Death After death occurs, a will determines how the deceased’s assets are divided. A will is written instructions that determine the distribution of property and possessions. The most common division of property in a will is from one spouse to another. If a will has not been created, or it does not include property division, there are solutions in provincial law. In Ontario, a spouse can apply for a division of matrimonial property. If someone dies without having a will they are considered “intestate.” Other provinces do not have laws that protect spouse whose partner died without a will. Canadians also have the right to assisted suicide. One case concerning death laws is Carter vs. Canada (AG), 2015 S.C.C. 5. On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Carter v. Canada that the prohibition on receiving medical assistance in dying under the Criminal Code is unconstitutional. This includes the section on voluntary euthanasia (Section 14) and assisted suicide (Section 241(b)). The Supreme Court Justices’ decision was based on the fact that the prohibition of medical assistance in dying limits the right to “life, liberty and security of person” guaranteed under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is because it: “deprives some individuals of life, as it has the effect of forcing some individuals to take their own lives prematurely … it also denies people in this situation the right to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care and thus trenches on their liberty … and by leaving them to endure intolerable suffering it infringes on their security of the person.” The government was given until June 6, 2016, to create new legislation for medical assistance in dying. Only physicians and nurse practitioners in certain provinces can provide medical assistance in dying services. They must follow the rules set out in the Criminal Code and any other provincial laws. However, the right of assisted death service providers are also protected. They can refuse to provide the service if it goes against their values or belief system. In order to be eligible for medical assistance in dying you must be: eligible for health services, be at least 18 years of age, be mentally competent, have a serious and incurable disease, volunteer for the service, and give consent to receive the service. Bill C-14 is an act that amends the Criminal Code and other Acts. The summary section states that it legalizes some forms of providing medical assistance in suicide, outlines requirements to receive assistance, covers rules for medical experts providing the service, and creates new offences for not following these rules. This means a person can end their constant suffering from a serious disease through medically-assisted suicide. They can die on their own terms.Human Rights Everyone is entitled to human rights. They are fundamental but basic rights and freedoms. This is internationally established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They include right to equal treatment, right to services and opportunities, freedom from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination is the act of treating people unequally because of characteristics like their gender, race, or religion. Legal battles for rights continue as society’s values change. Federally, rights are ensured from government abuses by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Federal and provincial human rights codes are legal documents that protect people from discrimination by other individuals or private organizations. The Human Rights Act was passed in 1977. Its laws apply to government departments, public corporations, businesses, and industries regulated by the federal government. For example: post offices, airlines, and federally-licensed banks. Sections 3 to 5 of the act prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, age, marital and family status, pardoned criminal convictions, color, religion, gender, physical or mental disability, and sexual orientation. This allows a person to be entitled to be their rights, although they may also be legally violated. One case concerning human rights is Tahmourpour vs. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2008 C.H.R.T. 10 (Cdn. Hum. Rts. Trib.). Ali Tahmourpour was a Muslim recruit at the RCMP training academy. His training contract was terminated and he complained of discrimination. He said he received verbal harassment, hostile treatment, and negative performance evaluation. He claimed Corporal Dan Broyer was the main source of hostility and verbal harassment. The Human Rights Commision concluded he was a victim of discrimination. Tahmourpour was given monetary compensation and an opportunity to enroll.Criminal Law Criminal law prohibits and punishes acts that harm people, property, or society in general. A crime is defined as an action that not only harms the victim but also society. The purpose of criminal law is to protect people and their property, maintain order, and preserve standards of public decency. All members of society have the responsibility to abide the law. The Criminal Code is a federal statute passed in 1982 that outlines most criminal offences and procedures. Sections 2 to 12.1 outline criminal offences. It includes sentences to be imposed according and trial procedures. Parliament changes the act in accordance with society’s changing values. For example: in 2008, Bill C-10 altered the Criminal Code by increasing minimum sentences for certain firearms offences. Obsolete laws are also repealed. For example: in 1976 the death penalty was removed as a penalty from the Criminal Code. New laws are also added to adapt with society’s progress. They cover new issues like online harassment, scams, and copyright infringements. A person can be held accountable for their criminal actions and be given practical punishments by a judge. One case regarding criminal law is R. vs. Boudreau (2005), 193 C.C.C. (3d) 449 (N.S.C.A.). Mr. Boudreau went to his wife’s house after recently separating. He pointed his rifle at his wife. She ran to a neighbour’s house and called the police. Boudreau told a neighbour he was going to shoot his wife. When the police arrived they took his gun, which was loaded. He was charged with and convicted of attempted murder and uttering threats under the Criminal Code. The conviction was appealed on the grounds that the trial Judge made a mistake. The accusation described the offense as an attempt to murder by shooting. The defense argued that inferred an attempt to shoot the victim. They argued there doesn’t have to be an attempt to shoot to attempt murder. The appeal court upheld the conviction concluding that the accused’s action went beyond preparation to murder.