Chapter 1 The Canadian Legal System 1) Which of the following is the most usable definition of law?
A) It is most useful to us to define law in terms of what we think people ought to do.
B) We must define law in terms of what people used to do.
C) We must define law in terms of what the courts or other agents of government will enforce.
D) We must define law in terms of what society needs people to do.
E) It is most useful to us to define law in terms of what people do. Answer: C Diff: 1 Type: MC Page Ref: 2 Skill: Recall passing grades 2) Which of the following statements with regard to the characteristics of civil and criminal actions is true?
A) The person who begins a civil action is usually called the prosecutor.
B) A civil action is a private action; that is, a person or persons sue another or others usually for the purpose of being compensated for injury or loss suffered.
C) If a person is convicted of a criminal offence, he or she cannot also be sued in a civil action by the victim.
D) In a criminal case, an individual person is taking the action against the accused.
E) The prosecutor must prove his or her case based “upon a balance of probabilities.” Answer: B Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 3, 18, 23 Skill: Recall 3) Which of the following is incorrect regarding roles played in legal cases?
A) In a civil action, the person suing is the plaintiff.
B) In a civil action, the person being sued is the defendant.
C) In an appeal, the person filing the appeal is the appellant.
D) In a civil case, the appellant is the same as the defendant, but he or she is now in the appeals process.
E) In a criminal case, the victim is likely to have the status of a witness. Answer: D Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 3, 24 Skill: Recall 4) Which of the following is correct with respect to the civil law system?
A) Quebec and New Brunswick use a system based on the French Civil Code.
B) The Civil Code as used in Quebec covers private disputes between individuals.
C) The Code is persuasive only and the judges are free to disregard it where the situation warrants.
D) The system used in Quebec is based on Justinian’s code rather than the Napoleonic Code.
E) The Civil Code governs all legal matters arising in Quebec, including criminal actions. Answer: B Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 4 Skill: Recall 5) At a recent computer show, you heard a student trying to explain our legal system to a man who recently immigrated from Russia. Which one of the following statements that he made is correct?
A) Today, we are governed only by statutes passed by our elected representatives.
B) All of the provinces follow law that stemmed from the English common law.
C) With the creation of our court system, the equitable tradition was lost. Today, a judge of our superior court does not apply principles or remedies developed by the courts of equity.
D) Judge-made law in England came from two traditions, civil law and parliamentary supremacy.
E) The chief characteristic of the common law is the theory of precedent; that is, judges are bound by decisions of judges on superior courts in that jurisdiction on the same point of law. Answer: E Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 4, 5 Skill: Recall 6) Which of the following is false with respect to our court system? (Note: B.C. is used as an example here.)
A) The consequence of the merger of the common law courts with the courts of equity is that the courts now apply both legal and equitable principles and remedies.
B) The lawyer arguing before the B.C. Supreme Court could cite a British case, but the judge is not bound to follow it.
C) There is no monetary limitation on the B.C. Supreme Court (i.e., the case may involve any amount of money).
D) A negligence action, where the extent of damage is $1500, would most likely begin in the B.C. Provincial Court, small claims division.
E) A judge on the B.C. Court of Appeal is bound to follow the decision of a judge on the B.C. Supreme Court on an identical case. Answer: E Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 4, 5 Skill: Recall 7) The custom of following already decided cases is called:
E) civil law system. Answer: D Diff: 1 Type: MC Page Ref: 5 Skill: Recall 8) Which of the following statements is correct with respect to the sources of our law?
A) The Courts of Chancery developed the law of contracts.
B) Equity is a system of law developed by the provincial legislatures.
C) The term stare decisis refers to the practice of following precedent, which forms the basis of our common law system.
D) The only province in which a judge is required to follow a comprehensive civil code is Ontario.
E) The common law derived aspects of the law of families and estates from the French Civil Code. Answer: C Diff: 1 Type: MC Page Ref: 5 Skill: Recall 9) Which of the following is correct with respect to stare decisis in the common law?
A) Statutes play the same role as the code used in the French system.
B) It prevents a higher court from overruling a lower one.
C) It is based on trial by battle and trial by ordeal.
D) This term refers to the role played by the law of equity in our system.
E) It allows decisions of the courts to be set by precedent. Answer: E Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 5 Skill: Recall 10) Which of the following was not one of the factors that led to the creation of the law of equity?
A) the need for a supplement to the common law
B) the adherence to precedent
C) the unpredictable outcome in the common law courts
D) stare decisis
E) rigidity in the common law courts Answer: C Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 6, 7 Skill: Recall 11) Which of the following is correct with respect to the law of equity?
A) Equity means fairness in our legal system.
B) Equity refers to the body of law created by the Court of Chancery.
C) The Court of Equity was essentially a common law court.
D) Equity no longer exists; the courts were merged.
E) Equity refers to the amount still owing on a debt. Answer: B Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 6 Skill: Recall
12) An Ontario provincial court judge was forced to decide a case based on conflicting legal precedents from higher courts. One of the precedents had been set by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The other precedent had been set by the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Ontario provincial court judge elected to follow the Alberta Court of Appeal precedent. In these circumstances, the decision of the Ontario provincial court judge will likely be:
A) upheld on appeal because the judge clearly followed an existing precedent.
B) upheld on appeal because stare decisis only requires that a judge follow an earlier decision.
C) overturned on appeal because an inferior provincial court must follow the decision of a higher court within the province if faced with conflicting precedents elsewhere.
D) overturned on appeal because the judge failed to properly distinguish the cases before her.
E) stayed due to conflict of interest. Answer: C Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 6 Skill: Applied 13) Which of the following is incorrect regarding the development of common law in Canada?
A) Canon law (church law) influenced the development of common law in relation to the laws of wills and estates.
B) Common law was developed by the Court of Chancery.
C) Roman law influenced the development of common law in relation to property law.
D) The law merchant influenced the development of common law in relation to the law of negotiable instruments.
E) Common law is a body of rules based on cases developed in the common law courts. Answer: B Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 6 Skill: Recall 14) Which of the following is correct with respect to the role of statutes in our legal system?
A) Only the federal Parliament may enact statutes.
B) In Canada, most new laws follow the Civil Code legal system.
C) Where a properly passed provincial statute is in conflict with a wellestablished common law principle, the statute will be void.
D) Once a statute has been interpreted and applied in a court, a subsequent judge in a lower court is not required to follow that decision if he or she disagrees with it.
E) A statute, if it is clear and concise and properly passed, will always override common law and equity. Answer: E Diff: 1 Type: MC Page Ref: 7 Skill: Recall 15) Which of the following statements about statutes is true?
A) A statute may be only federal.
B) Statutes apply only when there is no common law covering the situation.
C) Government regulations are considered supreme to statute law.
D) Statutes are laws created by legislative bodies.
E) Statutes often summarize or modify canon law. Answer: D Diff: 2 Type: MC Page Ref: 7 Skill: Recall 16) Which of the following will a judge not apply in a Canadian court?
A) constitutional law
B) equitable principles
C) statute law
D) common law principles
E) Roman law Answer: E Diff: 1 Type: MC Page Ref: 8 Skill: Recall