345-102-MQ, Perspectives on Justice
The course is based on the premise that the concept of justice is viewed from different perspectives. As a concept, justice can be approached from the perspectives of theology, ideology, or even expediency. Irrespective of the perspective, justice is expressed differently and it is influenced by history, culture, education, and environment. This course examines the world view of justice from the Canadian perspective. In particular, it focuses on the forces which have influenced and shaped justice as practiced in Canadian criminal law. Within the broader context of the world view of Canadian public and criminal law, the following themes will be examined: the struggle between the commoners and the king in the development of the common law and its reception in the Canadian federation; the role played by the Judeo -Christian tradition in shaping and influencing justice in Canada; the amalgamation of these influences into a unified code; the reception and incorporation of principles in international covenants and treaties into the corpus of Canadian domestic law,; the role played by the Canadian charter in shaping and influencing developments in public and criminal law; the role of natural justice and presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings; punishment where warranted to ensure that offenders are treated in a manner that puts the protection of society as a paramount objective.