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NORTH vs SOUTH A comparison of legal systems Many Canadians believe that Canadian law and American law are one in the same aside from major discrepancies ie Death Penalty or at least very similar But what most people do not know is that in fact they are very different Even though both systems evolved over hundreds of years from The English Common Law system they have since taken different routes Canada has kept mostly to the British formalities such as discipline and even the black gowns traditionally worn by British judges The US has however become a more informal and argumentative court system The US courts and Canadian courts have many differences but one of the main ones is in their court structure To begin with in Canada all criminal matters are Federal so crimes their terms and punishments are the same from coast to coast This differs from the US where most of their criminal matters are legislated state by state This means for some crimes there could be a different approach to a crime whether it be terms or punishment by each state US courts are also usually quicker to accept scientific and technical evidence and they tend to have longer trials even though they work longer hours sometimes even sitting in on a weekend This is mainly because they are so much more informal and argumentative than Canadian courts The actual means by which they conduct the court also differs In the US prosecutors are not allowed to appeal an acquittal a jury has the final say In Canada a Crown Attorney can not only appeal an acquittal but he can also appeal the sentences in some situations In the US Pretrial disclosure is a big thing both the Prosecutor and the Defense are required to inform each other of their plans to call on witnesses This gives both
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