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Some Basic Facts on the Canadian Legal System

The legal system in Canada is largely based on the United Kingdom’s common law system and is considered a complex code. For all acts to be enforceable statute, these acts of the Canadian law system have to be supremely controlled by the Constitution of Canada and to remain consistent with this Constitution. Compared to a single document ratified once, the supreme law though is very much more complex than that. Started as simple statutes, the independent sections of the Canadian Constitutions were ratified independently and then codified in the Constitution afterwards. Furthermore, there was a ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada for the Constitution to have some unwritten principles that cover federalism, democracy, constitutionalism, the rule of law and respect for minorities.

The Canadian Constitution has a statutory amalgamation of which the Constitution Act of 1847 is one of its main acts, and this enumerates the powers of both the federal and provincial governments. The federal government includes powers to enforce the criminal law, enforcement of immigration, regulation on banking, peace and order law to promote in the country, and regulation of trade and commerce in the provinces. On the other hand the provincial governments control the municipal law, civil rights laws, hospital regulation and creation, and government education. Whenever there is a question on which entity has the right to constitutionally create some laws, it is the Supreme Court of Canada that will review the situation and will make the final and indisputable decision about the question.

For the whole nation of Canada, it is the Canadian Parliament is the active federal lawmaking entity, with its powers divided into three sections that include in the House of Commons, the Canadian Senate, and the monarch. Considered as passive and very symbolic, the role of the monarch in the Parliament is to grant the Royal Assent. Note that the Senate too serves similar function in the passing of the bill. Among the sections of the Parliament, it is the House of Commons that is the most important, and it contains 308 elected representatives which are to be re-elected every year. It is also the House of Commons that is responsible for the drafting and ratification of any legislative acts proposal, while both Canadian Senate and monarch simply grant assent.

The power to create laws regarding criminal law enforcement may lie with the Canadian Parliament but each province is responsible for the administration of its provincial criminal courts which function on the basis of common law.

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