Canadian Constitutional Law in Comparative Perspective Advanced (M3078)

15 credits, Level 5

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, and is frequently used as a comparator particularly because of the multifaceted nature of the Canadian state and the commitment of the Canadian Constitution to multiculturalism. 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 multinational Canadian democracy provides a particularly interesting case study for an examination of constitutional contestation. The module 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.


73%: Lecture
7%: Practical (Workshop)
20%: Seminar


100%: Examination (Distance examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 120 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: