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blaw03a - Elements of Law Part One Part I The Canadian...

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Elements of Law - Part One © 2007 Captus Press Inc. 1 © 2007 Captus Press Inc. Part I The Canadian Legal System And How It Works Unit 3 The Canadian Legal System © 2007 Captus Press Inc. Module 1 The Development of the Court System
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Elements of Law - Part One © 2007 Captus Press Inc. 2 Common Characteristics of Canadian, U.S, and English Courts Higher court judges in all 3 systems are appointed by the political executive, The courts interpret and apply and develop the case law that makes up the common law, and interpret and apply legislation. Judges once appointed are independent—their salaries and their tenure are protected There is a hierarchy of courts, ranging from superior courts with broad jurisdiction, to lower courts with a narrower jurisdiction There is a distinction between trial courts, sometimes called courts of first instance, and appeal courts which review decisions made in the trial courts. Common Characteristics of Canadian, U.S, and English Courts (cont’d) Judges do not train for careers as judges; rather they become judges as a mid career move. All 3 systems place a high value on judicial independence, objectivity and rationality in applying and interpreting the law Judges are expected to stay out of politics and out of the public eye. Removal of judges from the courts is very difficult, and can be done only for very serious misconduct
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Elements of Law - Part One © 2007 Captus Press Inc. 3 Differences between Canadian, U.S. and English courts Judges are not elected in the English and Canadian system but lower court judges in the U.S. are elected Judges in England and Canada are appointed directly by the Executive. There is no guarantee in Canada that the appointment process will be public. In the United States, as part of a checks-and- balances governmental system, the Senate reviews the judicial appointment of higher court judges, and may reject an appointment by the President. Differences between Canadian, U.S. and English courts (cont’d) British courts interpret law, but they cannot invalidate legislation passed by Parliament.
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