Areas of Law in Canada

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Contract Law

  • An agreement between two or more parties, usually for the supply of goods or services in exchange for money.
  • Mainly governed by common law
  • Basic elements: –
    • To offer
    • Acceptance
    • Consideration (both sides get something of value)
  • Examples: reception of clients, specialized practices, employment between doctor and hospital

Tort Law

  • When someone’s actions cause an injury to one or more other people.
  • Also governed primarily by the common law
  • Private – a matter between the injured party (the plaintiff) and the party who injured (the defendant)..
  • Two types: –
    • Intentional Torts
      • When one party intends to cause an injury or does so deliberately.
      • Example:
        • The intentional interference with the bodily integrity of another person.
        • Direct, intentional, physical, harmful or offensive contact.
    • Negligence (sometimes called malpractice)
      • When a party causes injury by failing to take reasonable precautions.
      • In the medical context, this is called malpractice when a doctor acts unreasonably.
      • Examples:
        • Not asking whether a patient is allergic to a drug or if he/she is taking any other drug/s before prescribing one.
        • Leaving a surgical instrument within a patient after an operation.
        • Performing a medical procedure in case of alcohol or drug impairment.

Criminal Law

  • When a person commits a wrongful act that is punishable by law.
  • Primarily governed by statutory law – The Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
  • Public: a matter between the state called the Crown and the party who committed the wrongdoing (the accused).
  • Higher standard of proof beyond a  reasonable doubt.
  • The onus is on the Crown to prove everything.Onus on Crown to prove everything.
  • Some crimes of interest: –
    • Section 216: Anyone who undertakes to administer surgical or medical treatment to another person or to perform any other lawful act likely to endanger the life of another person is, except in case of necessity, in the legal obligation to have and use reasonable knowledge, skill and care to do so.
    • Section 241 (a): Suicide counselor
    • Section 241 (b) Assisting the Suicide Commission
      • Whether the suicide is successful or not
    • Section 265: Intention application of force to another person without their consent (assault).

Administrative Law

  • The administrative body derives its power from the state, acts in the public interest.
  • Mainly governed by statutory law – the enabling statute of the administrative body.
  • Many types of actions: –
    • Hearings
    • Rules and Guidelines
    • Registrations and Records
  • Examples: –
    • Issuance of a permit to practice (Section 5 of College and Physicians Registration Regulations)
    • Conduct discipline hearings (Sub Section 58-66 of Medical Act)