Legal Studies Courses

To see Legal Studies courses offered in 2023-24, click HERE.

POLS 1303 Law/Politics & Government (Required for Legal Studies Minor)
This introductory course in politics and government introduces students to concepts, institutions of government, political processes, law, and political thought. No prerequisites. Students who have completed two years of study may not enroll in any political science 1000-level course except with permission of the Department.

POLS 1403 Global Politics, Law, and Culture (Required for Legal Studies Minor)
This introductory course explores changing concepts such as development, war and peace, international law and justice, and social movements that help us understand contemporary global politics. No prerequisites. Students who have completed two years of study may not enroll in any political science 1000-level course except with permission of the Department.

BUSI 3613 Business Law 
The course raises awareness of the relevance and importance of the law in business and enables students to use knowledge of the law to improve business decisions and avoid unnecessary legal difficulties. The key elements are the Canadian legal system; the basics of contracts and torts; and a framework for identifying and managing legal risks that confront firms. Prerequisite(s): BUSI 1703, COMM 1213, MATH 1613 or MATH 1013, each with a minimum grade of C-.

BUSI 3623 Business Law 2
The course extends the topics of BUSI 3613 into the other areas of law that are important for business and presents the law in a way that relates to the functional areas of business. The course topics are organized under major headings - business organizations; types of types of property; employment; marketing; and finance. Prerequisite(s): BUSI 3613 with a minimum grade of C-.

BUSI 3643 Consumer Law 
A study of law as it relates to consumers in today's marketplace, with special emphasis on the protection of consumers in their purchase and use of goods and services. Federal and provincial legislation which affects the consumer are explored in detail.

CLAS 3113 Roman Law
The development of Roman private law, its main features, and its influence on later western law. Criminal law will also be examined. Prerequisite(s): 30h of university courses or permission of the instructor.

ENVS 3113 Legal Issues in Environmental Science
A course designed to explore the constitutional, legislative and regulatory context of environmental law from a science perspective. A comparison and contrast of international environmental law responses for specific issues will be conducted in relation to Canada’s treaty obligations and the common law system. Prerequisite(s): 6h science and third year standing.

HIST 3303 Genocide and Justice
This course explores atrocity and accountability in the modern world. Using first-hand accounts and academic analyses, students will review historical cases of genocide through two lenses: 1) the lived experiences of mass violence, and 2) international responses to atrocity. The tragic link between genocide and justice will be traced throughout as we confront history’s darkest deeds. Prerequisite(s): 30h university courses.

HIST 3663 Law and Punishment in Canada Before 1900
This seminar course explores laws and punishments in Canada prior to the creation of a modern criminal code. Though civil law is considered, readings and discussions will focus on criminal law as it was understood and practiced by Canada’s First Nations, the British and French Empires, and the young nation of Canada. Prerequisite(s): 30h university courses.

IDST 3103 Environmental Law
An historical review of property law concepts and an examination of the legal principles associated with environmental law, including a review of the rights, obligations, claims, defences and remedies of conflicting environmental interests. May be offered for major credit in political science. Prerequisite(s): third year standing.

IDST 3123 Family Law
A study of the family in Canadian society from the legal perspective. Topics covered include children and the law, custodial issues, divorce and separation, family property, family violence, protection for the elderly, reproduction and the law, and an examination of the family court system and current trends in family law. May be offered for major credit in political science and sociology. Prerequisite(s): third year standing.

PHIL 2713 Biomedical Ethics
Recent advances in medicine and the biological sciences raise pressing moral and legal questions as to their proper use and control: experimentation on human subjects, organ transplants, genetic control, behaviour modification, active and passive euthanasia, and the question of priorities in health care, against the background of both natural rights and utilitarian considerations. Prerequisite(s): One year of university study.

PHIL 3203 Philosophy of Law: Rights, Laws and Judges
This course explores the question of constitutional rights. What rights should our constitution provide? Can constitutional provisions be given a strict legal interpretation, or does constitutional interpretation require judges to apply their own moral beliefs? Should unelected judges have the authority to strike down legislation just because, in their view, it violates rights such as freedom of expression and equality? Prerequisite(s): One year of university study.

PHIL 3213 Philosophy of Law: Private Law
This course is a philosophical treatment of issues in the private law of tort and contract. Tort law is concerned with personal injury. Is fault the right way of looking at this issue? Perhaps a robust form of social insurance provides a better approach to injuries. Moreover, which contracts count as fair? When should contracts be reversed by the courts? Prerequisite(s): One year of university study.

POLS 3063 Indigenous Law and Governance in Canada
Students focus on how the rich, complex nature of Indigenous knowledge (IK) informs contemporary Indigenous legal thought and governance across Canada. After an overview of diverse Indigenous knowledge systems, students are introduced to interpretations and expressions of IK in the law and governance. Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

POLS 3083 Issues in International Law
The basic principles of international law are examined in the context of contemporary global politics. The evolution of international law and its application among and across states and societies will be studied from a variety of theoretical, conceptual and normative perspectives. Particular emphasis will be placed on the laws of war; humanitarian law; and international criminal justice. Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

POLS 3463 Law & Politics in Canada
An introduction to the structure and functions of the judiciary and its role in the Canadian political process. Topics include the nature of judicial power and its constitutional framework in Canada, judicial appointments, and judicial policy-making. Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

POLS 3563 Women, Gender and the Law in Canada
This course examines legal issues that are especially relevant to women. Students will analyze laws, policies, and court rulings on issues including adoption, marriage, and prostitution. This approach will allow students to understand the issues themselves, how law is gendered, and the workings of government and politics. Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

POLS 4403 Canadian Constitutional Law
An examination of the role performed by the judicial and legislative branches in constitutional protections in Canada. Topics include leading constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and the major trends in Canadian constitutional law including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the division of powers. Prerequisite(s): POLS 2006 with a minimum grade of B, or permission of the instructor.

POLS 4603 First Nations Peoples: Law, Politics and Policy in Canada
This seminar course explores the socio-political, historical, legal, economic and cultural aspects of the decolonization and self-determination efforts of First Nations peoples in Canada. Students will explore the multiple dimensions of aboriginality, the evolution of Aboriginal-State relations, the legal battles for Aboriginal rights to land, resources, and self-government, and the evolving political status and aspirations of First Nations’ peoples. Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing (i.e. >24h completed).

SOCI 2413 Indigeneity and Sociology
The conquest and subsequent (ill) treatment of First Nations by Canada followed by a review of current issues. Particular attention is paid to the Maritimes. Topics include: poverty/economic dependency; modern treaties; the status of Aboriginal women; residential schools; over-representation in jail; Aboriginal rights; self-government and Nunavut. Prerequisite(s): Second year standing.

SOCI 2713 Sociology of Deviance
An examination of the social processes involved in the creation and definition of deviance. Topics may include mental illness, drug use, youthful deviance, as well as organizational, corporate, and state deviance and criminalization. Prerequisite(s): 6h of 1000 level SOCI courses.

SOCI 2723 Canadian Criminal Justice
The criminal justice system and the structure of legal regulation and enforcement in Canada. Topics may include policing, court processes, modes of punishment, youth justice, wrongful convictions, and minority groups in the justice system. Prerequisite(s): 6h of 1000 level SOCI courses.

SOCI 2753 Principles of Criminology
An introduction to some of the basic concepts of criminology and the sociology of law. Topics may include explanations of criminality, crime patterns and statistics, victimization, the role of the media, corporate and organized crime, and minority groups and crime. Prerequisite(s): 6h of 1000 level SOCI courses.

SOCI 3143 Social Welfare and Social Policy
This course examines, and critically evaluates, the social welfare system in Canada linking its history and ideological underpinnings to contemporary social policy and human services delivery. A variety of social welfare needs are explored and careful attention is paid to the lived effects of social policy based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, abilities, age, and sexualities. Prerequisite(s): 6h 1000 level SOCI, 6h 2000 level SOCI, or permission of the instructor.

SOCI 3793 Violence
This course examines a spectrum of violence and the ways in which violence affects our everyday lives, both explicitly and implicitly. Analyses range from overt expressions of force to covert forms of violence, such as institutional, structural, and discursively constituted violence. Areas may include violence against women, violence within sex work, political violence, terrorism, and resistance within oppressive systems. Prereq: 6h 1000-level Soci, 6h 2000-level Soci, or permission of the instructor

SOCI 3183 Rape & Sexual Assault in Canada: A Socio-Historical View
Through legislation and academic scholarship, this course examines historical and contemporary socio-legal shifts and trends related to the crimes of rape and sexual assault in Canada. Prerequisite(s): 12h of SOCI, or 6h of SOCI and 6h of WGST, or permission of the instructor.

SOCI 3703 Crime and Punishment
A cross-cultural and social historical examination of the social response to crime. Topics may include patterns of crime, the history of policing and forms of punishment, the evolution of the penitentiary, and comparative justice models. Prerequisite(s): 6h 1000 level SOCI, 6h 2000 level SOCI, or permission of the instructor.

SOCI 3743 Criminal Law and Social Policy
This course focuses on the sociological understanding of the origins, development, and interpretation of criminal law in Canada. The social construction of law is examined in the context of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, judicial decisions, and social forces. Topics may include theories of law, women and the justice system, aboriginal and restorative justice. Prerequisite(s): 6h 1000 level SOCI, 6h 2000 level SOCI, or permission of the instructor.

SOCI 4183 Seminar in Criminology and Deviance
A seminar designed to examine in depth a variety of issues in the study of social deviance and criminology. Selected topics may include policing, courts, corrections, youth justice and minority groups and the justice system. Prerequisite(s): 21h SOCI completed including 6h 1000 level (from SOCI 1006, SOCI 1013, SOCI 1033, WGST 1413), SOCI 2003, 2013, 2033 and 2103 with minimum grades of C-. Restricted to Sociology honours students with fourth-year standing.

For the most up to date and authoritative list of courses, consult the University Calendar
For the list of courses offered in the current year consult the Acadia timetable.