Canadian Laws and Processes Essay

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The law affects nearly every aspect of our lives every day. On the one hand, we have laws to deal with crimes such as robbery or murder and other threats and challenges to society. On the other hand, laws regulate common activities such as driving a car, renting an apartment, getting a job or getting married. Our legal system functions well when people both understand their legal rights and live up to their legal responsibilities. In fact, the basis of much of our law is common sense. But before we can create new laws or change old ones, we need to understand the basic principles of our legal heritage and the way our justice system operates. To start, I want to cover the basics of Canada's policing system, how they were formed and they began to operate. Modern Canadian policing has its roots in many of the traditions and practices of the night watch system developed in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The official establishment of modern policing began with passage of the Police Metropolitan Act of 1829 in London, England. Among the most important elements of the Act were the call for citizen responsibility for law and order and the consolidation of the crime prevention and law enforcement powers of local officers. Also presented were the basic principles of law enforcement, written by Sir Robert Peel who also introduced the Act. These principles are still in effect today, having been adopted by the Canadian police as the basis of modern professional police services (Lamontagne, 1972). The first Canadian “police officers” recorded in the history books worked in Quebec City in 1651 and their only duty was to act as night watchmen for the community (Griffiths & Verdun-Jones, 1994). By the late 1830s, however, it was evident that crime was on the increase and it could not be controlled by self policing or volunteer policing. From this resulted the

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