The history of law is one of a long-standing tradition, periodically reinvigorated by innovative people making changes that still affect legal procedures today. Although many people have made changes to legal practise over the centuries, three individuals, in particular, were absolutely the most foundational and game-changing, with the clearest influence on how the law is practised in Canada today. Modern law certainly still feels the influence of William Garrow, Pierre Trudeau, and John Liburne.
William Garrow was an English barrister, politician, and Judge known for his indirect change of the advocacy system, which helped start the adversarial court system used in most common law nations to this day. The adversarial system is a legal system used in common law countries were two people represent their parties, case, or position before an impartial person or group of people such as a judge and/or jury, who attempt to determine truth and pass judgment accordingly. The adversarial system is still used to this day. William Garrow was a step further than a lot of people because he had an aggressive and forthright style of cross-examination, he advertised a more committed defence of clients, For centuries, defendants were not allowed to have trial council. The prosecution counsel was allowed but rarely used. The criminal trial was meant to be a lawyer-free occasion at which the person on trial could hear the accusing evidence and respond to it in person. The transition from lawyer-free to lawyer-dominated criminal trials happened within a century, from the 1690s to the 1780s, The adversarial system is very important in Canadian law, it allows Canadians the chance to have a person or persons such as a lawyer or team of lawyers to represent them and their case in a court of law, in front of an impartial person or persons such as a judge and/or jury.
Pierre Trudeau was a Canadian politician who was the fifteenth prime minister of Canada and leader of the liberal party between 1968 and 1984, he was prime minister for fifteen years and one hundred and sixty-five days which would make him Canada’s third longest-serving prime minister. When Pierre Trudeau became prime minister he was committed to a constitutional bill of rights. Pierre Trudeau believed that a strong democracy needed the protection of people’s rights from the power of state in its supreme law. Most of the provinces did not agree with Pierre Trudeau but the contents of the proposed charter were debated aggressively in several meetings. In the end, the charter was finally agreed upon and was finally passed, on April 17th, 1982 the charter of rights and freedoms was finally signed off on. In 1960 the very first bill of rights was enacted. Right away there was a problem with the bill, it was not part of the constitution, which meant it could very easily be changed by the government. It was not used effectively to protect Canadians rights. Because of Pierre Trudeau Canadians now have fundamental freedoms like freedom of expression, democratic rights such as the right to vote , mobility rights such as the right to leave and enter the country, and so on for a total of 24 sections on the charter all stating every Canadians rights and freedoms on the charter of rights and freedoms.
John Liburne also is known as “Freedom John” was a political leveller before during and after the English civil war. John Liburne devised the term ‘’freedom rights’’, defining them as rights with every human is born with, going against the rights proposed and enforced by the government or human law. As a result, John Liburnes trials gained him a growing number of supporters who nicknamed him “Freedom John”. John Liburne often described the levellers as “ the middle sort of person” and “the hobnails clouted shoes, the private soldiers, the leather and woollen aprons and the laborious and industrious people of England”. The levellers made the first written draft of the constitution- the “ agreement of the people”. All their ideas were debated in the Putney church. Two years after Charles I was beheaded the levellers Colonel Rainbourgh said the most memorable words “ for really I think that the poorest he that is in england health life to live, as the greatest he: and therefore, truly sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government”. Because of John Liburne and the levellers the people of England gained the right to counsel which eventually threw time allowed Canada do to have the same.
Modern law certainly still feels the influence of William Garrow, Pierre Trudeau, and John Liburne. Although many people have made changes to legal practise over the centuries, these three individuals, in particular, were absolutely the most foundational and game-changing, with the clearest influence on how the law is practised in Canada today. The history of law is one of long-standing traditions, periodically reinvigorated by innovative people making changes that still affect legal procedures today.