Exams (55%)
Two exams are scheduled for this course.
February 28, 2017 (25%)
Final Exam week (30%)
Each will sample your recollection/understanding of the content from the assigned readings and the material addressed in class (guest speakers, power point, video
CRIM 170-003 Winter 2017
presentations, etc.). Each exam will not be comprehensive and will be based on the material covered between exam periods (i.e. The final exam will be based on material covered from February 28th to the course end date). That being said, some of the latter material covered will be based on concepts covered during earlier portions of the course. The format may include true / false, fill in the blank, short answer, multiple choice and essay questions.
Failure to attend an exam will result in a mark of ZERO (0). I understand that sometimes emergencies or unforeseeable incidents may arise. However, I will consider accommodation only for students that have advised me prior to the start of an exam of an emergency and can provide documentation supporting the reason for absence. Such accommodation is reserved for only the most serious types of circumstances including, but not limited to, death of family member, serious illness, serious injury, car accident or incidents of similar seriousness (“Emergency Absences”). Common cold, influenza and other minor ailments will not constitute sufficient justification for missing an exam. Documentation (doctor’s note, etc.) must be received by the date of the Final Examination. Failure to provide documentation by that date will result in score of ZERO (0).
If you arrive late for either exam and have not made previous arrangements with the instructor, you will be required to complete the exam within the allotted time period from the time the examination began. No further time will be provided. For clarity, if the examination began at 6 pm and 60 minutes were allotted to complete the exam, you will be required to complete the exam by 7 pm, regardless of the time of your arrival.
Case Summary Assignment (30%)
Due Date: March 14, 2017
To complete this assignment, you must find and summarise five (5) case decisions from one area of law from an Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada and then write a comparative summary. You will need to begin by selecting a division of law and then finding court decisions for five cases in that division of law. It is recommended that you choose cases from one of the following divisions: Criminal law, Family Law or Tort Law. If you choose another division of law you must check with your instructor first. Cases summarised must be Canadian. Cases chosen must all be from the same division of law. You may write two summaries on the same case only if there were differing decisions at the Provincial Appeal Court and Supreme Court of Canada levels. You should write on similar cases in different jurisdictions. One of your five cases must be the most recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in the area you have chosen.
Research, meaning selecting cases and finding decisions, is a key part of this assignment. Once you have found your five cases, the summarizing part of the assignment will be fairly straightforward. If you select cases that involve constitutional questions or where the courts have made new law or changed existing law, the assignment will be easier to complete. Media coverage may be helpful in finding cases and in writing your summary
CRIM 170-003 Winter 2017
in terms of identifying issues and outcomes, but research outside of the case decisions is not required.
Decisions of courts are available online. Each court has an easy search engine to use. (use links from D2L or go to and )
Each case should be presented individually and summarized. Start with the name of the case, the jurisdiction and court name and the citation for that case.
For the purpose of this assignment summarizing means:
1. Identifying the issue(s) of law at question (What is the case about?);
2. Stating the outcome of the case, including how the judges decided (was the decision unanimous, 5-0, 3-2, 6-3?);
3. Identifying the author of the majority decision;
4. Noting if there were other opinions given (were there concurring or dissenting opinions?);
5. Stating the central reason for the decision (why did the court decide the case this way?) and identifying the points of argument in the case (What were the main questions to be settled or questions where the judges continued to disagree?). Do not repeat the full arguments of the court. Longer is not better. The key skill you are demonstrating here is summarising briefly. You should be able to summarize the case in approximately 100 words.
When you have answered these questions in each case you must write a short comparative conclusion at the end of the paper about common trends or principles in the cases in order to complete the assignment. Ask yourself questions like: Why did similar cases have similar or different outcomes? How has the opinion of the courts changed over time? Did higher courts have a different opinion than lower courts? Why?
Your conclusion should also briefly address your opinion about the area of law you have researched and what the state of the law is according to the cases you have reviewed. You should consider the theoretical approaches to law discussed in class and Chapter 1 of the textbook, but may apply your own ideas as well.
You must include a reference page with the names and citation for each case you have used, with web links to each case. That page should also be submitted independently to your instructor electronically on the D2L.
Your own written work should total approximately 1000 to 1250 words, the equivalent of four (4) to five (5) pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font. Include a title page.
Submitting work that is not your own is plagiarism and may result in a zero grade for the assignment. For each case, you must start by providing the case citation. A Works Cited page must be provided only if other sources like newspapers were used. Otherwise case
CRIM 170-003 Winter 2017
citations provide adequate documentation. Please consult the Writing Reference Manual for the Criminal Justice Program for assistance with how to cite cases and use references.
Late assignments will be penalized by a deduction of 10% of the mark per day.
Participation (15%)
Regular attendance and active participation are expected of all students. For the purposes of your participation grade, FIVE (5) in-class participation exercises will be assigned. These exercises will take the form of individual or group projects, group discussions or presentations, or individual written projects. Each exercise will be worth THREE PERCENT (3%) of your total grade for the course, for a total participation mark of (15%).
Each participation exercise will be graded out of THREE (3) POINTS as follows:
1 Point – Completeness (did the student complete the task/assignment as instructed)
1 Point – Correctness (did the student provide accurate/correct information)
1 Point – Quality of work (effort put into completing the task, grammar, spelling, etc.)
In-class participation exercises will be held during various classes throughout the semester. I will not provide advanced notice of the dates of those assignments and students who are not in attendance for the classes in which participation exercise occur will receive ZERO (0) on that exercise. Accommodation will only be provided to students who provide advance notice by 12:00 noon on the date of class of an absence due to illness, injury, illness/injury of a dependent (“Advance Notice Absences”). In the case of emergencies or unforeseeable incidents as described above under ‘Examinations,’ accommodation will also be offered per the rules outlined therein. No accommodation for advance notice absences or emergency absences will be offered without supporting documentation (e.g. doctor’s note). Such documentation must be provided by the date of the Final Examination, or the student will receive ZERO (0).
In the case of accommodation with supporting documentation for missed participation exercises, the student will be provided a make up assignment by the instructor. Such assignments must be completed and submitted by the next class. The assignment may not necessarily be the same as the one assigned in-class and will be determined at the discretion of the instructor.
1. Class Preparation and Participation
You are expected to complete the assigned readings before coming to class. This often becomes increasingly more difficult as the semester moves along and as the completion of assignments and preparation for exams takes a great deal of your time. I would strongly recommend that you use some type of day book where you can keep track of each assignment, readings, exams and other expectations being placed on you.
CRIM 170-003 Winter 2017

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