This course introduces law students to the fundamental doctrinal principles and procedural considerations of Canadian criminal law. This course will examine, amongst other topics, concepts such as: the sources of criminal law and quasi-criminal law, police powers, search and seizure, legal rights, arrest and detention, disclosure, the trial process, sentencing, criminal appeals, etc. The course analyzes principles of actus reus and mens rea and their role in determining the essential elements of criminal offences. Several specific criminal offences will be examined in this context. Additionally, the course will explore potential defences to criminal charges—and how these defences may be put forward and ultimately assessed.
The course will also examine important issues, such as the presence of racism in the criminal justice system. Specifically, students will have an opportunity to build and engage with critical-thinking skills in order to develop and examine ways to combat anti-Indigenous racism in the Canadian criminal justice system.