Property, in the legal sense, can mean real property in the form of land and buildings, or personal, movable property. Property law — whether under the common law in most of Canada, or the Civil Code in Quebec — deals with a wide range of rights and obligations owing to individuals and governments, and has evolved enormously, particularly in fairness to women, since the 19th Century.2
The Supreme Court of Canada held in the Swain case (1991) that section 542(2) of the Criminal Code (now section 614) was intra vires the federal Parliament or, in other words, valid. This section dealt with the automatic detention of a person found not guilty by reason of mental incapacity.
The trial took 10 months, its drama unfolding daily behind floor-to-ceiling bulletproof glass in the highest-security courtroom in British Columbia. Spectators passed through a metal detector before entering the B.C. Supreme Court in Surrey, a southeast suburb of Vancouver.