Introduction to Criminal Law

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Transcript Introduction to Criminal Law

Read p. 114-118 & answer questions #1-5 p.
1) Explain the purpose of criminal law.
Provide brief examples to support your
The main purpose of criminal law is to
protect people as a society.
 Example: protecting people from physical
harm caused by crimes such as assault or
2) According to the Law Reform Commission of
Canada, what conditions must exist for an action to be
considered a crime? Provide examples.
There are four conditions that must exist for an act to be
considered a crime, they are as following:
1) The actions or behaviour of the person must be
considered immoral (wrong) by most Canadians
2) the person’s actions must cause harm to society and
any individual victims.
3) The harm caused by the person’s actions must be
4) The person must be punished by the criminal justice
system for his or her actions.
3) What influences the federal government
when it decides what behaviours to
criminalize, decriminalize, or legalize?
Majority of Canadians who consider the
behaviour to be immoral, also when the need
arises, usually when social values change and
there is more awareness of a certain issue.
 Examples: at one time homosexuality and gambling
were illegal, these laws were changed to reflect the
changing values and attitudes of society.
4) When the government decides that crimes are to be added,
deleted, or changed in the Criminal Code, why is it important
to have a free and open debate about the proposed changes?
 Because of the wide range of values, beliefs, and
opinions that exist in Canada.
 As a democratic society Canada requires open debate
to help determine the views of the people and to make
laws that reflect the overall values and needs of the
people who live here.
 Our society is also based, in part, on freedom of
expression. All voices must be given an opportunity to
be heard.
Debate with all Provinces
5) What are activities that you think
should be criminalized and
Marijuana is an ongoing topic of
Drinking & driving under 22
Tanning under the age of 18,