Criminal Law and Procedure (Jochelson)

Criminal Law and Procedure (Jochelson)
LAW 1140
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This course is intended to introduce students to the basic procedural and doctrinal concepts and frameworks of Canadian criminal law. The course begins with an overview of several basic concepts, including: the sources of criminal law, principles of statutory interpretation, and the limits of Canadian criminal jurisdiction. The course analyzes principles of actus reus (the wrongful act) and mens rea (the guilty state of mind) and their role in defining the essential elements of criminal offences. A number of specific criminal offences are examined in connection with these components. These include homicide and sexual assault-related offences. The course provides an overview of excuses and defences to criminal charges and the various elements that constitute them. The course then shifts toward examining the powers of law enforcement officials while investigating crimes – particularly interrogations and confessions. As part of this examination, we will study how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the common law governs the admission of evidence procured by law enforcement officials.

Lectures focused on the assigned readings combined with class discussion and active problem-based learning. In addition, time will be reserved for seminars and student presentations. On occasion, video capsules will be used for certain topic areas.