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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Kislowicz and Luk, 'Recontextualizing Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia: Crown Land, History and Indigenous Religious Freedom" on SSRN

Howard Kislowicz and Senwung Luk have posted "Recontextualizing Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia: Crown Land, History and Indigenous Religious Freedom" on SSRN. The article has been published in the Supreme Court Law Review.


In Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), the Supreme Court of Canada addressed, for the first time, a religious freedom claim under the Charter based on Indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices. The Indigenous Ktunaxa Nation had opposed the development of a ski resort in the area of Qat’muk, also called Upper Jumbo Valley. They said Qat’muk is sacred because of its association with the Grizzly Bear Spirit and, should the proposed development be carried out, the Grizzly Bear Spirit would leave, destroying Qat’muk’s spiritual significance. The Court held that the Charter right of religious does not protect the “spiritual focal point of worship.” Because the Ktunaxa Nation was seeking to protect the Grizzly Bear Spirit itself, the Court reasoned, its claim fell outside the Charter’s ambit. 

We argue that this development could yield results inconsistent with the purposes of protecting religious freedom and is likely to have disproportionately onerous effects on Indigenous spiritual practices. We highlight these effects by presenting some of the historical context of land grants made by colonial powers to dominant religious groups allied with the settler state. To the extent that Ktunaxa suggests that religious groups should rely on property rights rather than religious freedom, the approach privileges dominant groups over non-Indigenous religious minorities because of historical grants made by the state, which also dispossessed Indigenous groups. We suggest that a more appropriate approach to reconciling religious freedom interests with the property interests of the Crown or third parties is to be found in the existing case law on the interaction of religious freedom and zoning regulations. Finally, we suggest that land selection processes under modern treaty negotiations present yet another way to avoid conflict

Monday, February 11, 2019

Peter Gonville Stein book award for non-U.S. legal history (in English)

Peter Gonville Stein book award: (via Matthew Mirow)
Note deadline of March 15th. No Canadian book has won yet--this may be our year!


Best book in legal history (written in English) outside the field of US legal history, published during the previous calendar year.




March 15, 2019
The Peter Gonville Stein Book Award is awarded annually for the best book in legal history written in English. This award is designed to recognize and encourage the further growth of fine work in legal history that focuses on all non-US regions, as well as global and international history. To be eligible, a book must sit outside of the field of US legal history and be published during the previous calendar year. Announced at the annual meeting of the ASLH, this honor includes a citation on the contributions of the work to the broader field of legal history. A book may only be considered for the Stein Award, the Reid Award, or the Cromwell Book Prize. It may not be nominated for more than one of these three prizes.
The Stein Award is named in memory of Peter Gonville Stein, BA, LLB (Cantab); PhD (Aberdeen); QC; FBA; Honorary Fellow, ASLH, and eminent scholar of Roman law at the University of Cambridge, and made possible by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor. Read more about Dr. Stein here.
For the 2019 prize, the Stein Award Committee will accept nominations of any book (not including textbooks, critical editions, and collections of essays) that bears a copyright date of 2018 as it appears on the printed version of the book. Translations into English may be nominated, provided they are published within two years of the publication date of the original version.
Nominations for the Stein Award (including self-nominations) should be submitted by March 15, 2019. Please send an e-mail to the Committee at and include: (1) a curriculum vitae of the author (including the author’s e-mail address); and (2) the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of the contact person at the press who will provide the committee with two copies of the book. This person will be contacted shortly after the deadline. (If a title is short-listed, four further copies will be requested from the publisher.)
Please contact the committee chair, Matthew Mirow, with any questions at

Committee Members

  • Jisoo Kim (2017), The George Washington University
  • Jessica Marglin (2017), University of Southern California
  • Matthew C. Mirow (2017), Florida International University
  • Daniel Lord Smail (2017), Harvard University
  • David V. Williams (2017), University of Auckland
  • Rachel Jean Baptiste (2018), University of California, Davis

Friday, January 11, 2019

Call for Submissions: Preyer Award. American Society for Legal History

Call for Submissions: Preyer Award. American Society for Legal History
Submissions are welcome on any topic in legal, institutional and/or constitutional history.
Early career scholars, including those pursuing graduate or law degrees, those who have completed their terminal degree within the previous year, and those independent scholars
at a comparable stage, are eligible to apply. At the annual meeting of the Society two early career legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society. While papers simultaneously submitted to the ASLH Program committee are eligible, Preyer Award winners must present their paper as part of the Preyer panel and will be removed from any other panel.
Submissions should be a single MS Word document consisting of a complete curriculum vitae, contact information, and a complete draft of the paper to be presented. Papers should not exceed 50 pages (12 point font, double-spaced) and must contain supporting documentation. In past competitions, the Committee has given preference to draft articles and essays, though the Committee will also consider shorter conference papers, as one of the criteria for selection will
be the suitability of the paper for reduction to a twenty-minute oral presentation. The deadline
for submission is MARCH 15, 2019.  The two Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will receive an 500 cash award and reimbursement of expenses up to $750 for travel, hotels, and meals.
Each will present the paper that s/he submitted to the competition at the Society’s annual meeting. The Society’s journal, Law and History Review, has published several past winners of the Preyer competition, though it is under no obligation to do so.
Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to early career legal historians, the program of Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars is designed to help legal historians at the beginning of their careers. At the annual meeting of the Society two early career legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society. The generosity of Professor Preyer’s friends and family has enabled the Society to offer a small honorarium to the Preyer Scholars and to reimburse, in some measure or entirely, their costs of attending the meeting. The competition for Preyer Scholars is organized by the Society’s Kathryn T. Preyer Memorial Committee.
Please send submissions by March 19, 2019 to Laura Kalman, Chair, Preyer Award Committee, University of California, Santa Barbara,

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Room number for Osgoode Society Legal History Workshops--Winter term 2019

This term we will meet in Seminar Room 3, main floor, Falconer Hall.

NOT the new Jackman Building (attached to Flavelle House)
NOT Flavelle House, the building in front of the new Jackman Building

Falconer Hall is north of those two buildings, same (West) side of Queen's Park Ave., just south of the Museum.

Thursday, January 3, 2019



All Sessions begin at 6.30. Room TBA

Wednesday January 16: Nicholas Rogers, York University: 'Murder on the Middle Passage: The trial of Captain Kimber 1792'

Wednesday January 30: Philip Girard, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘American Influences, Canadian Realities: The Rise and Fall of the Harvard Law Model in Canadian Legal Education’

Wednesday February 13: Jackson Tait, Osgoode Hall Law School: 'In Search of the Lex Mercatoria:  Canadian Legal Interpretation of Atlantic Marine Insurance Contracts, 1860 - 1924'

Wednesday February 27: Eric Reiter, Concordia University: ‘Robinson v. CPR (1882-92):  Law, Society and Wrongful Death in Quebec’  [tentative title]

Wednesday March 13: Mark Walters, McGill Law School: ‘The Quebec Act and the Covenant Chain: How Crown-Indigenous Treaty Relationships Shaped Imperial Constitutional Design’

Wednesday March 27: Colin Grittner, University of British Columbia: ‘Elective Legislative Councils and the Privileges of Property across Mid-Nineteenth-Century British North America’

Wednesday April 3: Patricia McMahon, Torys: TBA

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bourgeois,"Race, Space, and Prostitution: The Making of Settler Colonial Canada"

Robyn Bourgeois of Brock University has published "Race, Space, and Prostitution: The Making of Settler Colonial Canada" in Race, Gender, and Law: A Tribute to the Scholarship of Sherene Razack - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 30.3, 2018.

This article examines the fundamental role that prostitution has played in securing settler colonial domination over Indigenous peoples and lands in the historical and ongoing making of the Canadian nation-state. Using the theoretical and methodological framework developed by critical anti-racist feminist scholar Sherene Razack, this article offers a spatial analysis tracing how prostitution has been deployed, repeatedly and in distinctly racialized and gendered ways, to secure settler colonial domination in Canada. This analysis focuses on four key examples: (1) early settlement in British Columbia; (2) the Indian Act; (3) the Pass System; and, more recently, (4) Vancouver's Missing Women. It also focuses on how these settler colonial deployments of prostitution contributed (and, in some ways, continue to contribute) not only to violence against Indigenous women and girls but also to the justification, legitimation, and erasure of this violence and, thus, its normalization within settler colonial society.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New from UBC Press: Disabling Barriers: Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law

Disabling Barriers

Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law

Edited by Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt

Disabling Barriers
Disabling Barriers analyzes issues relating to disability at different moments in Canadian and American history. In this volume, legal scholars, historians, and disability-rights activists demonstrate that disabled people can change their social status by transforming the political and legal discourse surrounding disablement.
Traditionally, disabled people were regarded as objects of pity and condescension. The rise of the social model of disablement – which identifies barriers, rather than physiological impairments, as the main problem facing people with disabilities – has resulted in a dramatic reconfiguration of how we regard political and legal structures affecting people with disabilities. Employing tools from the fields of law and history, this volume explores how disabled people have been portrayed and treated in a variety of contexts, including within the labour market, the workers’ compensation system, the immigration process, and the legal system (both as litigants and as lawyers).
This original contribution deepens our knowledge of the role of people with disabilities within social movements in disability history. The contributors encourage us to rethink our understanding of both the systemic barriers disabled people face and the capacity of disabled people to effect positive societal change.
This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of disability studies, disability history, and disability law, as well as to disability activists in Canada and the United States.