Search This Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Congratulations to Dr. C. Elizabeth Koester

Winner of the Chalmers prize, awarded to the best book in Ontario History by the Champlain Society. Note that Liz, a retired lawyer, is usually billed as a historian of medical and scientific history, but is really a legal historian! In the Public Good: Eugenics and the Law in Ontario is published by Queens McGill UP.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

RIP David H. Flaherty

Professor Emeritus David Flaherty passed away on October 11, 2022, in Victoria. In the 1970s and 1980s David was a Professor of Law and History at what was then the University of Western Ontario. Although principally an Americanist, he was an ideal choice to organize and edit the Osgoode Society’s first major forays into serious publishing in Canadian legal history. Essays in the History of Canadian Law Volume I was published in 1981 and Essays in the History of Canadian Law Volume Two was published in 1983, both edited and introduced by David. These two volumes put the Osgoode Society ‘on the map’, and included contributions by many scholars who went on to dominate the field for decades: Constance Backhouse, Blaine Baker, Jamie Benidickson, Paul Craven, Hamar Foster, Richard Risk and Paul Romney. David also ran a legal history summer seminar at Western for a number of years, which introduced many others to the discipline. David’s contribution to the Osgoode Society and to Canadian legal history was crucial to the development of the field in the 1980s. He came to Toronto for our fortieth anniversary dinner some years ago, and was delighted with what he helped so much to start has become. Jim Phillips, Editor in Chief

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Apply for the John T. Saywell Prize for best recent book on the history of the Canadian Constitution or Canadian federalism!

John T. Saywell Prize for Canadian Constitutional Legal History The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History administers the Saywell Prize. The Prize was established by the generosity of the family and friends of the late Professor John T. (Jack) Saywell, to recognise the outstanding contribution to Canadian political and legal history of Professor Saywell. Among his other work Professor Saywell was the author of The Law Makers: Judicial Power and The Shaping of Canadian Federalism, published by the Osgoode Society in 2002. The Saywell Prize is given bi-annually to the best new book in Canadian legal history, broadly defined, that makes an important contribution to an understanding of the constitution and/or federalism. In exceptional circumstances, the jury could also consider a seminal article or series of articles, some of the latter not written in the two-year period, to satisfy the objectives of the award. The Saywell Prize may be awarded in 2022, for a book published in 2020 or 2021. The deadline for nominations is May 15, 2022. Please email nominations to

Apply for the Peter Oliver Prize for best published student work in Canadian Legal History!

Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History The Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History was established by the Society in 2006 in honour of Professor Peter Oliver, the Society's founding editor-in-chief. The prize is awarded annually for published work (journal article, book chapter, book) in Canadian legal history written by a student. Students in any discipline at any stage of their careers are eligible. The Society takes a broad view of legal history, one that includes work in socio-legal history, legal culture, etc., as well as work on the history of legal institutions, legal personnel, and substantive law. Students may self-nominate their published work, and faculty members are also encouraged to nominate student work of which they are aware. Those nominating their own work should send a copy of it to the Society. The deadline for nominations for the 2022 Prize, to be awarded for work published in 2021, is May 31, 2022. Please send nominations to Amanda Campbell, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5H 2N6, or to

Apply for the McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History


The R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History was created on the occasion of the retirement as Chief Justice of Ontario of the Hon. R. Roy McMurtry.  It honours the contribution to Canadian legal history of Roy McMurtry, Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Ontario, founder of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and for many years the Society’s President. The fellowship was established by Chief Justice McMurtry’s friends and colleagues, and endowed by private donations and the Law Foundation of Ontario.
The fellowship is to support graduate (preferably doctoral) students or those with a recently completed doctorate, to conduct research in Canadian legal history, for one year. Scholars working on any topic in the field of Canadian legal history are eligible. Applicants should be in a graduate programme at an Ontario University or, if they have a completed doctorate, be affiliated with an Ontario University.  The fellowship may be held concurrently with other awards for graduate study. Eligibility is not limited to history and law programmes; persons in cognate disciplines such as criminology or political science may apply, provided the subject of the research they will conduct as a McMurtry fellow is Canadian legal history. The selection committee may take financial need into consideration. 
The fellowship will be awarded in June 2022, and will have a value of $17,000.  Applications will be assessed by a committee appointed by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and consisting of Society Directors and academics. Those interested should apply by sending:
A full curriculum vitae.
A statement of the research, not exceeding 1,000 words, that they would conduct as a McMurtry fellow. The statement should clearly convey the nature of the project, the research to be carried out, and the relationship, if any, between the project and previous work done by the applicant. The names and email addresses of two academic referees should be included. Please do not ask your referees to write; the Society will contact them if necessary.
For persons not currently connected with an Ontario University, an indication of how and when they intend to obtain such a connection.
Please send applications to Amanda Campbell, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5H 2N6, or by email to The deadline for applications is May 31, 2022.

To see a list of past winners, and to learn more about the fellowship and the work of the Osgoode Society, please visit our

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Last Osgoode Society event of 2021 (Free, and provides EDI hours!)




Join Us For Our Last Event of 2021


Please join us tomorrow,
Wednesday, November 17,  for a presentation by Professor Daniel Rück, Department of History, University of Ottawa. Professor Rück will speak about his book The Laws and the Land: The Settler Colonial Invasion of Kahnawà:ke in Nineteenth Century CanadaThis is the Osgoode Society members’ book for 2021.

Please note that this presentation has been approved for EDI Professionalism Hours – 1 hour 30 minutes.

The Osgoode Society is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Approved for EDI Professionalism Hours – 1 hour 30 minutes. 

Topic: Presentation by Daniel Rück,

Time: Nov 17, 2021 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)**Please note the event begins at 5:30pm but the meeting will open at 5:15 pm.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 841 1109 6274
Passcode: 409880

Please note that this is our last event for 2021 but we will return with more in 2022 so please stay tuned!