Legal Studies (LGST) 230

The Canadian Legal System (Revision 4)

LGST 230

Revision 4 is closed for registrations, see current revision

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Precluded course: LGST 430. (LGST 230 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for LGST 430.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Legal Studies home page

LGST 230 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Detailed syllabus and assessment information (PDF)

Questions? Contact the Course Coordinator Archie Zariski

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This course is designed primarily for students who are interested in learning more about Canada's legal system, its history and development, and trends in Canadian law.

Course Learning Outcomes

After completing LGST 230, you should be able to

  1. describe what we mean by law in Canada in comparison to other normative systems and explain some leading theories of law.
  2. describe the two legal systems found in Canada and explain their differences.
  3. explain the structure of the Canadian legal system and describe the role and function of the judiciary.
  4. explain the basic principles of Canadian tort, contract, property, business, family, administrative, and criminal law.
  5. describe the nature and sources of civil liberties in Canada.
  6. identify the different branches of legal professionals in Canada and describe their educational requirements.
  7. explain what is meant by access to justice and law reform, and describe some initiatives in both areas.


  • Unit 1: What Is Law?
  • Unit 2: Legal Systems in Canada
  • Unit 3: Courts and the Judiciary
  • Unit 4: Civil Liberties
  • Unit 5: Tort and Contract Law
  • Unit 6: Property and Family Law
  • Unit 7: Business and Consumer Law
  • Unit 8: Administrative Law
  • Unit 9: Criminal Law
  • Unit 10: Other Areas of Law
  • Unit 11: The Legal Profession
  • Unit 12: Access to Justice and Law Reform


To receive credit for LGST 230, you must submit five assignments, achieve an overall course grade of D (50 percent) or better, and receive a passing grade of 50 percent or better on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes the following print textbook:

Fairlie, J., & Sworden, P. (2019) Introduction to law in Canada (2nd ed). Emond Publishing.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the LGST 230 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination. A letter grade will be given based upon the examination mark awarded.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, December 11, 2019.

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