Legislative Process

Course number: LAW 3370

Objective of the course:

Most law in Manitoba is made by the Legislatures, not the courts. The objective of the course is to develop an appreciation of how bills and regulations and other legislative instruments are created. This understanding is aimed to make students both more informed citizens and to equip them as practising lawyers to advocate effectively for a client when the best path to success is to secure a favourable enactment rather than adjudicative decision.

Method of instruction:

First part of the course is lecture and class discussions, and probably a Mock Roberts of orders meeting and a mock House of Commons or cabinet meeting.

Attendance: MANDATORY. More than two classes missed without a reasonable excuse means an automatic ceiling of D on the final grade.

Course materials:

  • Leg Pro CD ROM 2008.
  • Roberts Rules of Order
  • Schwartz and Rettie, Valuing Canadians.

Method of evaluation: paper and presentation thereof 100%, except that positive class participation can raise a borderline grade

Student presentations: on a topic approved by the instructor.

Select a bill that has been introduced in the legislative assembly in 2006, and discuss its origins, passage through the assembly and merits. or: pick a topic from the current legislative reform agenda at the federal or provincial level and write a paper on it. Options include: elected Senate, fixed election dates at the federal or provincial level, analyze the Accountability Act or some aspect thereof, or voting system reform in a province that has debated it recently, such as BC or PEL

To see what good papers look like, consult Underneath the Golden Boy, volumes 1 through 5 are available on reserve.

A close to final draft of your paper should be distributed in class (please make one copy for every class member) along with a one or two page summary, on the day you present. The paper can be refined and resubmitted no later than the last teaching day of the term. No, you can’t email the paper instead. (Tried it, doesn’t work).

Suggested length is 15-25 pages, there is no rigid maximum or minimum word or page count.

Topics to be covered:

  1. Why procedure matters.
  2. The law of the legislative assembly and the constitutional framework.
  3. Small p parliamentary procedure -Roberts Rules of Order-mock faculty council meeting.
  4. Large P parliamentary procedure -mock House of Commons meeting.
  5. Voting system reform -Counting Canadians.

INSTRUCTOR: Bryan Schwartz

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