and the Limits of Public Administration
AS/POLS 3605 3.0 and GL/POLS 3136 3.0

This is the web page for Section A of Public Law II, 2005-06 (winter term), Fridays, 2:30 - 4:00 (sometimes to 5:30).

The final exam for AS/POLS 3605 3.0 and GL/POLS 3136 3.0 will be held on Friday, April 21, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Room 001, Accolade East for Keele Campus students.   Glendon students will write the exam in 144 York Hall, Glendon College.  (Keele students who have attended at Glendon may write the exam at Glendon.)

Course Director:  Ian Greene;
Office: 224 McLaughlin College, Ph: 736-5128, ext. 77055
Usual Office Hours (check Prof. Greene's home page for temporary changes)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 to 11:00, or by appointment.
(Note:  office hours are cancelled during reading week.)

Teaching Assistants:
 •For electronic discussion groups, course-related questions, and writing assignments:  Kristopher Crawford-Dickinson;
            Office Hours:    
 •For students taking the course at the Glendon campus:  Patrick Tomlinson;

            Office Hours:                      

 •For exams:  Charles Smith;
    Office Hours:  Thursdays, 1:00 to 2:30, and 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., S628 Ross

NOTE:  This course is being offered as a technology-enhanced learning course.  Lectures will be held Friday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:00 in Stedman D or 144 York Hall at Glendon College; they will be videoconferenced to the other campus.  Most tutorials will be conducted on WebCT at a time convenient to students; some will be held in person from 4:00 to 5:20.  Students who want an in-person tutorial in place of an electronic tutorial on WebCT must attend the class at the Glendon campus.

All students in this course MUST register for a York WebCT account.  To activate your York WebCT Account, first activate your York email, and then go to this web page:

Lectures:      Fridays, 2:30 – 4:00 in Stedman Lecture Hall D
Seminars:      Approximately 1.5 Hours per week on WebCT, and sometimes "live" between 4:00 and 5:30.
        20 Minute Seminar Group Meetings As Assigned (bi-weekly basis)
                   In-person seminars will be conducted at the Glendon campus from 4:00 to 5:30 every Friday for those students who choose to attend at the Glendon campus.

Course Overview:  This course examines key provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the courts have interpreted them.  This includes freedoms of expression and association; right to life, liberty and the security of the persons; equality rights and non-discrimination; and the rights of Aboriginal peoples.  In addition, a section of the course is devoted to judicial review of public administration.  Recommended (but not required) prerequisites include: AS/POLS 2100.06 or AS/POLS 2610.06 and AS/POLS 3600.03 or advice from the instructor about gaining appropriate background.  The first four videostreamed lectures from Public Law I are linked to the WebCT site, and these should provide sufficient background for students who do not have a background in the Canadian court system.

The course outline, in Word format, can be obtained here.

Purpose of Course:  This course will examine the influence of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms both on jurisprudence and politics in general.  Principles of legal interpretation and the practical political implications of Charter decisions will be discussed.  The object of the course is to review a number of aspects of human rights legislation and case law in Canada that are relevant to those who may work in the public sector in the future, or in the private sector in areas that interact with government.

The course outline can be downloaded from the WebCT account.

Students will be divided into tutorial groups of about 15 students each.  Each group will prepare for a mock trial to be held toward the end of term.  Students will prepare written assignments associated with the mock trial (eg. students assigned to be judges will write judgments; students assigned as counsel will write factums [arguments]; students assigned as expert witnesses will write affidavits [reports].)  Each mock trial will be videotaped and webstreamed for all tutorial groups to view.  Students who completed AS/POLS 3600 3.0 in the fall term of 2004 or 2005 must assume a different role in the mock trial for POLS 3605 than the role they assumed in POLS 3600.

Relation Between POLS 3600.03 and POLS 3605.03:  Both of these courses are required for PPA majors, and most students take both courses during the same fall-winter term (PPA students may take AK/POLS 3405.06 or AS/SOSC 3360.60 instead of POLS 36053.0).  About half of Peter Hogg’s text is recommended reading in POLS 3600.03, and the other half is recommended reading in POLS 3605.03.

Format:  There will be 1.5 hours class on Friday afternoons from 2:30-4:00 and either 1.5 hours weekly WebCT participation or attendance at the Glendon tutorial.  The WebCT participation will consist of discussing weekly questions posted by the Teaching Assistant to the individual groups.  Further, the WebCT participation will consist of attending mandatory bi-weekly group meetings and one Learning Seminar for the Mock Trial (the date and seminar topic will depend on the role selected by the student).

70% Mandatory Lecture Attendance:  Students are expected to attend 70% of the lectures (i.e. at least 8 lectures).  Failure to do so, absent extraordinary circumstances, will result in the student not receiving the credit.  An attendance sheet will be passed around each class.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she signs the attendance sheet before leaving class.  Failure to do so will result in a recording of an absence in lecture for that day.


Required:  The following are required readings:

Course Kit:  This consists of a kit of required readings.  This kit can be purchased from the Keele Copy Centre, 416-665-9675
4699 Keele Street, across from York University.  (Some copies will be brought to the first class for sale).

Ian Greene, The Charter of Rights (Toronto: Lorimer, 1989).

Court Cases Posted On WebCT.  Students are expected to read the decisions from WebCT.  They will be located under the “Course Content” Section under the Folder Heading of “Recent Supreme Court Decisions”.

Recommended:  The following text is recommended:

Peter W. Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada 2004 Student Edition (Toronto: Carswell, 2004).  Earlier editions are also useful.


Assignments and Grade:

Letter to the Editor on the December 21, 2005 Supreme Court decision that dismissed charges against individuals
operating a "swingers" club in Montreal.  (R. v. Kouri, 2005 SCC 81, which can be located through the
Supreme Court of Canada judgments website at
(Due January 20, 2006)                                                                                                                          5%
Mid-Term Examination (Friday, February 10, 2005)                                                                              20%
WebCT Participation (Weekly Participation in Discussions on Questions Posted By TA)                        10%
Mock Trial                                                                                                                                            35%
    Skeleton Outline For Mock Trial (Due date depends on role)                                                             10%
    Final Paper (Due date depends on role)                                                                                             20%
    Oral Presentation on Mock Trial (March 17, 2005 or March 24, 2006)                                               5%
Final Examination (During final exam period)                                                                                          30%

Note:  All assignments are mandatory.  Failure to hand in an assignment will result in an incomplete for the course.

Useful links:
 Supreme Court of Canada
 Canadian Information by Subject
 Ontario Court of Justice
 Access to Justice Network
 Charter of Rights Decisions on Mapleleafweb

<>The Canadian court structure
Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982
Reference re Same Sex Marriage
Canadian Judicial Council
How federally-appointed judges are selected
How provincially-appointed judges are selected in Ontario
Ethics Statement of Canadian Judicial Council
Fundamental Freedoms documentary on the Charter

Citations Guide, by Kristopher Crawford-Dickinson
This Grading Sheet must be attached to all case commentary assignments when handed in
This Grading Sheet must be attached to all SKELETON OUTLINES when handed in
Kris Crawford-Dickinson:  Ten Steps on How to Write and "A" Paper

Overheads from class:

January 6 powerpoint

January 13 powerpoint

January 20 powerpoint

January 27 powerpoint

February 3 powerpoint

Review for February 10 mid-term exam

February 24 powerpoint

March 3 powerpoint

March 10 lunch talk (for March 10 lecture see WebCT site)

March 17 powerpoint

March 24 powerpoint

March 31 powerpoint