Criminal Law and Procedure (Trask)

Course Number
LAW 1140
Course Description

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.

Teaching Method

Interactive class lectures will focus on the assigned readings as well as overall key concepts. Class discussion (including the asking of questions) is essential to effective learning in this class.


3-Hour December Exam [Open book]: 25%
3-Hour Final Exam [Open book]: 45%
Blog Assignment 1: 15%
Blog Assignment 2: 15%

Course Materials

Mandatory texts:
Kent Roach, Criminal Law, 8th ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2022).
Steve Coughlan, Criminal Procedure, 4th ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2020).
Supplementary readings will be made available through UM Learn. (Please note that it is the responsibility of students to check for updates to the course portal at least twice weekly.)