Criminal Law and Procedure (Khoday)

Course Number
LAW 1140
Course Description

This full-year 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, the limits of Canadian criminal jurisdiction and the presumption of innocence. During the first part of the course, we shall also identify the roles and duties of the key players in the criminal justice system. In addition, the class will examine issues connected to racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, including with respect to anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism. The course will then shift attention to substantive areas of criminal law including the principles of actus reus (the guilty act) and mens rea (the guilty mind) and their roles in defining the essential elements of criminal offences. Specific criminal offences are examined in connection with these components. These include murder and sexual assault-related offences. After this, the course provides an overview of several common defences to criminal charges and the various elements that constitute them. The course will then analyze how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the common law governs the admission of evidence procured by law enforcement officials. Particular attention will be given to the procurement of confessions. The final part of the course provides an overview of the processes and principles of sentencing. Assigned readings will include cases and other material related to the overrepresentation and sentencing of Indigenous offenders.

Teaching Method

The primary method will be via lectures that are focused on the assigned readings combined with class discussion and active problem-based learning.


1. One take-home mid-term assignment (December) worth 30% of the final grade.
2. One take-home final assignment (April) worth 60% of the final grade.
3. Participation in class as well as written contributions to the UM Learn online discussion board on assorted topics. Both in-class and online participation are cumulatively worth 10% of the overall grade.

Course Materials

Readings from Kent Roach et al, eds, Criminal Law and Procedure: Cases and Materials, 12th ed (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2020) (the textbook), as well as select readings from the Text Supplement which is available online and can be downloaded. Further assigned readings will be made available online through the UM Learn website or other web-based information providers like CanLII (