Course Exam—LGST 230

The Canadian Legal System

LGST 230 (The Canadian Legal System) is a three-credit introductory Legal Studies course that falls under business and administrative studies.  This course is designed for students who are interested in learning more about Canada’s legal system, its history and development, and the trends in Canadian law.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

LGST 230 is made up of eight units, five assignments weighing ten percent each, and an online final exam worth fifty percent.  Students must submit all five assignments and achieve at least a fifty percent in the final examination and fifty percent overall in the course.  The eight units within this course cover topics such as what is law, judges and lawyers, rights and freedoms in Canada, future trends in the Canadian legal system, the Canadian court system, and sources of law and the application of Canadian law.

The final exam is a three-hour closed-book examination that consists of four parts:  true or false questions (worth ten marks), multiple-choice questions (worth ten marks), a short-answer section that requires short paragraphs on five items (worth twenty marks), and a single short-essay question that is based upon unit 8 in the course (worth ten marks).  These questions are drawn directly from the learning objectives and the study questions or a combination of the two.  It’s suggested that students will find it helpful to review their assignments, the unit learning objectives, the study questions, and the reading assignments in preparation for the examination.  You’ll be expected to be able to synthesize information from various units in answering the examination questions.

Archie Zariski has been with Athabasca University for ten years (2008) and has coordinated LGST 230 for those ten years.  He also coordinates LGST 249 (Legal Literacy), LGST 331 (Administrative Law), LGST 369 (Commercial Law), LGST 374 (Local Government Law), and LGST 482 (Alternative Dispute Resolution).  Also, for graduate courses, he co-coordinates courses with Associate Professor Dale Dewhurst in the diploma program in legislative drafting, which include LGST 551 (Introduction to Legislative Drafting), LGST 553 (Legislative Structure, Style, and Limits), LGST 555 (Drafting Preliminary, Amending, and Final Provisions), LGST 557, and LGST 559 (Legislative Drafting Project).

He states, “I practiced law in Edmonton for fifteen years, then became an academic teaching at law school in Australia.  Eventually, I moved back to Edmonton, my home town.  My principal interest is in dispute resolution – mediation, arbitration and similar processes.”

When asked to describe the course, Zariski states “This course introduces students to the basic structure of the Canadian legal system, the processes used in legal proceedings, and the legal professionals involved – paralegals, lawyers and judges.  After taking the course students will understand how our legal system works to protect legal rights and enforce legal obligations.”

When asked to describe the structure of the assignments, he notes that “the assignments in this course ask students to practice some the legal techniques used in the legal system like researching law and interpreting legislation.  They are most like case studies and are expected to be about 1200-1500 words each.  The final exam tests a comprehensive understanding of the basic legal concepts and ideas covered in the course.”

Zariski continues, “Students should be disciplined to read the text thoroughly and inquiring in relation to legal questions and issues that are discussed.  It also helps if students take an interest in legal cases and situations that appear regularly in the news and other media.  Be prepared to learn some new vocabulary and concepts, but with a payoff of better understanding how law works in our society.”

When asked which aspect of the course students struggle with most, he states “Legalese”! There is still a tendency in law to use archaic, Latin, or unfamiliar words when simpler language and plain words would be just as good.  However, every professional field has its own “jargon” and this is something that can learned.”

If you are interested in learning more about LGST 230, there is a Detailed Syllabus and Assessment Information (PDF) and Sample Course Pages (PDF) in the online syllabus!

Whether LGST 230 (The Canadian Legal System) is a mandatory course for your program or the information above is of interest to you, this course will have you learning practical and important information surrounding our Canadian legal system.  If you have any questions or concerns, Archie Zariski welcomes you to contact him at