It is essential that Canadian citizens are aware of the laws and rules of their nation. A uniformed citizen can be susceptible to wrongdoing. Criminal law deals with crimes that are harmful or dangerous to society, including risking the people's moral welfare, health, safety and property. Here is a beginner’s guide explaining the working of criminal law in Canada.
Source of criminal law in Canada
The Canadian Parliament enacted the Criminal Code in the year 1892. However, the majority of the laws mentioned were based on Britain’s rules and regulations. Over the years, the Criminal Code has been extended by adding laws like the Canada Evidence Act and many more. In the year 1982, the Constitution Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were introduced. The Charter states the fundamental rights of Canadian citizens, which include the right to a trial and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Purpose of criminal law in Canada
According to the Supreme Court of Canada, the purpose of criminal law is to maintain peace and safety in society. It was created with the belief of preventing illegal activities, and it fulfills its objective by punishing the culprits. If a crime is committed, the criminal justice system follows protocols to punish the offender based on the Criminal Code.
Criminal Code of Canada
In Canada, there is a single body of legislation known as the Criminal Code that is referred to in all types of cases. It dictates the methods to investigate a crime, the procedure to arrest the offender, the process of trial and court hearings, the charges to be applied, and the type of punishment to be imposed. Furthermore, there are various other acts and legislation that are also used along with the Criminal Code depending on the case, like the Canada Evidence Act, Contraventions Act, Firearms Act, and Food and Drugs Act.
Role of a criminal lawyer
A criminal lawyer is someone who specializes in the field of crime. Their primary role is to represent their client in court. When an attorney takes up a case, they have to investigate and formulate a plan to defend their client. It's essential for lawyers to guide their clients through the legal proceedings and help them navigate their next move. Other legal tasks include filing legal documents, appeals, bail bond hearings, dismissal hearings, plea bargains and post-conviction procedures.
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