Areas of Laws of Importance to Foreign Brides
These are laws that are considered private matters between individuals, such as contract agreements (signing a lease to rent an apartment, for example), marriage, or a private dispute that is reconciled in court (litigation). Civil law is enforced and paid for by the citizens who bring action against each other. All of the costs of legal action, including hiring a lawyer and completing the required paperwork, must be paid by the individual. This can be very time-consuming and expensive but under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadians are entitled to enforce their civil rights against each other.
Family law is governed by the civil laws of Canada, but includes its own subset of issues, such as marriage and divorce. Family law also includes child welfare laws which protect the interests of children in a family. Unless certain criminal activities are occurring, such as spousal or child abuse, then the matters of marriage and child welfare remain under the umbrella of civil law.
These are laws concerning the security and protection of individuals within a country. Criminal laws are enforced and funded by the government. Some examples of issues that fall under criminal law are sexual assault, murder, domestic violence, child abuse, stealing, and assault. Criminal laws can carry very severe punishments such as life imprisonment. Canada, however, does not sanction the death penalty. Under criminal law, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty when they are charged with a crime. That means that an accused person does not need to prove they are innocent, rather the government must prove that the person is guilty.
This area of law deals with matters between countries. International law is often developed through multi-nation groups such as the United Nations. International law between countries can include issues such as trading policies (for example, the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico) or immigration policies and agreements between certain countries (for example, individuals from certain countries, such as the United States, do not need a visa to enter Canada).