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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hughes on Stephen Code in Canada on SSRN

Jula Hughes of the Faculty of Law, UNB, has posted Codification - Recodification: The Stephen Code and the Fate of Criminal Law Reform in Canada on SSRN. 

This paper discusses the adoption of the Stephen Code as Canada's criminal law and its implications for subsequent criminal law reform initiatives in Canada. It argues that systematic law reform has been unsuccessful because of certain features of the Stephen Code, despite theoretical assumptions that codification should facilitate law reform. This suggests that codification must meet certain additional criteria in order to fulfil the promise of enabling future change. At the same time, it becomes apparent that the Stephen Code was well positioned to be acceptable to political and judicial constituencies who had an on-going commitment to the common law. Thus, it is appropriate to characterize the Stephen Code as a politically successful codification attempt, but an attempt which ultimately fails to deliver on some of the theoretical promises of codification.
Hat-tip to Dan Ernst and the Legal History Blog for the advance notice on this. Not sure how they always get these alerts before I do.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UTP free article:Brodie on the history of the citizen-state security bargain

Free online this week only--a 2009 article in the University of Toronto Quarterly by Janine Brodie, Canada Research Chair in Political Economy and Social Governance at the University of Alberta, "From Social Security to Public Safety: Security Discourses and Canadian Citizenship."

Here's the abstract:
This article explores the development of security discourses and, in particular, what I term the citizen–state security bargain in Canada since Confederation. The analysis focuses on how various security discourses have lent legitimacy to the state and helped to fashion a sense of national community and citizen identity. A historical tracking of Speeches from the Throne illustrates the ways in which the mid-twentieth-century enunciation of the citizen–state bargain as social security has been progressively surpassed and circumscribed by individualized pronouncements of public safety.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pearlston on Coverture and Separation Agreements in Britain and Ontario on SSRN

Karen Pearlston of UNB Faculty of Law has posted "Coverture and Private Separation: Britain and Ontario in Comparative Perspective" on SSRN in the working papers series.


The paper explores the application of coverture in nineteenth-century Ontario from a perspective that is informed by a detailed understanding of its operation in the English context. Coverture was legally complex because of the many exceptions to it. Only some of the exceptions were transferred to Ontario. The effect of this incomplete transfer is examined by analyzing the treatment of private separation agreements in nineteenth-century Ontario courts. What emerges is that the substantive law remains essentially the same, but in the different institutional and procedural setting of Ontario there appears to have been a disproportionate and successful use of litigation tactics intended to delay or deny the enforcement of private separation agreements.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kyer History of Faskens hot off the press

In the post today: the first Osgoode Society book for 2013, Ian Kyer's Lawyers, Families and Businesses: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens 1863- 1963. This volume was published by Irwin Law for the Osgoode Society, our second volume with Irwin. It looks a bit different from the U of T Press volumes, on the cover and inside (the spine is in the usual OS format.) And it's quite lovely, with a distinctive cover illustration and a very readable and attractive font. It's also downloadable for Ipad.
I have read and heard bits of this project over the years and am very much looking forward to reading the final version. Often firm histories are a more or less boring one damn thing after another chronology and hagiographic to boot. I wouldn't expect this to be a negative account of Faskens history: as the preface makes clear, Ian was connected to the firm (now Faskens Martineau) throughout the process and he is currently counsel to the firm, specializing in IP. But I do expect it to be critical in a good way and a terrific contribution to the histories of Canadian law and business and Toronto and Ontario generally.