Introduction to Legal Studies

LWSO 203 Introduction to Legal Studies (Winter 2023)
Written Assignment Guidelines (15%)
Students are asked to submit a 500-800-word brief on the open court principle. There is no
penalty for going over the word count. You must properly reference your writing using one of
the following referencing styles: MLA, APA, or Chicago. You must have a title page and a
references page. Your title page must clearly state which referencing style you have used along
with a word count.
You can find information on referencing through the University of Calgary Student Success
Centre here: The Purdue
Online Writing Law also has good resources and tip sheets if you look here:
You are assessed on how well you incorporate the information on the open court principle
found in the assigned readings. The use of references to the information and arguments found
in the readings should demonstrate your knowledge of the tension between a commitment to
an open court and the protection of privacy for certain purposes. To do so you must draw on
these articles using direct quotations and/or paraphrasing to help you reader understand the
purposes of the open court principle, the limitations placed on openness, and some of the
modern challenges posed by the digitization of court pleadings and records.
To help structure your writing you may consider the following questions:
1. What is the purpose of the open court principle? Why is it important?
2. What are some of the justified limitations that have been made to the open court
principle and why?
3. Do any of the limitations placed on the principle of openness undermine the fairness of
the justice system?
4. What new potential dangers has the digitization of court documents created that
threaten privacy protections?
5. How best should these new dangers be addressed whilst protecting the purposes of the
open court principle?
Your writing should clearly identify the purposes of, and challenges to, the open court principle
to a liberal democratic legal system that attempts to balance the value of accountability and
transparency with the value of privacy interests of its citizens.
You should upload a .pdf or Word document using the assignments link found in D2L by the due
date and time.
Late assignments may be deducted by one letter grade (e.g. from A to A-) for every 24-
hour period, or part thereof, that they are late.
Your work will be graded within 2-3 weeks of
submission. Your grade will be posted in D2L.