Stephan Handschug, Einführung in das kanadische Recht (ISBN 3 406 50826 X), has just appeared in C.H.Beck Verlag. I haven’t read it but have skimmed it. This is what I have noticed so far:
Chapters on fundamentals, the constitution, the courts, the Quebec legal system, legal training, lawyers / judges, and new developments.
This material covers 108 pages. There are also over 30 pages of constitutional documents, a chronological table, and other tables (distribution of seats in parliament, and prime ministers). There seems a slight bias towards political issues. No substantive law. One might contrast this with Mathias Reimann’s Einführung in das US-amerikanische Privatrecht (ISBN 3 406 41670 5), which is much fuller and is 340 pages in length – but thin paper, whereas this Canadian law book is printed on thickish paper.
I had the impression some of the brief materials on common law, equity and the system of precedent were both too brief to be useful and also covered familiar ground, but then, perhaps someone would read this book with no knowledge of the common law and would need an introduction. And there is reference to the royal prerogative and parliamentary sovereignty, which might not be familiar to those who have concentrated on US law.
At a glance, or two glances, I did not see anything on the distinction between federal law and the law of the provinces. Presumably the situation is like that in the United States, where each state has its own criminal and civil law, unlike that in Germany – after all, Quebec has its own law. This may well be in the long and obviously important chapter on the (1982) constitution – I remember Canada being late to get a constitution, so obviously one must buckle down and read this. I was excited to read about the Nunavut territory, which has existed only since April 1st 1999, has an area of 1,994,000 km² and only 26,750 inhabitants.