The criminal justice system in any country helps in establishing a safe, peaceful and just society. Most often, criminal justice systems in developed nations like Canada are much more evolved and complex as opposed to other countries.
Having a basic knowledge of Canadian criminal law can help you be aware of your rights as a Canadian citizen and safeguard your interests against any malicious intent. You can learn more about Canadian criminal law to understand the Canadian justice system better or to become a criminal lawyer in Canada.
The criminal law in Canada derives the bases for its rules and regulations from various sources. Read ahead to learn more about the primary sources of Canadian criminal law.
The Criminal Code and Federal Criminal Law
The Criminal Code is a comprehensive description of the different types of conduct and behaviour that constitute a criminal offence in Canada. It establishes the different kinds and degrees of punishment to be awarded for a specific crime. It also codifies the procedures and methodology for the prosecutors to punish the criminal.
The Criminal Code forms the main source of criminal procedures and laws in Canada.
Other sources of federal criminal law in Canada include the Canada Evidence Act, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Contraventions Act. The Firearms Act and the Food and Drugs Act also contribute to some criminal procedures and legalities.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an elegant feature of the Canadian Constitution and guarantees some fundamental rights to all its citizens. These fundamental rights include political rights such as free speech and legal rights to safeguard them from criminal activities.
The legal rights included in the charter are mentioned below as per their designated sections.
- Section 7: This section guarantees the right to your life, liberty and security.
- Section 8: This section guarantees the right to be secured against illegal searches and seizures of your property.
- Section 9: This section guarantees the right to not be arrested illegally.
- Section 10: This section guarantees the right to know why you are being arrested and the right to be informed that you can get a lawyer immediately. (If you don’t have a lawyer, the authorities must assign a lawyer for you.)
- Section 11: This section guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until you are proven guilty. The section also gives you the right to a fair and free trial within a reasonable time and the right to reasonable bail.
- Section 12: This section guarantees the right to not be subjected to cruel or illegal punishment or treatment.
- Section 13: This section guarantees the right to protection against the usage of your testimony for prosecuting you.
- Section 14: This section guarantees the right to having an interpreter in a court trial.
How can you become a criminal lawyer in Canada?
You can join a bachelor’s of law program offered by any Canadian or international university and select criminal law as your specialization. Post your course completion, you need to pass the NCA (National Committee on Accreditation) exam to start your criminal law career in Canada.
You can join an NCA preparatory program to help you cover the comprehensive NCA exam syllabus and design effective preparation strategies.