This assignment is due at the BEGINNING of class on January 28th , 2020. Please also upload an identical copy to Brightspace prior to class.
Students are encouraged to complete this assignment in pairs of two (2). For those working in
pairs, one assignment will be submitted and one mark will be attributed to both students. Do
not put your name on your assignment. Only identify yourself (yourselves) by your student
Please write using double-spacing to permit sufficient room for the corrector to include
comments. Further, write in complete sentences. In the case of hand-written submissions,
please ensure that the writing is CLEARLY legible. Otherwise, a grade of 0 will be attributed to
each illegible answer.
Show ALL of your work in deriving each answer.
Imagine that you are interested in the structure of criminal courts in Canada. With regards to
criminal matters, there are 2 levels of trial court in Canada: the Provincial Court and the Superior
Court. Provincial Courts have the power to deal with every criminal offence except the most
serious offences (such as murder and treason) as well as to conduct pre-trial hearings - called
preliminary inquiries - for criminal cases in which the accused has elected for trial in Superior
Court. The provinces and territories appoint and pay judges who serve in these courts. In
contrast, the federal government appoints and pays judges who preside in Superior Court.
Superior Courts have historically been reserved for the most serious offences.
Yet the historical distinctions between these two levels of criminal trial courts have been
increasingly blurred with the dramatic growth in stature, jurisdiction, competence and public
importance of the Provincial Court. You want to test the long-standing assumption that Superior
Court is reserved for the most serious offences. This presumption is based on the Criminal
Code offence classification system. According to this categorization, summary offences (i.e.,
those considered to be the least serious in nature) can only be dealt with in Provincial Court. In
contrast, indictable offences (i.e., those considered to be the most serious in nature) may be
dealt with in either Provincial or Superior Court. In fact, the choice is given to the accused in
nearly all cases. With hybrid offences (considered more serious than summary offences, but
less serious than indictable offences), the Crown determines whether the charge will proceed
summarily or by indictment. To test the assumption that Superior Court (in contrast with
Provincial Court) deals with the most serious cases, you decide to examine the types of cases
which are processed through each level of court. Your focus is on detecting any differences
which may exist between these two levels of Court.