Rights and Responsibilities

Canadian Law

International students in Canada have full protection under Canadian Law and must comply with Canadian Law in turn. If you commit a crime on or off campus you are subject to legal prosecution. Consequences for breaking the law can be serious and can lead to the loss of your legal status in Canada.

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
  • Everyone has the fundamental freedoms of religion, belief, opinion, expression and peaceful assembly
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person
  • Every individual is equal under the law, has the right to equal protection and cannot be discriminated against based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or  mental or physical disability

Visit the Department of Justice Canada online to review the complete Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Have Legal Questions?

You are welcome to visit Western’s Community Legal Services (CLS) for free legal advice. CLS provides services in a variety of areas of law, including criminal, landlord and tenant, immigration, and academic appeals. CLS also provides notarized copies of documents and will witness affidavits, statutory declarations and invitations to family members (service fees apply).

Community Legal Services

Location: Room 120, Western Law Building
Telephone: 519-661-3352 

Student Code of Conduct

Western has high academic and behavioral standards. Western's Code of Student Conduct outlines behavioural expectations for students. Students who violate the Code of Student Conduct are subject to disciplinary action by the University which can range from a warning or reprimand to expulsion from Western.

Student Code of Conduct:

  • defines the general standard of conduct expected of students registered at Western University;
  • provides examples of behavior that constitutes a breach of this standard of conduct;
  • provides examples of sanctions that may be imposed;
  • outlines the University's disciplinary procedures.

Liquor, Drugs and Smoking Laws

Liquor Laws

The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19. Proof of age is frequently required for admission into any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. Examples of acceptable identification are a valid driver’s license, a valid passport or an Ontario Photo Card. It is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in public places (on the street, in a park, on the bus, etc.). However, people can consume alcoholic beverages at special events, pubs and eateries that are licensed to serve liquor.

Illegal Drugs

Possession of street drugs including, but not limited to, cocaine and ecstasy is illegal in Canada.  For more information about drugs in Canada visit the Canadian Foundations for Drug Policy online.

Cannabis Legalization

Cannabis became legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018, subject to specific laws and regulations.

Western has issued a statement on cannabis use on campus, which prohibits smoking or consumption of cannabis. Additional restrictions are in place. See full statement

Visit the Government of Ontario website or Government of Canada cannabis website for further information about cannabis regulations.

Non-Smoking Legislation: Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Smoking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces of any kind is not allowed. Smoking in vehicles is also prohibited when children under 16 years of age are present.

In Ontario you must be at least 19 years of age to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products. You may be asked to provide photo identification if purchasing these products.

As of July 1, 2019 Western University is smoke free and if you are a smoker, please respect those around you by moving off-campus.