Lesson 3: Overview of Court System


Activity 1: Understanding What Makes Canada’s Courts Unique

Provide students with Handout 1: The Characteristics of Canada’s Courts. Students will read the information and answer the questions. If you are short on time, this can be given out as a homework assignment to complete before class.

See the Answer Key for Handout 1 in the Assessment section.

Activity 2: Web-Quest of Canada’s Court System

Provide students with Handout 2: Canada’s and BC’s Court System. Students will do some research on Canada’s Court System in order to complete the flowchart on this handout. If you are concerned about time, provide students with the Courtwatcher’s Manual online: www.justiceeducation.ca/resources/Courtwatcher-Manual.

See Answer Key for Handout 2 in the Assessment section.

Activity 3: Cameras in the Courtroom

After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of having cameras in courtrooms, provide students with Handout 3: Cameras in the Courtroom – Both Sides of the Argument. After students have read through the pros and cons of having cameras in court, have students read the scenarios on Handout 4: Should Cameras be Permitted in Court? You can either present it to them on an overhead projector or provide each student with a copy of the handout. After the students have read the scenarios, facilitate a discussion on whether cameras should be allowed in these particular trials.

If you want to extend the discussion, you could have students debate on this issue: BE IT RESOLVED that cameras should be allowed in court for every case.

Students could do some research as to where in Canada cameras have been allowed and find out how it worked in those cases. They can also look at cases where the media made application to film the case but were turned down.