Blog Post #2

by GillianMaskell on October 30, 2015 - 1:25pm

Gillian Maskell

Marisha Caswell

JURI 1106

October 30th, 2015


Blog Post 2 (Due October 30 at 11:59 pm)

We obey law for a number of reasons. We obey law because we learn to follow rules from a young age, we are afraid of punishment, and just because we are morally bound to do so. If we disagree with a specific law we are subject to discipline because we know we will face punishment. The severity of the punishment depends on the severity of the law broken, a spending ticket for breaking the written law of the legal speed on a specific area of the road would be less serious than someone who commits vandalism on property. There are many options when it comes to “deciding punishment,” or in legal terms it is called sentencing someone for “disagreeing” or breaking a law. There is Absolute or complete discharge, Imprisonment, Conditional Sentencing, Restitution, and Restorative justice initiatives. These sentences are decided by the judge, even in a case that is done in front of a jury of citizen, it is just up to the jury whether to decide the guilt or innocence of the person, this quote from Bagley explains,

“A sentence for a given offence is usually specified in the Criminal Code or other statue that has prescribed that offense. However, when you read statutory provisions, you notice that they often prescribe only a maximum or minimum penalty and therefore leave judges significant discretion in tailoring specific sentencing (Bagley, 2016).”[1]

The quote explains how the overall punishment process after committing a crime works, this threat of punishment that comes from committing a crime is a huge influence to why people follow the law. People are either afraid of what kind of punishment they may face, like incarceration, or some people fear not always the punishment, but how the charge of the crime will always have a mark on their criminal record, possibly posing a problem when trying to find a job in the future.

As citizens of Canada we are obligated to obey the law at all times. However, the law also allows for some exceptions.  A circumstance that I think that people may argue that might be an exception to obeying the law at all time is when someone assaults someone in “Self Defence.” An assault in classified as the following under the Criminal Code of Canada and is referenced in the law text book,


s. 265 of the Criminal Code defines assault in the following terms:

(1) A person commits an assault when

(a) Without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly… (Bagley)[2]

Now what would be a reasonable situation to assault someone else? That situation is when someone is being attacked or assaulted by another person. A person may need to hit someone else to disarm them so they can safely run away from the attacker.  Though the only thing about claiming “self-defence” is the action needs to follow the classification of self-defence, which includes,

§  She believed on reasonable grounds that force, or a threat of force, was being used against her;

§  Her actions were taken in order to defend herself; and

§  The actions committed were reasonable in the circumstances. (Bagley)[3]


The quote explains what the definition of self-defence is. Though even with these classifications of what true self-defence is there could still be some flaws with it.  When claiming to have used self-defence, things such as what kind of force was being used against the person to make them feel the need to defend themselves comes into question. As well as what actions are “reasonable” when it comes to self-defence, because a person could claim that killing someone was “reasonable” action, but could it really be?  The law someone is breaking when it comes to self-defence is the law of assault, but by following the discretions listed in the quote, what would normally be considered an assault would be classified as self-defence.

[1] Bagley, Sasha. "Criminal Law." Introduction To The Canadian Legal System. Toronto: Pearson, 2016. Print.


[2] Bagley, Sasha. "Criminal Law." Introduction To The Canadian Legal System. Toronto: Pearson, 2016. Print.


[3] Bagley, Sasha. "Criminal Law." Introduction To The Canadian Legal System. Toronto: Pearson, 2016. Print.




Hey, I just came from post #3 and found out that infact, this blog also had to do with law! How amazing!

About the author