Jurisdiction, the Charter & Law and Morals

Part One:

Chapter One & Handouts- Jurisdiction, the Charter & Law and Morals

1. After reading the Re Firearms Act case and the Malmo- Levine and Caine cases describe precisely how the criminal law power of the Federal government is defined. Be specific about terms and concepts used and defined.

How broad is this power?

2. Outline the Oakes Test for interpreting s 1 of the Charter and then explain specifically why it did not save the s 8 presumption in the then Narcotic Control Act but did save the presumption in the then section 237 (now s 320.35) of the Criminal Code in the Whyte case.

3. Explain the specific differences between the four majority judges (JJ Dickson & Lamer, Beetz & Estey) and the fifth majority judge, Madame Justice Wilson in the Morgentaler case concerning s 287 (abortion) of the Criminal Code. This includes the section/s of the Charter they each find breached and exactly how they were breached, how they were not fundamentally just or saved by s.1 of the Charter, causing the legislation to be struck down under s 52 of the Constitution Act.

4. Explain the specific reasons the dissent in the Morgentaler did not find the then s 287 abortion section in breach of any Charter sections.

Chapters Two & Three & Handouts-Actus Reus

5. Specifically define what constitutes a sexual assault as defined in the Chase case and the evidentiary standard required.

6. The Cooper (murder) and Fagan (assaulting a Peace Officer) cases both stand for the same legal principle. Define this principle. Explain how the different facts of the two cases show the principle being applied in a different but related way in the two cases.

Consider why the issue is more complicated in Cooper.

7. How is the offence of care & control in s 253 (now 320.14) defined in the Toews case?

8. Outline the different actus reus causation tests outlined in the Smithers, Nette and Harbottle cases, and the offences they are used in. Relate your answers to the facts of the cases. Make sure to explain the relationship of the Smithers and Nette tests.


1. Text: Criminal Law in Canada: Cases, Questions, and the Code (7th ed.) by Simon Verdun-Jones

(now published by Top Hat)

2. Casebook: Canadian Criminal Cases: Selected Highlights (3d ed.) by Simon Verdun Jones (Top Hat)

3. A recent Criminal Code (2021/2022). Publishers are Thomson Reuters or Martins OR  Online access to this federal statute from the Government of Canada website


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