Canada's System of Justice
The Canadian justice system is unique in the world. Two official languages (English and French) and two legal traditions (common law and civil law) co-exist within our system of justice. As Canadians, we are all responsible for understanding our rights and freedoms and our duties as members of society. Courts resolve disputes, and in doing so, they interpret and establish the law for all Canadians.
Services and information
The Department of Justice Canada considers access to justice to be a fundamental value of the Canadian justice system, flowing from our country’s respect for the rule of law.
The Government of Canada is renewing the relationship with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation based on the recognition of rights, respect and partnership.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a number of rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and the right to equality.
On December 13, 2019, amendments to the Department of Justice Act came into force, creating a new duty on the Minister of Justice to ensure a Charter Statement is tabled in Parliament for every Government bill.
The Criminal Code is a federal law that includes definitions of most of the criminal offences that the Parliament of Canada has enacted.
About Canada's System of Justice
Canada is one of those rare countries where common law and civil law exist side by side and interact within the same legislative framework, reflecting Canada’s history and its legal and constitutional structure.
Legislation is introduced in Parliament to amend or repeal existing laws or put new ones into place.
The Privacy Act is federal legislation that protects the personal information of Canadians in the hands of federal public sector institutions.
Understand how the courts are organized.
The Department's activities in matters related to justice in official languages are mainly directed towards two initiatives: the promotion of access to justice in both official languages and the implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act.
In 2005, the Department of Justice adopted an action plan establishing a two-part mandate for the Legal Dualism Team.
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