Concentration in Ethics, Justice and Law

Why ethics?

Effective administration of justice and law requires a strong understanding of ethics. People working in law enforcement and justice need to know how to make the right decision and act ethically, putting aside personal opinion and bias. Professional conduct is essential and a strong ethical foundation helps you decide on an impartial and just course of action.


The stream is primarily for students in the School of Criminology, or those who are majoring in political science who wish to focus on ethics and justice as it relates to law.

Ethics, justice and law in the news

  • Recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada in fall 2018; what does this mean for police dealing with impaired drivers? What ethical issues could arise in policing drug matters or driving offences?
  • Trinity Western’s Law School has been refused accreditation on grounds of discrimination, with the decisions of law societies in Ontario and British Columbia upheld by a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling. How would allowing accreditation raise ethical issues for graduates practicing law and justice in areas of sexuality, LGBTQ rights and family law, for example?
  • Apart from a toxic workplace, what ethical issues do the revelations of bullying and harassment within the RCMP present to law enforcement and administration of justice across Canada?


Elective Courses

In addition to three core courses in ethical theory (9-10 units), students complete three elective courses drawn from a stream in their subject interest (9-12 units). Elective courses often include courses already in their subject major.

Note: courses may change - for a complete list of the certificate requirements and the approved courses, please consult the calendar entry.

Students complete three of (click + to show courses):

  • BUS 233 - Introduction to Business Law and Ethics (3)
    ECON 427W - Industrial Organization: Law and Economics (3)
    CRIM 314 - Mental Disorder, Criminality and the Law (3)
    CRIM 331 - Advanced Criminal Law (3)
    CRIM 333 - Gender, Law and the State (3)
    CRIM 334 - Law and Human Reproduction (3)
    CRIM 335 - Human Rights and Civil Liberties (3)
    CRIM 338 - Philosophy of Law (3)
    CRIM 429 - Indigenous Peoples and International Law (3) or FNST 429 - Indigenous Peoples and International Law (3)
    GSWS 334 - Law and Human Reproduction (3)
    POL 324 - The Canadian Constitution (4)
    POL 330 - Protecting Human Rights: Courts, Constitutions and Legislatures (4)
    POL 344 - International Law (4)
    POL 348 - Theories of War, Peace and Conflict Resolution (4)
    POL 351 - Immigration, Integration, and Public Policy in Canada (4)
    POL 417 - Human Rights Theories (4)
    POL 421 - Rights, Equality, and the Charter (4)
    POL 422 - Canadian International Security Relations (4)
    POL 447 - Theories of Global Political Economy (4)
    PSYC 376 - Experimental Psychology and Law (3)

Read more?

“...ethics and ethical challenges are generally black and white - not gray.  They are akin to the pregnant woman or the gunshot victim; one cannot be a little pregnant or a little shot. Consequently, professional conduct is either ethical or it is not.” Ethical Justice: Applied Issues for Criminal Justice Students and Professionals 

Case Study: The FBI & Apple Security vs. Privacy - Moral obligations for national security balanced against protecting user privacy.
Taken from Ethics Unwrapped, University of texas  

“…the 'bright line rule' that 'a lawyer may not represent one client whose interests are directly adverse to the immediate interests of another current client – even if the two mandates are unrelated.'" Top 10 Canadian legal Ethics Stories of 2013

Trinity Western’s law school was proposed in 2012, remains controversial, and law society decisions in relation to it are before several Canadian courts.” 
Most recent judgment on Trinity Western Law: CBC News

More curated content in Ethical Dilemmas on Flipboard

Image attributions:
i. icon created by Srinivas Agra for The Noun Project CC-BY
ii. By Lee Honeycutt from Angola, LA, USA - Red Hat Death Chamber, CC BY-SA 2.0,