Fall 2019 - POL 324 D100

The Canadian Constitution (4)

Class Number: 7427

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2019
    Thu, 12:00–2:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



An analysis of the Canadian constitution from a theoretical and comparative perspective. Amendment, entrenchment, civil rights.


This course sheds light on the interplay between formal and informal constitutional rules, between law and politics. Students considering law school will benefit from this introduction to constitutional law, and others will gain insights into how Canada's constitution works in theory and practice. You will learn about the vast discretion judges have, the principles they use in their decisions, and the shifting interpretations they have given to Canada’s constitutional documents. A key focus will be on the division of responsibility for specific areas of public policy between the federal and provincial governments. Attention will also be given to limits on government power through the Charter and Aboriginal rights, as well as through informal constitutional conventions. You should take away from this course an appreciation of how intertwined politics and law are, both in the work of judges and in the rules governing Canada’s political actors.

Four-hour lecture per week for the first half of term, with a two-hour lecture and a two-hour tutorial in the second half.


  • Term Paper 45%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Midterm 10%
  • Attendance 5%
  • Final Exam 30%


* Students are required to submit their essays to Turnitin.com in order to get credit for the assignment.



P. Monahan, B. Shaw, & P. Ryan, Constitutional Law, 5th Edition

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.
For details, see http://www.sfu.ca/politics/undergraduate/program/related_links.html and click on “Plagiarism and Intellectual Dishonesty” .

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html