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Looking at Law – Canada’s Legal System, 7th Edition

The latest version of this foundational introduction to law and legal studies will prove invaluable to students who are navigating the complexities of legal theories, institutions, processes, experiences and contemporary issues.
Publication Language: English

Softcover | 240 pages

In Stock
ISBN/ISSN: 9780433498926

Product description

As the authors of this text explain in its opening chapter, understandings of the law provide valuable insight into the workings of society and the powers of the state: “Law is everywhere. It directly or indirectly influences how we live our lives and our relations with others. … In short, the study of law is important to more than just lawyers. It is important to us all.”

This is the backdrop for the 7th Edition of Looking at Law – Canada’s Legal System. This book surveys the nature, origins and operation of our legal system and addresses its role in a changing society. Intended for a broad readership, it is an accessible introduction to the area for initial undergraduate studies and, accompanied by more specialized readings, serves as a useful foundational reference for more advanced law studies.

A Comprehensive Overview
Extensively revised from previous versions, Looking at Law – Canada’s Legal System, 7th Edition provides an overview of Canada’s legal system, focusing on common law jurisdictions while examining its broader historical, social and political contexts. This volume offers a comprehensive overview of a range of topics, including: the concept of law; the sources of law; the doctrinal areas of law and procedure; the roles of lawyers, judges and other personnel; the courts and other forms of dispute resolution; and the prospects for reform and change through the law. These matters are placed in broader perspective, including the theories, histories, and broader contexts of Canada’s legal system.

In particular, the book considers:

  • Schools of legal thought and theory, including legal positivism and natural law, legal realism and critical legal studies, pluralism and post-colonialism and other interdisciplinary perspectives
  • The place of law in the processes of colonization and overview of the formal sources of law
  • An updated discussion of the Canadian constitution, parliamentary supremacy, federalism and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • An overview of different doctrinal areas of public and private law
  • A review of legal process, criminal and civil procedure, rules of evidence and burden of proof, and exploration of various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including the new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
  • Challenges of accessing the law, the personnel of law and legal education, including a review of the requirements for admission to the practice of law, from being accepted to law school to getting called to the bar
  • A discussion of the subjects, sources and structure of international law
  • The potential for change by way of legislative law reform and rights struggles in the courts

This highly anticipated 7th Edition of Looking at Law – Canada’s Legal System has been thoroughly updated and revised. Readers will benefit from:

  • Up-to-date information and analysis of Canadian laws and the Canadian legal system for current insight on recent developments
  • An all-new section on international law that explains how international laws come into force, who they govern and how any discrepancies between domestic and international laws are resolved
  • Key concepts and major points summarized as learning objectives set out in the introduction of each chapter
  • Recommendations for further reading and suggestions for additional resources so readers can reinforce and supplement their learning
  • Content is presented in an accessible, succinct manner to make the complexities of the Canadian legal system as easy to understand as possible

An Indispensable Primer
This book would be a useful acquisition for:

  • Students engaged in undergraduate legal studies, or the study of politics, policy and society who will benefit from an introductory and interdisciplinary overview of Canada’s legal systems
  • Those considering professional law school or commencing professional law studies
  • Paralegals and law clerks who require an accessible introductory look at Canadian law
  • Non-legal professionals and members of the broader public who wish to know more about the law in Canada

Featured Authors

Table of contents

Chapter 1: What is law?
I. Jurisprudential conceptions of law
II. Interdisciplinary concepts of law

Chapter 2: The sources and application of law in Canada
I. The sources of law
II. The application of law: Legislation and common law in action

Chapter 3: The Canadian constitution
I. The British constitutional basis
II. The Canadian constitutional content

Chapter 4: The different areas of law: Substantive law doctrines
I. Public law
II. Private law

Chapter 5: The law at work: Evidence and procedure
I. Criminal procedure
II. Civil procedure
III. Evidence

Chapter 6: Forms of dispute resolution: ODR, ADR and the courts
I. A mixed court system
II. Jurisdiction
III. Court hierarchy: A provincial example
IV. Federal courts
V. Canadian courts: Features and issues
VI. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Chapter 7: People in the legal process
I. Citizens and access to justice
II. Lawyers
III. Judges
IV. The jury
V. Officers of the Crown
VI. Administrative officers of the courts
VII. The police

Chapter 8: International law
I. The subjects of international law
II. The sources of international law
III. International organizations
IV. Substantive areas of international law

Chapter 9: The relationship between law and change: Legislative reform, rights protection and the future
I. Legislative change: Law reform and beyond
II. Rights protection: The role of courts and tribunals

Appendix: Canadian constitutional acts