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Criminal Law Unit Project

Using what you know about the Canadian Criminal Code and Canada’s Court system,

you will perform a case study of a crime that has occurred in Canada in the past 5 years. Using

what information you can find online (news websites, online records, government websites,

forums, youtube, etc), you will research a case of your choosing. You will then choose to take

the position of either prosecution or defence and describe how you believe the case should be

handled. Explain the events of the crime, whether you think the perpetrator is guilty or inno-

cent and why, and what verdict you believe should be reached. Be sure to explain your choices

based on what we have learned about Canada’s Court System and Criminal Code.

The case you choose must be approved by Ms. Mac before you begin to research it. You

will present your summary and arguments through either an oral presentation to the class or a

visual representation. You will also be required to hand in a 3 page write-up that will include a

brief summary of the case, a statement of position (prosecution or defence), and explanations

of your arguments and reasoning.

What to think about when writing about your case:

1. What type of offence does your chosen case involve? (regulatory, quasi-criminal, or Crimi-

nal Code?)
2. How would you classify the offences involved in this crime? (refer to lesson on summary

conviction, hybrid, and indictable offences)

3. Have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Criminal Code of Canada been followed

in your persecution/defence?

4. Who are the victims of the crime committed? Are they fairly compensated and understood

in your arguments?

5. What funding or programs could/should be allotted to the victim(s)?

6. What demographics are represented in your case?

7. Why might the crime have been committed?

8. Referring to the lesson on “Defences to Criminal Charges”, do any of these defences

change the prosecution of your case? (ex. alibi, self-defence, mental disorders, intoxication,


I chose to present the assessment OF learning unit project in this way to create an effective

and engaging assignment. In letting students choose a case that is relevant to Canada and of

specific interest to them, I hope to increase students’ level of engagement with in the project. I

chose to incorporate a balance between factual understanding and creative, analytic applica-

tion to evaluate students’ lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy but to also push them into higher

order thinking. Given that the Law 30 curriculum has not yet been updated, the document is

long and the foundational and learning outcomes are plentiful. Each of the eight questions/

guidelines I list corresponds to one of the “core learning outcomes” listed in the curriculum,

which must be taught in this criminal unit. By specifically listing these points of understand-

ing I can assess whether the students have grasped these core outcomes individually.

Assessment as and for learning will consist of many in-class checks (thumbs up/mid-

dle/down, for example) as well as in-class mini case studies throughout the term. Not only will

these mini case studies allow students to see many examples of how to research and analyze a

real-life criminal case, but will provide adequate exemplars as we will perform these studies in

larger groups without the necessity of numeric grades. Following the incorporation of these

mini case studies as well as the detailed outline for the unit project provided, I do believe that

any grade 11/12 students in my Law30 class would be able to fully understand and meet the

expectations of the assignment.

In deciding what methodology I wanted to pursue as far as evaluation and grading

goes, I was very torn. While social sciences projects generally elicit rubrics, I could not come
to a decision on what aspects of the project are most important to include in a rubric. Of

course I will need to ensure that students understand the concepts outlined in the eight ques-

tions, and that they are able to apply what they have learned to a real-life case, but these

demonstrations of learning should be quite obvious in their final product. The other aspects I

thought to include in a possible rubric would be an evaluation of their quality of visual pre-

sentation and/or oral presentation. This also seemed unfair to articulate on my own as I cannot

be certain what sort of presentation students will come up with. The last thing I want to do is

stifle a student’s creativity in presentation or application in this project by verbalizing the

rubric too narrowly. I reached the conclusion that I would give students the option to co-cre-

ate a rubric for their final project that they felt fairly included whatever choices they made in

their project. If a student were to fail to demonstrate adequate knowledge in this unit it would

be relatively easy for me to pinpoint what they are not grasping (given the eight outlined ques-

tions), and therefore a revisit to that specific lesson could occur.