Public and Constitutional Law provides an overview of general principles of public law, focusing on the institutions and organs of government, the sources and nature of the legal rules that create them, and the limits on their powers.

The course also introduces the essential elements of the Canadian legal system, such as democracy, the rule of law, constitutional supremacy, parliamentary sovereignty, judicial independence and federalism. The course will cover the rights enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as those aboriginal and treaty rights guaranteed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • CLO 1: Distinguish between public and private law.
  • CLO 2: Apply the hierarchy of public law rules.
  • CLO 3: Summarize Canada’s gradual constitutional evolution from a colony of the United Kingdom to an independent country.
  • CLO 4: Assess the constitutional basis for the protection of human rights in Canada.
  • CLO 5: Compare the roles and responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
  • CLO 6: Evaluate the interaction between the three branches of government and the appropriate institutional relationships between them.
  • CLO 7: Differentiate between legal and political constitutionalism and accountability.

Assessment Weighting

Quizzes (9)
Discussions (2)
Amending the Constitution of Canada Assignment (Individual) 15%
Canadian Judicial Council Simulation (Group) 15%
Final Exam 40%

Course Materials 

There is no required textbook for this course.