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
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: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/events/2019-anzlhs-conference.
The keynote speakers are:
- Professor Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University: https://history.jhu.edu/directory/martha-jones/
- Professor John Hudson, Professor of History, School of History, St Andrews University: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/staff/johnhudson.html
- Professor John Maynard, Indigenous Education and Research, University of Newcastle:
- Professor Shaunnagh Dorsett , Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney:
(Canadians, please note that there will be a Wes Pue event on the 13th.)
Monday, June 24, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019
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:
Thursday, June 20, 2019
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
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.