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Friday, July 20, 2018

Canadian Legal History for Kids! Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod for Scholastic

Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Viola Desmond

Canadian Legal History for Kids! Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod, published by Scholastic Canada.

Hat tip to David Steeves, who recently bought this for his son Daniel.

Any other legal histories for kids anyone knows about?

Friday, July 13, 2018

G. Blaine Baker

The Osgoode Society is profoundly saddened to announce the recent sudden death of G. Blaine Baker. A wonderful historian, teacher and friend. No funeral details as yet.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

New from UTP: Campbell, Miscarriages of Justice in Canada

Looks like there is some legal history in this new book from U of T press by Kathryn M. Campbell:

Miscarriages of Justice in CanadaMiscarriages of Justice in Canada:Causes, Responses, Remedies

Innocent people are regularly convicted of crimes they did not commit. A number of systemic factors have been found to contribute to wrongful convictions, including eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, informant testimony, official misconduct, and faulty forensic evidence. 

In Miscarriages of Justice in Canada, Kathryn M. Campbell offers an extensive overview of wrongful convictions, bringing together current sociological, criminological, and legal research, as well as current case-law examples. For the first time, information on all known and suspected cases of wrongful conviction in Canada is included and interspersed with discussions of how wrongful convictions happen, how existing remedies to rectify them are inadequate, and how those who have been victimized by these errors are rarely compensated. Campbell reveals that the causes of wrongful convictions are, in fact, avoidable, and that those in the criminal justice system must exercise greater vigilance and openness to the possibility of error if the problem of wrongful conviction is to be resolved.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Announcement of Osgoode Society AGM and reception


Members of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History are invited to join us at the Annual General Meeting on June 14th at 5:30 pm in the Museum Room at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St.W. where they will elect the Board of Directors for the coming year.

Following reports on The Osgoode Society's finances and programmes for publishing and oral history, and presentation of our awards, Professors Jim Phillips and Philip Girard will discuss their upcoming book , A History of Law in Canada Volume 1: Beginnings to 1866, which is also the members' selection for 2018. 

A wine and cheese reception will follow the meeting. We hope that you will join us.
You can access our annual report on our website at

If you have not renewed your membership, you may do so by visiting our website

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Osgoode Society Summer Book Sale!

JUNE 11-23, 2018

Our back catalogue is on sale for $10 per book plus shipping

Looking for a good book to read this summer? Missing something from the more than 100 books published by the Osgoode Society?

Whether you’re looking for biographies or collections of essays, we have something for every reader.

Simply fill out the
form  (pdf) and email it to the Osgoode Society. As a bonus, every person who purchases a book will receive a free copy of Cornerstones of Order: Courthouses and Town Halls of Ontario, 1784-1914 by Marion MacRae and Anthony Adamson (shipping not included).

We will contact you once we process your order, which will include an estimate for the cost of shipping if applicable (since you will be able to pick up your books at the Osgoode Society's office for free).

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Canadian State Trials vol. 5, 1939-circa 1990: Call for Chapter Proposals or Expressions of Interest

Canadian State Trials, Volume 5 Call for Expressions of Interest and Chapter Proposals 

Editors Susan Binnie, Eric Tucker and Barry Wright have commenced planning for the fifth volume of the Canadian State Trials series and invite expressions of interest and proposals for chapter contributions.

The planned Canadian State Trials Volume 5 will examine Canadian political trials, national security measures and related legal developments and proceedings for the period c.1939 to the 1980s or early 90s. As with the previous volumes we seek scholarly studies that balance historical and legal analyses. Context for these studies may include a comparative perspective that refers to other jurisdictions. Collaborative work is welcome.

We anticipate that the volume will include chapters on the following topics or related matters:

-The administration of the War Measures Act and military justice in the Second World War (e.g., the registration of ‘enemy aliens,’ suspension of habeas corpus and internments, deportation, war-time trials, post war discriminatory measures and labour regulation).

-The Cold War (e.g., Gouzenko Affair, Kellock-Taschereau Royal Commission, Official Secrets Act and related trials; Emergency Powers Act 1951; Criminal Code amendments to espionage and political offences).

-Organized labour and resort to political policing and criminal proceedings (e.g., anti-Communist purges in the 1950’s; injunctions and contempt proceedings in the 1950’s and 1960’s).

-Indigenous assertion of rights and resistance to continuing Canadian state impingement (e.g., cases around hunting rights, treaty violations, repressive responses and compromise of procedural rights).

-National unity and the Felquiste (Front de Libération du Québec) trials, 1962-72.

-Aftermath of the October Crisis, 1970 and the McDonald Royal Commission.

The editors welcome expressions of interest in possible contributions on the above topics and related matters.

Please contact us by 15 September 2018 (,,, with a brief description of your background (research experience and qualifications) and a proposal of no more than one page.

The editors will review these submissions, finalize the volume contents, and follow up with all those who have contacted us shortly after that time. Selected contributors will be provided with more detailed guidelines and asked to complete a chapter draft of 10-12,000 words by August 2019

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Ian Kyer interviewed on Champlain Society Podcast on "Lawyers, Families and Business"

If you subscribe to the Champlain Society's Podcast, Witness to Yesterday, (it's a good one) be sure to check out their most recent episode. Greg Marchildon interviews Ian Kyer on "Lawyers, Families and Business."
Ian is the author of Lawyer's Families and Business: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens, 1863-1963, published by the Osgoode Society and Irwin Law in 2013.