Canada has three distinct legal traditions: common law, civil law and Aboriginal law. Common law, derived from English law, is a body of law based on judicial precedent and custom. It differs from legal law, which is written law, as established by laws that express the will of the legislator. Civil law is based solely on codified law, which is a comprehensive set of rules such as the Civil Code of Quebec or the Criminal Code of Canada. Many of them are formulated as general principles for the settlement of disputes that may arise. Unlike common law courts, courts in a civil justice system first look at a civil code and then refer to previous decisions to see if they are consistent. Quebec is the only province with a civil code. Aboriginal law applies to First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other Aboriginal peoples. The field of activity generally refers to contractual and other legal rights, including land and property rights, as well as traditions and customs. The Supreme Court of Canada is the final court of appeal for all lower courts in Canada. Calls are only possible with permission. There are two distinct judicial systems under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The first, the federal court system, hears cases on matters that fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of the federal government. The second is the provincial court systems that deal with civil and criminal matters in the province. Provincial court systems usually include litigation and appeal divisions. Anishinaabe laws come from a vast body of stories that create a narrative structure from which laws or ways of being (as a community and as an individual) have been interpreted. [41] These stories include stories of Nanabozho and a wide range of other beings and peoples, and the moral implications and practical applications that flow from them. [42] Anishinaabe law has always interacted with the legal systems of other nations, such as the Gdoo-naaganinaa treaty (court with a spoon) with the Haudenosaunee. [43] From about 1931 (when Britain ceased to legislate for Canada) to 1982, Canadian law operated according to a principle known as parliamentary supremacy. According to this concept, there was no higher authority in the Canadian Parliament when it came to deciding what was legal and what was not. Every rule passed by Parliament was the law, and it was. While the Canadian legal system is familiar to many foreign investors and companies, it has a number of unique aspects that may surprise you.

Canada was founded on the original territories of more than 900 different Indigenous groups, each using different Indigenous legal traditions. Cree, Blackfoot, Mi`kmaq and many other First Nations; Inuit; and the Métis will apply their own legal traditions in everyday life, enter into contracts, collaborate with governments and businesses, conduct environmental and criminal management procedures, and family law. Most maintain their laws through traditional governance alongside elected officials and federal laws. [31] Precedents set thousands of years ago are known through stories and stem from past actions and reactions, as well as ongoing interpretation by elders and law enforcement – the same process by which almost all legal traditions are formed from common laws and civil codes. Any court in Canada may review any Act of the legislature or of a provincial legislature if there is reason to believe that the law violates the Charter. In the event of a violation, the court has the power to declare the act – or any of its components – illegal or beyond the power of the government that issued it and therefore does not have the force of res judicata. No provision of a measure, even prior to the adoption of the Charter, may derogate from the guarantees it offers. Canadian patent law is the legal system that governs the granting of patents in Canada and the enforcement of those rights in Canada. [72] The Canadian justice system is unique in the world.

Two official languages (English and French) and two legal traditions (common law and civil law) coexist in our legal system. As Canadians, we all have a responsibility to understand our rights and freedoms and our duties as members of society. The courts resolve disputes, interpret and determine the law for all Canadians. As the oldest continuously active representative democracy in the world, the Six Nations of the Longhouse or Haudenosaunee are believed to have joined in 1142 CE. together. [45] The unification of the original five nations (the Onödowáʼga:/Seneca, the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʼ/Cayuga, the Onyota`a:ka/Oneida, the Onöñda`gaga`/Onondaga and the Kanienʼkehá:ka/Mohawk) and thus the central legal framework, is told orally from the constitutional wampum and is symbolized by the tree of peace, the Eastern White Pine. [46] Nine of the provinces, with the exception of Quebec, and the federal territories follow the common law legal tradition. [23] While federal territories apply common law, Indigenous nations and their associated territories do not (see below). Similarly, under provincial court statutes, the courts have the power to apply fairness. The Canadian legal system is based on the common law tradition of the United Kingdom. In this respect, the common law principles in Canada, as they are found in tort, contract or property, are very similar to those in the United States and the United Kingdom. Quebec is an exception, as its legal system evolved from the French civil law system.

In Quebec, the civil law system usually applies to private law matters, while the common law system applies to public law matters. To the extent that Quebec is empowered by the Canadian Constitution to legislate, Quebec uses a civil code (the Civil Code of Quebec) to do so. Parliamentary supremacy ended in 1982 when the Canadian Constitution was reformed and a new section called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added. The Charter states that certain human rights are so important that Parliament cannot pass laws that violate them. Thus, for example, if the Canadian government were to pass a law stipulating that all Japanese Canadians must be rounded up and sent to special camps because the country is at war with Japan – which happened during the Second World War (1939-1945) – that law would be unconstitutional because the Charter prohibits Parliament from passing laws that discriminate against people because of their «race.» national or ethnic origin. The existence of these three distinct legal traditions in modern Canada can be traced back to Canadian history, our Indigenous peoples and Canada`s colonial roots. Aboriginal law has been practised and continues to be practised by the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. The interface between indigenous legal systems and civil and customary law legal systems is complex and evolving. In some aspects of their lives, Aboriginal peoples may be subject to traditional laws and customs, but in others they may be subject to common law or civil law. Some indigenous communities are autonomous; Some are not. Our documents on Aboriginal law and property rights in Canada highlight some key dimensions of the Aboriginal legal system. As a country founded by England, the basic principles of Canadian law are not very different from those governing the legal system of Great Britain, the United States or any other country with a history of British rule.

This English tradition states that laws must be clear and rational, that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, that the evidence against him must be of the highest quality, and that the power of the law over the individual is limited by precedent and the Constitution. The colony of New France, the first European colony in present-day Canada, was subject to civilian rule. However, after France ceded New France to Great Britain, the civil law system was replaced by common law under the Royal Proclamation of 1774. The British aimed to make the new world more homogeneous with British culture and values, thus attracting settlers from the old world. However, the people of the former New France did not appreciate this act and protested. Canada`s legal system is pluralistic: its foundations are found in the English common law system (inherited from its time as a colony of the British Empire), the French civil law system (inherited from its French Empire past)[1][2] and the Indigenous legal systems developed by the various Indigenous peoples. Are Canadian companies in the future of your business? Our checklist provides a high-level summary of the legal issues businesses should consider before entering the lucrative Canadian market. For historical reasons, Quebec has a hybrid legal system.