Charter Issues in Criminal Law (Dr. Jochelson)

Course number: LAW 3590

We will consider the Charter based implications governing the detention, arrest and investigation of accused persons in the Criminal justice system. Students are encouraged to think critically about the justice system and the integral role lawyers play in delivering ethical and effective legal service.

Extended Course Description

PREREQUISITE: This course is a prerequisite to 3900 Clinical Elective: Intensive Criminal Law.

COURSE CONTENT: The course focuses on the legal dynamics of police/civilian encounters by reviewing the law surrounding detention, arrest, search and seizure and, as time permits, other investigatory matters. The emphasis is on Charter violations and the recent case law in the main areas of instruction.

The course will also examine selected Charter remedies that can apply when police investigations violate Charter rights.

MATERIALS: The required material for the course consists of the Criminal Code, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and an optional course reader. Required cases will be posted to UMLearn.

TEACHING METHOD: The course is taught primarily by the seminar method using student-led flipped classroom methods. Student participation, some group work, and discussion are required.


50 percent final memorandum assignment (due the day after last day of finals)

5 percent attendance: students must sign in each day

5 percent participation: students must record their own participation using honesty an integrity as a barometer and must hand in a weekly log of their discussions. To earn one participation point, a student must speak 3 times, but no more than 3 times a class will count for the purpose of record keeping. Final tallies will be accounted for at the end of term. Students must email weekly participation logs to the professor of their participation.

40 percent in-class seminar assignment including graded written online seminar answers to be completed by student presenters and posted for the benefit of the entire class. Seminar assignment will contain a series of 10-15 questions to be presented in class and answered in typed form for publication to UMLearn. Half of the grade will be based on leading an in class seminar of 2-2.5 hours (with breaks). The other half will be based on the quality of answers produced in response to written question assigned for the week of readings. Seminars will consist of groups of 3-5 student leaders. There are 10 seminar units. Each group will be responsible for 1 seminar unit. Written answers must respond to the questions posed by the instructor. Questions will be handed to presenters at least 2 weeks prior to the seminar. Answers will be less than 20 pages double spaced inclusive of footnotes, one inch margins all around, times new roman font. Citation should comport with McGill Guide.

Written component: Answers all questions (5 points), no major errors (5 points), proper citation including pinpoints (2 points), makes a good set of notes for the class (3 percent), overall quality including style of writing, clarity and utility (5 points)

Verbal Component: covers major issues and themes in the week’s readings, in light of the questions (5 points), creates interactive exercises of discussion with the class (5 points), identifies major Charter issues and cases (5 points), presentation is fluid and integrated with team participation (2 points), poise, pacing and clarity (3 points).

Group evaluation: each member of the group presenting will rate each other individually as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If a student receives two unsatisfactory ratings, they may lose 2 points off of the seminar grade barring legitimate excuses.

Earning Bonus Points: Student who decide to write 2 blogs for posting at that engage course content will be entitled to a bonus of 5 percent on their total grade. Blogs must be 1000 words long exclusive of citations. Citations may be listed at the end using less formal citation methods than McGill Guide if desired (for example APA).

INSTRUCTOR: Richard Jochelson


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