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Is the Canadian LE/Justice system much like the state's?

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  • Is the Canadian LE/Justice system much like the state's?

    Subject is self explanatory. How is it similar/different?

  • #2
    Not being very well-versed in the USA system, I will TRY to explain ours:

    - Criminal law is created/amended by the Federal government:
    - - common crimes, such as break & enter, theft, assault (all types), fraud, forgery, impaired driving, lotteries, etc are codified in the Criminal Code;
    - - other offences, such as immigration, customs, excise (alcohol and tobacco), income tax, migratory birds, drugs, are codified in their own legislation, or Federal Statutes (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Customs Act, Excise Act, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act);
    - - Youth Criminal Justice Act, covering the CC & FS, for persons > 12 but < 18 years of age.

    - the Criminal Code, is administered and prosecuted by the Provinces;

    - Federal Statutes (FS) are prosecuted by the Federal government, via the Provincial Court system;

    - the Provinces are responsible for creating/amending their own, non-criminal laws, or Provincial Statutes (PS), codifying liquor, traffic and hunting/fishing offences;

    - Municipalities in each Province are responsible for creating/amending their own, non-criminal laws, or Municipal By-Laws, codifying noise, animal and parking offences;

    - Peace Officers (Law Enforcement Officers) in Canada are empowered pursuant to provisions of the Criminal Code, but are GENERALLY appointed pursuant to the pertinent Provincial Statute of the Province in which they are employed, giving them LEO/PO authority throughout that Province only;
    - - members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, are appointed pursuant to The RCMP Act, and have LEO/PO authority throughout Canada;
    - - - RCMP members, however, are further appointed pursuant to Provincial Statutes in all Provinces, except Ontario and Quebec, as the Provincial (kind of like State) Police, pursuant to contracts between those Provinces and the Federal government;
    - - - RCMP members are further appointed pursuant to those Provincial Statutes and contracts between the Federal and Provincial governments and certain Municipal governments, as the Municipal Police Service for those Municipalities;
    - - members of the various Federal Law Enforcement Agencies are appointed pursuant to the particular Federal Statute as LEO/PO and by Agency policy are generally restricted to a narrow range of CC & FS enforcement / responsibility;
    - - members of the various Provincial Law Enforcement Agencies are appointed pursuant to the particular Province's Provincial Statutes as LEO/PO and by Agency police are GENERALLY restricted to a narrow range of PS enforcement;
    - - the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have their own Provincial Police Services (OPP and SQ);
    - - - members of the RCMP, when acting as a Provincial Police Service, OPP & SQ, GENERALLY have authority to enforce all common PS offences
    - - LEO/PO employed by a particular Municipality are GENERALLY restricted by Agency policy to working solely within their Municipality;

    - Provinces generally have 3 levels of Courts:
    - - in Saskatchewan, they are:
    - - - Provincial (all initial appearances , guilty pleas and trials on lesser offences, preliminary hearings on more serious offences, low-value civil lawsuits and child welfare);
    - - - Queen's Bench (juried and non-juried trials on more serious offences, high-value civil lawsuits and divorce);
    - - - Appeal
    but they may also have:
    - - Traffic/Provincial Statute (appearances and trials), presided over by a JP;
    - - Family (divorce, child welfare);
    - - Drug treatment.

    Disclaimer: while I have over 31 years of field experience as a LEO/PO and have acted as a Court Liaison officer many times over the years (speaking to pleas, prosecuting traffic and liquor trials), I have never been trained as a lawyer, and do not even concern myself much with the operations of the Courts.

    Hopefully there are other Canadian LEO/PO that are also members of o.com that are more knowledgeable than me about the Courts and are willing to reply to this question.
    #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
    Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
    RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
    Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
    "Smile" - no!

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    • #3
      Canadian Law Enforcement/Justice System

      That was a pretty comprehensive reply Pete. I certainly enjoyed it.

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      • #4
        Yeah. Thanks for that reply.

        Was that copy/pasted from wikipedia or something? I'm impressed hah.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PhilipCal
          That was a pretty comprehensive reply Pete. I certainly enjoyed it.
          Glad you enjoyed it, I just would not quote it as gold-plated and platinum-lined totally accurate, just in case.
          #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
          Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
          RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
          Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
          "Smile" - no!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Conner
            Yeah. Thanks for that reply.

            Was that copy/pasted from wikipedia or something? I'm impressed hah.
            Nope, not Wiccan, Roman Catholic! Oh, wikipedia! Okay, now I get it!

            I just tried cobbling together what little I do know about our Justice system.
            #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
            Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
            RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
            Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
            "Smile" - no!

            Comment


            • #7
              Pete's reply was great at telling a bit about how their LE works but can anyone else kinda give any insight on any major differences from their's and US law enforcement/law in general?

              Comment


              • #8
                In American words, most of the law in Canada is "federal" while in the U.S. most of the law is "state." In other words, burglary, for example, or contracts, as another, would most likely be the same in all provinces in territories while the definitions, penalties, etc. would vary from state to state here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What ArkansasFan said is bang on. Any criminal offense is a violation of federal law in Canada, and the offense/punishment is exactly the same from sea to sea.

                  Makes it easy to move from one police force to the next as criminal law is exactly the same.

                  Provinces can enact their own laws with respect to motor vehicles and residential tenancies however.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In a general sort of way, Canadian enforcement is more, how can I say this?? "Low key" than in the U.S. They are more likely to 'invite' someone to come back to the station than Americans are. And, from the little I have seen, they get a higher rate of non-violent compliance. They are far more "English" in their citizen contacts, less assertive, than a U.S. officer.

                    This is not better or worse than our approach, it is a cultural difference. I'm sure our neighbors to the North can "turn and burn" with the best of us, when it is needed. They just don't need it as often.
                    Or am I wrong, Pete?
                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                    John Stuart Mill

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                    • #11
                      Things are different here, for one, our charter of rights states that we have to immediately tell a person why they are being arrested/detained.

                      I don't know why you guys down south don't always have to do that. It sure puts an end (most times) to the why are you stopping me questions.

                      Anyhow, is it different? Yes, and no. We still with bad guys, we still scream to calls code three, we prone people out at gun point, etc.

                      There are some stuff that we do differently because our court systems are slightly different and more liberal. Judging from "The First 48" we take statements much differently. We separate our witnesses, and audiotape/videotape everything for court purposes. We had case, r vs Stinchcombe, that guides us on disclosure. We pretty much have to disclose to the defence (now more after a ruling a couple of weeks ago in another case) everything to do with the investigation, save of very protected information, and even that, isn't guaranteed safe.

                      And if I was someone accused of something I'd want every shred of information to be able to defend myself. The problem will be, with the latest ruling, that sources may get burned.

                      But anyhow, we still throw down with drunks in bars, our [email protected] are worse and far more organized (and richer), and our patrol uniform sucks.

                      Oh! And we are still trusted to throw drunks into cells without having to take them before a magistrate. If I say you're drunk your drunk.

                      I worked overtime in a location that will remain nameless, and in 6 hours I arrested 4 people for being drunk and for breaching the peace. But there are times when we don't arrest and have them summoned to court.

                      Did I make any sense?

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