Canadian Constitutional Law (M3478)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

The distinctive nature and history of the Canadian state and Canadian constitutional arrangements make it an interesting study in its own right, and a useful comparator at a time of growing discussion and interest in the field of constitutionalism.

The Canadian model with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides a source of influence and inspiration to the UK and other Commonwealth countries.

It is frequently used as a comparator, particularly because of the multi-faceted nature of the Canadian state and the commitment of the Canadian Constitution to multi-culturalism. Canadian constitutional law is examined in comparative perspective.

This module introduces you to the history, structures, sources and nature of the Canadian Constitution. In particular the module examines the distinctive history of the Canadian constitutional arrangements and the development of a rich Canadian constitutional literature, which has made a major contribution to discussions of constitutionalism and difference.

The context of multi-national Canadian democracy provides a particularly interesting case study for an examination of Constitutional contestation. The course examines how this context has influenced the structure of the Canadian state, including Canadian federalism, constitutional change in Canada, and the adjudication of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982 through the courts.


71%: Lecture
7%: Practical (Workshop)
21%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 28 hours of contact time and 122 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.