Influences on Canadian Law

Laws are rules and regulations that help a country run smoothly and prevent humans from doing anything we wish for. Canadian law is a set of laws compiled from different civilizations that consists of the code of Hammurabi, the Mosaic Law, the Greek Law, the Roman law, British law etc. Canadian law consists of many different aspects. These include common law, Magna Carta’s influence to the development of the Canadian charter of rights and freedom, and the trial system. The development of Canadian law has been influenced mostly by the British law. Canadian law has inherited a lot of different principles from Great Britain.

One of the things that the law has taken is the common law is common law which relies on case law and is common to all people. It does not matter who is breaking the law, whether it be the queen herself, everyone has to abide by the rules. The rule of Precedent has also been influenced by the British case law which is a method of deciding cases based on recorded decisions of similar cases. The jury system of Great Britain has influenced our jury in Canada. In olden times (In England), they consisted of 12 members. Now the jury consists of 6 people. Canada’s rules reflect British rules in a great way.

The Canadian charter of rights and freedom is a book which reflects on rights a Canadian is guaranteed to. The book resembles Magna Carta, which was a charter of political and civil rights signed by King Henry in 1215. This book was signed because of the abuse of power done by the king. This book ensured that kings did not have authority over everything (limited power). The book was the first step on establishing basic human rights for the people of England. It also developed the rule of law. The rule of law is acknowledged by Canadian law and it means that no one is above the law.

Magna Carta also established habeas corpus which was a court order signed to prevent unlawful arrest. Canadian law recognizes this, in a form that a person can only stay in jail for 36 hours if no evidence is found. Great Britain’s law influenced the Canadian law the most. The English were the ones who developed the different forms of trial for the accused. Trial by oath was when a close member of the family or a friend was to take an oath to set the accused free. This has been made part of Canadian law but instead a witness takes an oath to testify whatever he knows about the situation.

The British also had a primitive way of settling disputes. This was that the accused and the victim to confront each other and winner was supposedly the one to win the case. This evolved to the modern day adversarial system in which the guilty and the innocent are represented by lawyers and instead of fighting with each other; the lawyers try to prove the opposite party wrong. This can be considered a controlled unphysical battle in courts in which the final decision rests in the lawyer proving the other rightfully charged and the judge’s final decision. The English law is the main contributor in the development of Canadian law.

The Canadian law has evolved and adapted to the British law. The Magna Carta influenced the Canadian charter of human rights. Common law has been acknowledged as the rule of law which means that no one is above the law. The different trial systems have changed and become more civil for the society today. Canadian law has been evolving throughout the years, the fundamentals of the law today were taken from the British, not only because Canada was under Britain’s rule once but because these rules showed respect towards human rights, and weren’t based on prejudice characteristics.