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Monday, September 16, 2019

Legal history evening for professionals

Established in 1979, the Osgoode Society publishes books on Canadian legal history and maintains an oral history archive.  

An Evening of Canadian Legal History

Join us for an Evening Session of Legal History for Legal Professionals

On October 28th Professor Jim Phillips, Osgoode Society Editor-in-Chief,  will present the next lecture in our Canadian legal history lecture series. 

No Thought of Reconciliation:
The New Dominion and the Indian Acts,1867-1914
Monday October 28th at 5:30 p.m
WeirFoulds LLP 
66 Wellington St.W. - 41st Floor 

At Confederation there was very little colonial legislation about indigenous peoples. The first federal legislation on the subject was passed in 1868, and Parliament augmented that more than two dozen times between then and 1914. The major statute was the Indian Act of 1876, but it was continually amended over the ensuing decades. Professor Phillips will discuss the major policy goals of this legislative output, which was principally aimed at assimilating indigenous peoples into settler ways of life and culture. He will also sketch out the reactions of the indigenous people themselves to these legislative efforts to undermine and eventually destroy indigenous culture. 

Professor Jim Phillips, Osgoode Society Editor-in-Chief
* approval pending for 60 minutes EDI Professionalism Credit from the Law Society for Ontario.





Benefits of Membership:
  • 2019 members book, which will is Connecting the Dots: The Life of an Academic Lawyer by Harry Arthurs
  • Lectures and Events
  • Quarterly newsletter with information on the Osgoode Society and Canadian legal history.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Justice Sharpe qua historian interviewed regarding the Lazier Murder

Fans of Justice Robert Sharpe's legal history work will be interested in this OBA interview with him about the Lazier Murder, a cause célèbre of late nineteenth century rural Ontario (h/t Amanda Campbell.)

If the interviews spark your interest in Justice Sharpe's book on the case, take a look at the entry on the Osgoode Society website.

Robert Sharpe is one of the Osgoode Society’s most prolific authors, and his latest offering is a compelling account of a late nineteenth century murder case in Picton, Ontario.  This very thoroughly researched and engagingly written case study details the murder of a local resident and the subsequent court and governmental proceedings. What emerges is a fascinating insight into the operation of the policing, prosecution and trial processes of late nineteenth century Ontario, one that shows how much public opinion and courtroom atmosphere could at times affect the outcome of a trial. The Lazier Murder also looks at the executive commutation process by which it was decided if those sentenced to be executed would be hanged. Sharpe’s account  suggests that this may well have been a case of what we would now call a ‘wrongful conviction.’

Sunday, August 11, 2019

*Updated* Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop fall 2019

*Revised 10 August 2019*



Wednesday September 11: Nancy Wright, University of Victoria: “The Laphroaig
Leasehold:  Popular Interpretations of Feudal Tenures.” 

Wednesday September 25: Jim Phillips, University of Toronto: ‘The Canadian
Court System, 1867-1914’

Wednesday October 9 – Yom Kippur

Tuesday October 15: Note the Tuesday. Donal Coffey, Max Planck Institute:
‘Newfoundland and Dominion Status.’

Wednesday October 30  (new date): Philip Girard, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘The
Contrasting Fates of French-Canadian and Indigenous Constitutionalism: British
North America, 1763-1867.’

Wednesday November 6: Eric Adams, University of Alberta: ‘Constitutional
Wrongs: A Legal History of Japanese Canadians’

Wednesday November 13 (new date): Joseph Kary, Kary and Kwan: Sonderkommando in
Canada: Montreal's first World War II War Crimes Trial, 1951-1956

Wednesday November 27: Patricia McMahon, Torys: ‘Radioactive: The Life and
Lies of Boris Pregel’

Friday, August 9, 2019

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop--Fall 2019 Schedule



Starting is 6.30 as usual at U of T Law School, room to be announced. 
If you would like to be put on the list for announcements and to receive copies of the papers to be presented, please email

Wednesday September 11: Nancy Wright, University of Victoria: 'The Laphroaig
Leasehold:  Popular Interpretations of Feudal Tenures'

Wednesday September 25: Jim Phillips, University of Toronto: ‘The Canadian
Court System, 1867-1914’

Wednesday October 9 – Yom Kippur, no session

Tuesday October 15: (Note that it's Tuesday, not Wednesday) Donal Coffey, Max Planck Institute:
‘Newfoundland and Dominion Status.’

Wednesday October 30: Joseph Kary, Kary and Kwan: 'Sonderkommando in
Canada: Montreal's first World War II War Crimes Trial, 1951-1956'

Wednesday November 6: Eric Adams, University of Alberta: ‘Constitutional
Wrongs: A Legal History of Japanese Canadians’

Wednesday November 13: Philip Girard, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘The
Contrasting Fates of French-Canadian and Indigenous Constitutionalism: British
North America, 1763-1867’

Wednesday November 27: Patricia McMahon, Torys: ‘Radioactive: The Life and
Lies of Boris Pregel’

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Torrie, "Farm Debt Compromises During the Great Depression: An Empirical Study of Applications made under the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Morden and Brandon, Manitoba" on SSRN

Virginia Torrie of the University of Manitoba Law School has posted "Farm Debt Compromises During the Great Depression: An Empirical Study of Applications made under the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act in Morden and Brandon, Manitoba" on SSRN. The article also appears in volume 41, issue 1 (2018) of the Manitoba Law Journal. [This journal is open access.]

This article presents the results of an empirical study of the Farmers’ Creditors Arrangement Act (FCAA) in Morden and Brandon, Manitoba. Parliament enacted this federal insolvency statute to address the agricultural crisis of the 1930s colloquially known as the “Dust Bowl”. The express purpose of the Act was to “keep the farmer on the farm” by reducing debts to an amount that the farmer could afford to pay. This is the first article to engage in a substantive analysis of the FCAA, and it employs a novel methodology for studying farm debt compromises under the Act. This study uncovers notable differences in the way that FCAA applications played out in Morden and Brandon. It reveals that much farm credit was obtained locally, with roughly half of all claims being owed to individuals or estates, which in many instances were the mortgage lender. In addition, medical debts listed the FCAA files call attention to the privation of the “Dirty Thirties” and the financial costs born by individuals for medical care in the pre-public health care era. The empirical findings of this study thus add to historical scholarship about the experience of the Great Depression on the Canadian Prairies by shedding light on the social context of debtor-creditor relations in farming communities, and highlighting regional variations in the application of a federal law designed to help address the farm debt crisis.

Call for presenters: Osgoode Society Toronto Legal History workshop Fall term

Jim Phillips advises that he has four sessions lined up with presenters for the fall for the legal history workshop.
We still have some spots open.
If you, or some one you know, is an academic (any department) either a faculty member, independent scholar or grad student, who is studying a legal history topic (also any geographic area and time period) who would be interested in presenting a work-in-progress to the legal history workshop (held at U of T Law School every other Wednesday evening--more or less) please email Jim at
And anyone who would like to receive the papers and attend some or any sessions, please also email Jim to be added to the distribution list.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Gordon Bale

Gordon Bale, a longstanding member of the Osgoode Society and contributor to Canadian legal history, has died at the age of 85. After doing graduate work in economics and teaching in that field at RMC, he obtained a law degree from the newly founded Queen’s University Faculty of Law. Gordon returned there as a professor and spent the rest of his academic career at Queen’s, where he specialized in wills and estates and created a seminar in legal history. His biography of Canada’s second chief justice, William Johnstone Ritchie, published by Carleton University Press in 1990, was a precursor of the wave of judicial biographies that would appear in Canada in the 21st century.  Gordon was a kind and gentle scholar whose presence will be missed.

(Thanks to Philip Girard)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

CFP: Does Law's History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices

Thanks to Shaunnagh Dorsett for sending this on.

CFP: Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society

This year’s conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, 11-14 December 2019. The theme is ‘Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices’
Deadline for abstracts (individual or panel) and on the conference theme or any other topic is 21 July 2019. More information on the theme and submission of abstracts can be found on the conference website:
The keynote speakers are:

(Canadians, please note that there will be a Wes Pue event on the 13th.)

Monday, June 24, 2019

Congratulations to Osgoode Society Director Mahmud Jamal on his appointment to the Ontario Court of Appeal!

Mahmud Jamal, Partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Mr. Justice Jamal replaces Madam Justice G. Pardu, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2019.
Justice Jamal was born in Kenya, raised in England, and completed high school in Edmonton. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto, LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from the Faculty of Law, McGill University, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School, which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He served as law clerk to Justice Melvin Rothman of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Jamal, who is bilingual, practised with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in the fields of appellate litigation, constitutional and public law, class actions, and commercial litigation. He appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 35 appeals addressing a wide range of civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues. He also appeared before various provincial courts, the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and Tax Court of Canada, and federal and provincial administrative tribunals.
Justice Jamal was a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, The Advocates’ Society, and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He was a member of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute and a trustee of the Canadian Business Law Journal. He has taught constitutional law at McGill, administrative law at Osgoode Hall, and published widely in his areas of practice. He was also chair of Osler’s pro bono program and a member of its Partnership Board.
He and his wife, Goleta, are the proud parents of two teenagers.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Kelm and Smith, Talking back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories

In honour of Indigenous Peoples' Day today (June 21) the U of T press has compiled a list of relevant publications from their catalog.

On the legal history front, they highlight Mary-Ellen Kelm and Keith D. Smith, Talking back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories published in 2018, available in paperback and e-book formats. Here's the blurb:

Talking Back to the Indian ActTalking Back to the Indian Act is a comprehensive "how-to" guide for engaging with primary source documents. The intent of the book is to encourage readers to develop the skills necessary to converse with primary sources in more refined and profound ways. As a piece of legislation that is central to Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities, and one that has undergone many amendments, the Indian Act is uniquely positioned to act as a vehicle for this kind of focused reading.
Through an analysis of thirty-five sources pertaining to the Indian Act—addressing governance, gender, enfranchisement, and land—the authors provide readers with a much better understanding of this pivotal piece of legislation, as well as insight into the dynamics involved in its creation and maintenance.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Campbell and Exner, "An Elusive Remedy: A Calgary Chiropodist Complains of Libel, 1916" on SSRN

Lyndsay Campbell and Heidi J. T. Exner have posted "An Elusive Remedy: A Calgary Chiropodist Complains of Libel, 1916" on SSRN. The article is forthcoming in the Law & History Review.

The decision of a chiropodist - a man who called himself 'Doctor' and developed and sold foot products - to prosecute a small Calgary newspaper for criminal libel in the summer of 1916 touched off a series of events that ultimately resulted in the chiropodist's convictions for holding himself out as a doctor and practising medicine without a licence. The proceedings against the editor were stayed. These legal proceedings demonstrate the mutually reinforcing commitments of doctors and lawyers to protecting the professionalisation of medicine, and especially orthopaedic surgery, against the threat of interlopers in early twentieth-century Canada.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Hutchison, "The Patriation of Canadian Corporate Law" on SSRN

Camden Hutchison of Allard Law, UBC, has posted "The Patriation of Canadian Corporate Law" SSRN. The article is forthcoming in the U of T Law Journal.

Here's the abstract:

Canadian corporate law belongs within a broader Anglo-American legal tradition, sharing many of the features of other common law jurisdictions, most notably England and the United States. Prior to Confederation, Canadian corporate law first emerged from nineteenth-century English legislation and continued to resemble English law--at least superficially--well into the twentieth century. In the 1970s, Canadian corporate law moved closer to the United States, as major legislative reforms, including the Canada Business Corporations Act, were significantly influenced by American statutes. From a legislative perspective, Canada has clearly been influenced by developments from beyond its borders.

Legislation is only one source of corporate law, however. Just as important is the creation of legal rules through the common law adjudicatory process. Thus, examining case law raises an important empirical question distinct from, though relevant to, the issue of legislative influence--namely, what have been the major influences on Canadian judicial lawmaking? This article addresses this question through a comprehensive citation analysis of substantially all corporate law decisions by Canadian courts of appeal since 1867. 

The primary findings are as follows: 

(1) Over the past 150 years, Canadian corporate law--once dominated by English precedent--has become increasingly characterized by domestic Canadian precedent; 

(2) Historically, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council played an important role in maintaining English influence, such that the prominence of English precedent decreased after 1949; and 

(3) Despite the increasing influence of Canadian precedent throughout the Canadian legal system, Canadian courts continue to cite English cases when addressing unsettled legal issues, preserving a channel for the continuing influence of English jurisprudence in Canada. 

Surprisingly, Canadian judicial decisions rarely cite American cases, challenging the notion that Canadian courts have been significantly influenced by American law. Ultimately--and despite residual English influence--Canadian corporate law has formed its own distinct identity.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

New from MQUP: Tracings of Gerald Le Dain's life in the Law ed. Baker and Janda

The life and work of a leading Canadian legal academic, university administrator, law reformer, and judge.

Tracings of Gerald Le Dain's Life in the LawGerald Le Dain (1924-2007) was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1984. This collectively written biography traces fifty years of his steady, creative, and conciliatory involvement with military service, the legal academy, legislative reform, university administration, and judicial decision-making. 

This book assembles contributions from the in-house historian of the law firm where Le Dain first practised, from students and colleagues in the law schools where he taught, from a research associate in his Commission of Inquiry into the non-medical use of drugs, from two of his successors on the Federal Court of Appeal, and from three judicial clerks to Le Dain at the Supreme Court of Canada. Also reproduced here is a transcript of a recent CBC documentary about his 1988 forced resignation from the Supreme Court following a short-term depressive illness, with commentary from Le Dain’s family and co-workers.

Gerald Le Dain was a tireless worker and a highly respected judge. In a series of essays that cover the different periods and dimensions of his career, Tracings of Gerald Le Dain’s Life in the Law is an important and compassionate account of one man's commitment to the law in Canada.

Contributors include Harry W. Arthurs, G. Blaine Baker, Bonnie Brown, Rosemary Cairns-Way, John M. Evans, Melvyn Green, Bernard J. Hibbitts, Peter W. Hogg, Richard A. Janda, C. Ian Kyer, Andree Lajoie, Gerald E. Le Dain, Allen M. Linden, Roderick A. Macdonald, Louise Rolland, and Stephen A. Scott.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Congratulations to Jim Phillips, Philip Girard and Blake Brown!

For winning an honourable mention for the W. Wesley Pue prize for best book on a social legal subject for A History of Law in Canada vol 1: Beginnings to 1866, published by the Osgoode Society and U of T press in 2018!
Update: The citation says: "A History of Law in Canada, Volume One is a monumental and masterful work. It fills a gap in Canadian scholarship by providing a comprehensive, well-written and informative account of the history of law in Canada. Its 900 pages of text and footnotes reflect an astonishing range of knowledge. It breaks new ground in its sweep and scale, and its interweaving of the history of the three pillars of Canadian law: common law, civil law and Indigenous legal orders. It will be a classic for many years, a guide and inspiration to Canadian legal historians for generations to come."

H/t Bruce Ryder

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

New from UTP: Violence, Order, and Unrest: A History of British North America, 1749–1876, ed. Mancke, Bannister, McKim and See

Looks like quite a bit of legal history in this new collection from the University of Toronto Press: Violence, Order, and UnrestA History of British North America, 1749–1876Edited by Elizabeth Mancke, Jerry Bannister, Denis McKim, and Scott W. See. From the publisher:

Violence, Order, and UnrestThis edited collection offers a broad reinterpretation of the origins of Canada. Drawing on cutting-edge research in a number of fields, Violence, Order, and Unrestexplores the development of British North America from the mid-eighteenth century through the aftermath of Confederation. The chapters cover an ambitious range of topics, from Indigenous culture to municipal politics, public executions to runaway slave advertisements. Cumulatively, this book examines the diversity of Indigenous and colonial experiences across northern North America and provides fresh perspectives on the crucial roles of violence and unrest in attempts to establish British authority in Indigenous territories. In the aftermath of Canada 150, Violence, Order, and Unrest offers a timely contribution to current debates over the nature of Canadian culture and history, demonstrating that we cannot understand Canada today without considering its origins as a colonial project.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ian Bushnell

The Osgoode Society joins with the extended academic community of Windsor Law school in mourning the death of law professor emeritus Ian Bushnell.

Ian died on May 14th. He was the author of a legal history for the Osgoode Society,  The Federal Court Of Canada: A History, 1875-1992 (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 1997and a study of the Supreme Court of Canada for McGill-Queen's University Press, The Captive Court: A Study of the Supreme Court of Canada (1992).

New from McGill-Queen's UP: Cahill, Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest The Barristers' Society and Nova Scotia's Lawyers, 1825–2005

Professional Autonomy and the Public InterestFormed in 1825, the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society is the second-oldest law society in common-law Canada, after the Law Society of Ontario. Yet despite its founders' ambitions, it did not become the regulator of the legal profession in Nova Scotia for nearly seventy-five years.

In this institutional history of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society from its inception to the Legal Profession Act of 2005, Barry Cahill provides a chronological exploration of the profession's regulation in Nova Scotia and the critical role of the society. Based on extensive research conducted on internal documents, legislative records, and legal and general-interest periodicals and newspapers, Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest demonstrates that the inauguration of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society was the first giant step on the long road to self-regulation. Highlighting the inherent tensions between protection of professional self-interest and protection of the larger public interest, Cahill explains that while this radical innovation was opposed by both lawyers and judges, it was ultimately imposed by the Liberal government in 1899.

In light of emerging models of regulation in the twenty-first century, Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest is a timely look back at the origins of professional regulatory bodies and the evolution of law affecting the legal profession in Atlantic Canada.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

McCoy, Four Unruly Women: Stories of Incarceration and Resistance from Canada’s Most Notorious Prison

Four Unruly WomenNew from UBC Press:

Four Unruly Women: Stories of Incarceration and Resistance from Canada’s Most Notorious Prison by Ted McCoy of the University of Calgary Law and Society Program

Bridget Donnelly. Charlotte Reveille. Kate Slattery. Emily Boyle. Until now, these were nothing but names marked down in the admittance registers and punishment reports of Kingston Penitentiary, Canada’s most notorious prison.
In this shocking and heartbreaking book, Ted McCoy tells these women’s stories of incarceration and resistance in poignant detail. Locked away from male prisoners in dark basement wards, these women experienced isolation and segregation, along with the worst elements of prison life – starvation, corporal punishment, sexual abuse, and neglect. Yet they met these challenges with resistance and resilience.
Although the four women served sentences at different times over a century, they shared experiences that illuminate how the most marginalized elements in society – the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged – reckoned with poverty and crime and grappled with the constraints placed on them by shifting notions of punishment and reform.
The inhumanity suffered by these four women stands as profoundly disturbing evidence of the hidden costs of isolation, punishment, and mass incarceration.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Harry W. Arthurs to be speaker at Osgoode Society AGM June 19th

The Osgoode Society Annual General Meeting will be held in the Museum Room at Osgoode Hall on June 19th at 5:30 pm.

Harry Arthurs will be the speaker. (Bring your copy of his book, Connecting the Dots: the Life of an Academic Lawyer to be autographed.)

If you aren't a member already, buy a membership (or renew) and get your copy of the book for free!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Just published: Connecting the Dots: the Life of an Academic Lawyer by Harry W. Arthurs

Just published (by McGill-Queen's University Press) Harry W. Arthurs memoir, Connecting the Dots: the Life of an Academic Lawyer. This is the Osgoode Society Members' book for this year.
Here's the publishers' blurb:
Connecting the DotsHarry W. Arthurs is a name held in high esteem by labour lawyers and academics throughout the world. Although many are familiar with Arthurs's contributions and accomplishments, few are acquainted with the man himself, or how he came to be one of the most influential figures in Canadian law and legal education. 

In Connecting the Dots Arthurs recounts his adventures in academe and the people, principles, ideas, motivations, and circumstances that have shaped his thinking and his career. The memoir offers intimate recollections and observations, beginning with the celebrated ancestors who influenced Arthurs's upbringing and education. It then sweeps through his career as an architect of important reforms in legal education and explores his research as a trailblazing commentator on the legal profession. Arthurs analyzes his experiences as a legal theorist and historian and his pivotal role as a discordant voice in debates over constitutional and administrative law. Along the way, he muses on the intellectual projects he embraced or set in motion, the institutional reforms he advocated, the public policies he recommended, and how they fared long term.

Framed with commentary on the historical context that shaped each decade of his career and punctuated by moments of personal reflection, Connecting the Dots is a humorous, frank, and fearless account of the rise and fall of Canadian labour law from the man who was at the centre of it all.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Available for pre-order: Nichols, A Reconciliation without Recollection?: An Investigation of the Foundations of Aboriginal Law in Canada

Available for pre-order from U of T press: A Reconciliation without Recollection?An Investigation of the Foundations of Aboriginal Law in Canada by Joshua Ben David Nichols

The current framework for reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state is based on the Supreme Court of Canada’s acceptance of the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty, legislative power, and underlying title. The basis of this assertion is a long-standing interpretation of Section 91(24) of Canada’s Constitution, which reads it as a plenary grant of power over Indigenous communities and their lands, leading the courts to simply bypass the question of the inherent right of self-government.
In A Reconciliation without Recollection, Joshua Ben David Nichols argues that if we are to find a meaningful path toward reconciliation, we will need to address the history of sovereignty without assuming its foundations. Exposing the limitations of the current model, Nichols carefully examines the lines of descent and association that underlie the legal conceptualization of the Aboriginal right to govern.
Blending legal analysis with insights drawn from political theory and philosophy, A Reconciliation without Recollection is an ambitious and timely intervention into one of the most pressing concerns in Canada.

CFP: CLSA Mid-Year Meeting / AÀC: La rencontre de mi-année de l’ACDS

From the ACDS/CLSA:

(good idea moving the date imo)

CLSA Mid-Winter Meeting is moving to the Fall!

La rencontre de mi-hiver de l’ACDS sera à l’automne!

[English follows]

Chers membres,

L’Association Canadienne Droit et Société (ACDS) vous invite à soumettre vos contributions pour sa prochaine rencontre de mi-année qui aura lieu à la faculté de droit de l’Université d’Ottawa, Ottawa (ON), située sur les territoires ancestraux non cédés de la nation algonquine (Anishinàbeg), les 18 et 19 octobre 2019.

La conférence de mi-année est une rencontre plus petite et informelle que les conférences annuelles. C’est l’occasion parfaite pour la discussion des projets en cours, rencontrer d’autres membres pancanadiens de l’ACDS et vous impliquer dans l’organisation.

Cette année, le thème de la conférence s’intitule « Le droit et le savoir à l’ère des partenariats ».

 En 1979, seulement deux subventions de recherche du CRSH ont été accordées aux chercheurs en droit. Cela a conduit à la création du Groupe consultatif sur la recherche et l’éducation en droit et à la publication du rapport Le droit et le savoir de Harry Arthurs. Quarante ans après le sombre scénario de 1979, les chercheurs en droit ont aujourd'hui une grande participation au principal programme de financement du CRSH (Subventions de partenariat), en tant que chercheurs ou directeurs de projet. Nous souhaitons discuter de l’état de la recherche sociojuridique dans le contexte actuel de ces grands projets à long terme, interdisciplinaires et collaboratifs.

Les membres sont encouragés à organiser des tables-ronde ou des panels s’articulant autour des grands thèmes de la recherche sociojuridique, dont « les projets en partenariat », « le droit et l’interdisciplinarité », « les perspectives juridiques autochtones », « le droit et l’engagement communautaire » ou tout autre thème ayant trait aux études sociojuridiques et ses méthodologies.

Prière d’envoyer une petite bio et un bref extrait ou description de votre table ronde, de votre suggestion de panel ou de votre contribution personnelle (250 mots maximum) à avant le 28 avril 2019.

Les contributions retenues seront présentées le vendredi 18 octobre et le matin du samedi 19 octobre 2019. La réunion du conseil d’administration aura lieu dans l’après-midi du samedi 19 octobre 2019.

Veuillez noter que les conférenciers doivent être membres de l’ACDS. L’inscription à la conférence est gratuite.

En espérant vous voir en grand nombre en octobre.

Dr. Joao Velloso, Comité organisateur et conseil d’administration de l’ACDS
Dr. Nicole O’Byrne, Présidente de l’ACDS
* * * * * * *
Dear Members,

This is a general call for participation in the CLSA’s annual mid-year meeting, which will take place at the Faculty of Law of the University Ottawa, Ottawa (ON), located on the ancestral unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, on October 18-19, 2019.

The mid-year meeting is a relatively small, informal gathering when compared to the annual meetings, and is a great way to discuss ongoing projects, connect with CLSA members from across the country and get involved in the organization.

The broad theme for this year is “Law & Learning in an Era of Partnerships.”

In 1979, only two SSHRC research grants were awarded in law, leading to the creation of the Consultative Group on Research and Education in Law and to the publication of the Harry Arthurs’ Law & Learning report in 1983. Forty years after the dismal scenario of 1979, legal scholars today are major participants in one of SSHRC’s top funding programs (Partnership Grants), both as principal and co-investigators. This meeting will discuss the state of socio-legal research in the current context of such long term, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.

Members are encouraged to organize roundtable discussions or panels around themes within socio-legal scholarship, including “Law and Partnership Projects”, “Law and Interdisciplinarity,” “Indigenous Legal Perspectives,” “Law and Community Engagement,” or any other topics that broadly fall in the area of socio-legal studies and methodologies. Individual submissions for paper presentations are also welcome.

Please send a brief abstract or description of your roundtable, panel or individual paper (up to 250 words) and a short bio to joao.velloso@uottawa.caby April 28, 2019.

All accepted presentations will be given on Friday, October 18 and the morning of Saturday, October 19, 2019. The board meeting will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, October 19, 2019.

Note that all presenters must be members of the CLSA at the time of the conference. Registration for the conference is free.

We hope to see you in Ottawa in October.

Dr. Joao Velloso, Local Organizing Committee and CLSA Board Member
Dr. Nicole O’Byrne, President of the CLSA

Friday, April 5, 2019

In memoriam--W. Wesley Pue

The Canadian legal history community has lost one of its leading lights. W. Wesley (Wes) Pue died on Wednesday April 3rd, after a long illness. Wes was one of Canada’s leading legal historians, and taught at Osgoode Hall, Carleton, Manitoba and the University of British Columbia. At the last-named he was the first Nemetz Professor of Legal History. Wes was best known for his work on the legal profession, some of which was published as chapters in Osgoode Society books, and much of which appeared in Lawyers Empire: Legal Professions and Cultural Authority, 1780-1850 (2016). Wes was also remarkable for the support and encouragement he gave to others, particularly students of legal history who went through UBC’s graduate programme in the area. He leaves behind a wonderful wife, Joanne, and two daughters, Heather and Colleen. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday April 11th at 2:00 p.m. at St. David’s Anglican Church, 1115 - 51A Street, Delta, B.C., V4M 2Y2.  All are welcome.  Donations in support of Wes’ journey to Inspire Health or the B.C. Cancer Agency are much appreciated.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wes Pue

Sad news.

Many of you will have known Wes Pue, a Professor of Law at UBC, one of Canada’s leading legal historians for the last 30 years, and an all-round good guy who was always willing to encourage and help others.  We are sorry to report that Wes passed away on Wednesday, April 3rd, after a long illness. A fuller notice about Wes will be posted on the Osgoode Society website tomorrow.

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