, Statutes of Prince Edward Island, Consolidated Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador, Revised Statutes of Ontario, Revised Statutes of Quebec are the statutory consolidations of each Canadian province. They contain all of the major topic areas and most of the statutes enacted by the governments in each province; these statutes
Statutes of Canada
The Statutes of Canada consists of the compilation of all the federal laws of Canada passed by the Parliament of Canada since Confederation in 1867. The Revised Statutes of Canada is the consolidation of the statutes of Canada incorporating amendments and acts that have been added since the last revision, thus far there have been six revisions: in 1886, 1906, 1927, 1952, 1970, 1985. The Statutes of Canada are its own legal code, they are the federal legal code of Canada that contains the federal laws and statutes enacted by the Parliament of Canada, are enacted into their own unified code. The Statutes of Canada are organized by alphabetical order and are updated and amended by the Government of Canada from time to time. Canada Gazette CanLII RSC 1886, volume 1 RSC 1886, volume 2
The Canada Gazette is the official newspaper of the Government of Canada. It was first published on October 2, 1841. While it published all acts of the Parliament of Canada, it also published treaties and tribunals, proclamations and regulations, various other official notices as required. At one time it contained information on bankruptcies, it has been administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Queen's Printer since 1841. The Gazette is most read to find new acts and proclamations. While not always read by the public, publication in the Gazette is considered official notice to all Canadians. After a regulation has been approved by the Privy Council Office and the Cabinet of Canada, the regulation is published in the Gazette. If a regulation has not been published in the Gazette, a person cannot be convicted of the offence. Canada's provinces all have their own equivalents of the Gazette. From inception in 1841 until 1998, the Gazette was published in print. From 1998 until 1 April 2014, it was published in print and online, with the online version having the same official status as the printed version starting in 2003.
Since 1 April 2014, it has only be published online to satisfy a Government of Canada requirement to make "electronic publishing its new standard for all documents". Structurally, the Gazette is published in three parts: Part, it contains public notices, official appointments and proposed regulations, as well as miscellaneous notices from the private sector that are required to be published by federal statute or by regulations. The proposed regulations are published in Part I as a way for the public to comment on them. Once the regulations are pre-published, the department that sponsored the legislation collects public comments to allow for any changes to be made to the regulation. Notices of Vacancies for senior positions in Government are published here too. Part II is published every second Wednesday and it contains all regulations that have been enacted as well as statutory instruments and other documents, such as orders in council and proclamations, it has a consolidated index of regulations dating since January 1, 1955.
Part III is published with the text of any new laws after they have received Royal Assent and was first published in 1974. Starting from January 1998 all publications other than Part III are available in HTML and are not official. From April 1, 2003, the PDF version is an official version, as it is marked up from the same file as the printed version, it contains a list of the proclamations of Canada and orders in council relating to the coming into force of federal acts. Certain types of regulations do not need to be published in the Gazette; these include regulations that affect only a limited number of people, their publication would be contrary to national defense or international relations, or if their publication would violate personal privacy, such as notices of paroles and pardons. List of government gazettes Official website Canada Gazette 1841 - 1997 Canada Gazette June 1868 - December 1878
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the national capital. The body consists of the Canadian monarch, represented by the Governor General; each element has its own officers and organization. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate and monarch opposing its will; the Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and the monarch or viceroy provides royal assent to make bills into law. The Governor General summons and appoints the 105 senators on the advice of the Prime Minister, while the 338 members of the House of Commons—called members of parliament —each represent an electoral district referred to as a riding, are directly elected by Canadian voters; the Governor General summons Parliament, while either the viceroy or monarch can prorogue or dissolve Parliament, the latter in order to call a general election. Either will read the Throne Speech; the most recent Parliament, summoned by Governor General David Johnston in 2015, is the 42nd since Confederation.
The Parliament of Canada is composed of three parts: the monarch, the Senate, the House of Commons. Each work in conjunction within the legislative process; this format was inherited from the United Kingdom and is a near-identical copy of the parliament at Westminster, the greatest differences stemming from situations unique to Canada, such as the impermanent nature of the monarch's residency in the country and the lack of a peerage to form the upper chamber. Only those who sit in the House of Commons are called members of parliament. Though legislatively less powerful, senators take higher positions in the national order of precedence. No individual may serve in more than one chamber at the same time; the sovereign's place in the legislature, formally called the Queen-in-Parliament, is defined by the Constitution Act, 1867, various conventions. Neither she nor her viceroy, participates in the legislative process, save for signifying the Queen's approval to a bill passed by both houses of parliament, known as the granting of Royal Assent, necessary for a bill to be enacted as law.
All federal bills thus begin with the phrase "Now, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows..." and, as such, the Crown is immune from acts of parliament unless expressed otherwise in the act itself. The governor general will perform the task of granting Royal Assent, though the monarch may do so, at the request of either the Cabinet or the viceroy, who may defer assent to the sovereign as per the constitution; as both the monarch and his or her representatives are traditionally barred from the House of Commons, any parliamentary ceremonies in which they are involved take place in the Senate chamber. The upper and lower houses do, each contain a mace, which indicates the authority of the Queen-in-Parliament and the privilege granted to that body by her, both bearing a crown at their apex; the original mace for the Senate was that used in the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada after 1849, while that of the House of Commons was inherited from the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, first used in 1845.
Following the burning of the Centre Block on 3 February 1916, the City of London, donated a replacement, still used today. The temporary mace, made of wood, used until the new one arrived from the United Kingdom in 1917, is still carried into the Senate each 3 February; the Senate's 1.6-metre-long mace comprises gold. The Senate may not sit. Members of the two houses of parliament must express their loyalty to the sovereign and defer to her authority, as the Oath of Allegiance must be sworn by all new parliamentarians before they may take their seats. Further, the official opposition is formally called Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, to signify that, though they may be opposed to the incumbent Cabinet's policies, they remain dedicated to the apolitical Crown; the upper house of the Parliament of Canada, the Senate, is a group of 105 individuals appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister. Senators served for life until 1965, when a constitutional amendment imposed a mandatory retirement age of 75.
Senators may, resign their seats prior to that mark, can lose their position should they fail to attend two consecutive sessions of parliament. The Senate is divided amongst four geographic regions: 24 for Ontario, 24 for Quebec, 24 for the Maritimes, 24 for the Western provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador, which became a Canadian province in 1949, is represented by six senators, is not part of a senatorial division. Further, Canada's three territories—the Northwest Territories and Nunavut—are allocated one senator each. An additio
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others, a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been rare since the eighteenth century. Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general signs a bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of their agreement to the bill.
Before the Royal Assent by Commission Act 1541 became law, assent was always required to be given by the sovereign in person before Parliament. The last time royal assent was given by the sovereign in person in Parliament was in the reign of Queen Victoria at a prorogation on 12 August 1854; the Act was repealed and replaced by the Royal Assent Act 1967. However section 1 of that Act does not prevent the sovereign from declaring assent in person if he or she so desires. Royal assent is the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law. Once a bill is presented to the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, he or she has the following formal options: the sovereign may grant royal assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament; the sovereign may delay the bill's assent through the use of his or her reserve powers, thereby vetoing the bill. The sovereign may refuse royal assent on the advice of her ministers; the last bill, refused assent by the sovereign was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne's reign in 1708.
Under modern constitutional conventions, the sovereign acts on, in accordance with, the advice of his or her ministers. However, there is some disagreement among scholars as to whether the monarch should withhold royal assent to a bill if advised to do so by her ministers. Since these ministers most enjoy the support of parliament and obtain the passage of bills, it is improbable that they would advise the sovereign to withhold assent. Hence, in modern practice, the issue has never arisen, royal assent has not been withheld; the sovereign is believed not to have the power to withhold assent from a bill against the advice of ministers. Legislative power was exercised by the sovereign acting on the advice of the Curia regis, or Royal Council, in which important magnates and clerics participated and which evolved into parliament. In 1265, the Earl of Leicester irregularly called a full parliament without royal authorisation. Membership of the so-called Model Parliament, established in 1295 under Edward I included bishops, earls, two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough.
The body came to be divided into two branches: bishops, abbots and barons formed the House of Lords, while the shire and borough representatives formed the House of Commons. The King would seek the consent of both houses before making any law. During Henry VI's reign, it became regular practice for the two houses to originate legislation in the form of bills, which would not become law unless the sovereign's assent was obtained, as the sovereign was, still remains, the enactor of laws. Hence, all Acts include the clause "Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, by the authority of the same, as follows...". The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 provide a second potential preamble if the House of Lords were to be excluded from the process; the power of parliament to pass bills was thwarted by monarchs. Charles I dissolved parliament in 1629, after it passed motions and bills critical of—and seeking to restrict—his arbitrary exercise of power.
During the eleven years of personal rule that followed, Charles performed dubious actions such as raising taxes without Parliament's approval. After the English Civil War, it was accepted that parliament should be summoned to meet but it was still commonplace for monarchs to refuse royal assent to bills. In 1678, Charles II withheld his assent from a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days," suggesting that he, not parliament, should control the militia; the last Stuart monarch, Anne withheld on 11 March 1708, on the advice of her ministers, her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. No monarch has since withheld royal assent on a bill passed by the British parliament. During the rule of the succeeding Hanoverian dynasty, power was exercised more by parliament and the government; the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, relied on his ministers to a greater extent than had previous monarchs. Hanoverian monarchs attempted to restore royal control over legislation: G