Spring 2020 - POL 151 D900

Justice and Law (3)

Class Number: 8081

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    SRYC 2740, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2020
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SRYC 5280, Surrey



The development of laws and their application to the citizen and social groups. Special consideration will be given to civil liberties. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Laws are created, interpreted and enforced in the context of an interplay between the legislative and executive branches of government, and the judicial branch.

This course is divided into three parts. Part I provides a general overview of the constitutional framework within which the law is created and administered in Canada, followed by consideration of the political and legislative processes, and concluding with the courts and the legal process including the basic elements of legal reasoning.

In Part II of the course we will consider the roles of the central actors in the creation and administration of law: legislators (including members of the executive) and judges. We will look at the interrelationship between judges and legislators including the debate surrounding the proper roles of each with reference to the concepts of judicial activism and judicial restraint.

In Part III of the course we will look at specific issues which have been, and in many cases continue to be, the subject of both political debate and legal argument in Canadian society: abortion, physician-assisted death, safe-injection sites, pornography, hate speech, religious freedom, same-sex marriage and drug legalization.  

There will be a two-hour lecture plus a tutorial each week. Tutorials begin in the second week.


  • Tutorial Attendance and Participation 15%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Written Assignment 25%
  • Final Exam 35%



A reading list will be posted at the beginning of the term. Readings will consist of links to Supreme Court of Canada decisions, relevant legislation, and links or posted handouts covering excerpts from various other sources. There is no textbook for the course.

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