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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Updated: Winter/Spring 2015 Legal History Group Schedule

The winter/spring schedule for the Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop is as follows. Note there is a open slot--anyone interested in presenting should contact Jim Phillips ( Also please let Jim know if you would like to be on the distribution list to receive papers.

Sessions start at 6:30 p.m. Room 304 Victoria College (Old Vic), University of Toronto (St. George Campus.)


Wednesday January 14: Joe Kary, Kary and Kwan: "Judgments Of Peace: An Unorthodox Court For The Orthodox And Not-So-Orthodox Jews Of Montreal, 1923-1973

Wednesday January 28: Open

Wednesday February 11:  Jim Phillips, University of Toronto, "Restrictive Covenants: A Case Study in Nineteenth Century Ontario Legal Reception"

Wednesday February 25:  Douglas Hay, Osgoode Hall Law School,  TBA

Wednesday March 4:  Elsbeth Heaman, McGill University, "“Legal Fictions of Fairness: Corporate Tax Revolt in fin-de siècle Ontario”

Wednesday March 18: Rande Kostal, Western University,  "Constructing the Rule of Law in Occupied Japan, 1945-48"

Wednesday April 1 - Myra Tawfik, University of Windsor, "The Impact of Canada's First Copyright Act (Lower Canada 1832) on Authors, Publishers and Schoolbook Production”

Sangster, "Just Horseplay? Masculinity and Workplace Grievances in Fordist Canada, 1947–70s"

In the Fall 2014 issue of Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, an article by Joan Sangster of Trent University, "Just Horseplay? Masculinity and Workplace Grievances in Fordist Canada, 1947–70s."


This article examines men’s grievances concerning horseplay, profanity, alcohol, and violence, primarily in their legal arbitrated form, as a means of probing the gendered nature of the Fordist system of grievance arbitration. Horseplay grievances, for instance, were infused with ideas about masculinity, with the majority dealing with male-on-male activities, usually among workers. In arbitration discourse, horseplay and violence were naturalized as essentially male behaviour. An examination of these “bad behavior” grievances highlights how the arbitration process was not only shaped profoundly by class but also by gender and, to a lesser extent, ethnocentric ideologies. Gender stereotypes and moralistic assumptions shaped the arguments and outcome of grievance arbitration, and, with each decision, the system became more legalized and bureaucratized, with gender norms firmly embedded in arbitration discourse. While some gender norms changed their form in the post-Fordist workplace, current grievances concerning horseplay indicate some continuity with the past and the persisting equation of working-class masculinity with violence, rough behaviour, and intimidation in the workplace.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Smith, "We didn't want to totally break the law": Industrial Legality, the Pepsi Strike, and Workers' Collective Rights in Canada"

New in the fall 2014 issue of Labour/Le Travail, "We didn't want to totally break the law": Industrial Legality, the Pepsi Strike, and Workers' Collective Rights in Canada" by political scientist Charles W. Smith of the University of Saskatchewan.

Abstract (English)

Canada’s system of industrial legality has routinely limited the collective abilities of workers to strike. Under the conditions of neoliberal globalization, those limitations have intensified. Yet, in 1997, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, waged a successful strike against Pepsi-Cola Canada. In addition to defeating the company, the union also expanded workers’ collective rights through a successful constitutional challenge to restrictive common-law rules limiting secondary picketing. This paper examines the history of that strike, exploring the multifaceted strategies that the workers undertook to challenge the company, the state, and the existing law. It argues that workers were successful because they utilized tactics of civil disobedience to defend their abilities to picket. Recognizing that success, the paper is also critical of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision and its evolution of common-law torts to limit workers’ collective action. The paper concludes by arguing that the Pepsi conflict highlights the importance of civil disobedience in building workers’ movements while emphasizing the inherent limitations of constitutional challenges to further workers’ collective freedoms in Canada. 
Abstract (French):

Le système légal industriel au C anada a systématiquement limité la capacité collective des travailleurs à faire la grève. Dans un contexte de mondialisation néolibérale, ces restrictions se sont intensifiées. Pourtant, en 1997, le Syndicat des employés de gros, de détail et de magasins à rayons (RWDSU) à Saskatoon, en Saskatchewan, a mené une grève couronnée de succès contre Pepsi-Cola Canada. Outre cette défaite de l’entreprise, le syndicat a réussi à modifier le droit commun limitant le piquetage secondaire, grace à une contestation constitutionnelle. Outre la défaite de l’entreprise, le syndicat a également élargi les droits collectifs des travailleurs grâce à une contestation constitutionnelle réussie des règles de droit commun restrictives limitant le piquetage secondaire. Cet article examine l’historique de cette grève, en explorant les stratégies à multiples volets que les travailleurs ont mises en œuvre pour contester l’entreprise, l’état et la loi existante. Il soutient que les travailleurs ont réussi parce qu’ils ont eu recours à des tactiques de désobéissance civile pour défendre leur capacité de faire du piquetage. Reconnaissant ce succès, l’article critique également la décision de la Cour suprême du Canada et la façon dont elle a fait évoluer des délits de droit commun en vue de limiter l’action collective des travailleurs. L’article conclut en affirmant que le conflit Pepsi-Cola fait ressortir l’importance de la désobéissance civile dans l’édification des mouvements de travailleurs, tout en soulignant les limites inhérentes aux contestations constitutionnelles pour faire avancer les libertés collectives des travailleurs et des travailleuses au Canada.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Call for legal history syllabi

Via Joanna Grisinger, LawandHistoryCRN:

At a “Teaching Legal History” session at the Denver meeting of the ASLH last month, someone suggested that we compile an updated bank of legal history syllabi, to make available to our community of teachers and scholars.  I’m following through on that request.  If you teach a legal history course, please send me a copy of your syllabus.  All fields (U.S., non-U.S., ancient, modern) all levels (graduate, undergraduate, law school), and all sorts of courses (introductory surveys, upper-level seminars) happily accepted.   Please send syllabi as e-mail attachments to: John Wertheimer, Davidson College:  When the collection reaches critical mass, I’ll make it available and explain where to find it. 
John Wertheimer
Professor and Interim Chair of History
Davidson College
Davidson, NC 28035-7053
(704) 894-2039

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chris Moore interview on UTP Author Blog about writing "The Court of Appeal for Ontario"

Chris Moore, author of The Court of Appeal for Ontario: Defining the Right of Appeal 1792-2013, recently published by U of T Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, is the subject of a post on the U of T Publishing Blog "Behind the Book with Christopher Moore" by Elizabeth Glenn.

Chris talks about the writing and research process, the role of former Chief Justice Warren Winkler in initiating the project, assistance from the Law Foundation and the hurdles involved in an admistrative history with inconsistent sources. The post can be accessed here.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Praise for Philip Girard from Constance Backhouse

Constance Backhouse wrote me this morning asking me to circulate this. I am thrilled that although I had to miss Philip giving his speech in Denver, the legal history group has the written version, and Philip will be presenting it to us on Wednesday.

From Constance:

Hi Mary,
I am at the American Society for Legal History’s annual meeting in Denver.  I wanted to share with you, and with the Canadian legal history folks, the news about the wonderful “Plenary” speech last night.  The top spot on the program is reserved every year for one of the giants of legal history.  All of the conference goers, even the ones who typically do not attend the sessions, show up and listen intently.  It is considered the marking of a rite of passage.

Last night, Philip Girard was the honoured speaker.  His lecture was titled “Disorienting: Towards a Legal History of North America.”  

Doug Hay and Rosalie Abella have given wonderful speeches at ASLH plenaries some years back when the ASLH met in Canada.  This was the first time that a Canadian had ever been selected to speak at a meeting in the US, and the new ASLH President, Michael Grossberg, made a point of stressing that “you don’t need to be in Canada to learn about Canadian legal history.”

Philip was simply outstanding.  All of us have heard him give awesome presentations in the past, but last night he hit a pinnacle that is rarely met.  He was brilliant, erudite, witty, thoughtful, and wise.  He was terribly funny.  He presented ideas that few people in the audience had considered before, and he did so in a way that was accessible and riveting.  It’s something we all know already about Philip’s talents.  But there was something about watching him display his incredible range and depth, in this venue, that was extraordinary.  And he opened by stressing that Canadian legal history thrives because it is a collective, a community that shares, is supportive of its participants, and builds on our collectively diverse research and knowledge.  

It was a proud moment to be a Canadian legal historian.  I wish you had all been there to hear it.  It was simply wonderful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tunnicliffe, "Canada and the Human Rights Framework: Historiographical Trends"

In the latest issue of the online journal History Compass, Jennifer Tunnicliffe has an article on the historigraphy of human rights in Canada, "Canada and the Human Rights Framework: Historiographical Trends"

Here's the abstract:

This article examines trends in Canadian human rights history, with a focus on three major themes that have guided the scholarship: challenges to the characterization of Canada as a historically tolerant nation; a study of how, when, and through what mechanisms human rights became an important project for Canadians; and a critical assessment of the historical effectiveness of the human rights movement in promoting equality within Canadian society. In assessing where this vibrant and growing field of study could expand in the future, the article also contextualizes the Canadian historiography in the international literature on the development of the global human rights framework.

Osgoode Society 2014 Books launched...

Yesterday at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

Our 2014 books are:

  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario: Defining the Right of Appeal, 1792-2013, by Christopher Moore
  • Equality Deferred: Sex Discrimination and British Columbia’s Human Rights State, 1953-84, by Dominique Clément
  • Petty Justice: Low Law and the Sessions System in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, 1785-1867, by Paul Craven
  • Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919, by Thomas Telfer

And they're all great. (Yes, I'm biased, but it's true. I haven't read every page of each of them yet, but I've been very impressed with what I've seen.)

To join the Osgoode Society and get the members' book for this year, Chris Moore's The Court of Appeal for Ontario, (included in the membership fee,) or to inquire about purchasing one or more of the others, please visit the Society website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

 New from UBC Press: Paths to the Bench: The Judicial Appointment Process in Manitoba, 1870-1950 by Dale Brawn of Laurentian University.

A lawyer wanting to become a judge in early 20th-century Manitoba could attract the attention of his peers through his work -- but it was a friendship with a powerful mentor that got him to the bench. 

In Paths to the Bench, Dale Brawn looks at the appointments and careers of early judges who were charged with laying the legal foundations of a province. With much at stake, judicial appointments were as much about personal ties and politics as they were about ability. Beliefs were scrutinized to ensure that they would not impede the province’s, and the nation’s, growth, while ongoing mentorships ensured that these beliefs were cultivated through shared kinship groups. 

By looking at both official records and correspondence from this era, Brawn uncovers the highly political nature of the judicial appointment process and the intricate bonds that ensured that judges acquired the values not of their society, but of their fellowship groups. His in-depth analysis also examines the distinct career trajectories of less competent and more competent lawyers and considers why many of the best and brightest members of the bar did not go to the bench. 

A fascinating look at the careers of practical, hard-headed, and extraordinarily influential judges, Paths to the Bench is also an incisive study of the political nature of Canada’s judicial appointment process.

Hat tip: Doug Harris via Twitter

Friday, October 31, 2014

New from UTP/Osgoode Society, The Court of Appeal for Ontario: Defining the Right of Appeal, 1792-2013 by Christopher Moore

The Court of Appeal for Ontario: Defining the Right of Appeal in Canada, 1792-2013
New from the Osgoode Society and the University of Toronto Press, The Court of Appeal for Ontario: Defining the Right of Appeal, 1792-2013 by Christopher Moore.

This is the "members' book" for 2014--free to Osgoode Society members. It's not too late to become a a member: cost for ordinary members is $50, for students $21.50.

Join today, have your copy delivered (free of charge) and come to the launch of this and our optional books on November 4th at Osgoode Hall!

The U of T Press says:

In Christopher Moore’s lively and engaging history of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, he traces the evolution of one of Canada’s most influential courts from its origins as a branch of the lieutenant governor’s executive council to the post-Charter years of cutting-edge jurisprudence and national influence.
Discussing the issues, personalities, and politics which have shaped Ontario’s highest court,The Court of Appeal for Ontario offers appreciations of key figures in Canada’s legal and political history – including John Beverly Robinson, Oliver Mowat, Bora Laskin, and Bertha Wilson – and a serious examination of what the right of appeal means and how it has been interpreted by Canadians over the last two hundred years. The first comprehensive history of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Moore’s book is the definitive and eminently readable account of the court that has been called everything from a bulwark against tyranny to murderer’s row.

And the Osgoode Society says: 

Before 1850 the Court of Appeal for Ontario was the Governor’s Executive Council. In 1850 the Court of Error and Appeal for Canada West met for the first time, the first appeal court for what is now Ontario that was both independent of the Executive Council and staffed only by professional judges. Christopher Moore’s study of the modern court’s history begins with these early courts, and provides an account of more than 200 years of the court’s institutional history. It charts the various and at times complex reorganisations, and identifies landmark events, such as the creation of the modern court in 1876 and the opening up of criminal appeals in the late nineteenth century. This is also partly a biographical history, identifying dominant figures, especially Chief Justices, in the court’s development. Along the way the book looks at the court’s workload, its internal administration, relations with the bar, and connections to the politics of the province.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New from UTP/Osgoode Society: Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919, by Thomas Telfer

The latest Osgoode Society book is Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919, by Thomas Telfer of the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario.

Says the Osgoode Society:

Professor Telfer’s deeply researched book shows that between Confederation and 1919, when the federal parliament passed the Bankruptcy Act that remains the basis of the current law, Canadians debated insolvency law with a perhaps surprising amount of passion. The discharge raised deep issues of commercial morality, while arguments about priorities pitted local against regional and national interests. Federalism complicated the story, as it often does in Canadian legal history, as the federal parliament abandoned its jurisdiction over bankruptcy for decades.

Says the U of T Press:

In 1880 the federal Parliament of Canada repealed the Insolvent Act of 1875, leaving debtor-creditor matters to be regulated by the provinces. Almost forty years later, Parliament finally passed new bankruptcy legislation, recognizing that what was once considered a moral evil had become a commercial necessity. In Ruin and Redemption, Thomas GW Telfer analyses the ideas, interests, and institutions that shaped the evolution of Canadian bankruptcy law in this era. Examining the vigorous public debates over the idea of bankruptcy, Telfer argues that the law was shaped by conflict over the morality of release from debts and by the divergence of interests between local and distant creditors. Ruin and Redemption is the first full-length study of the origins of Canadian bankruptcy law, thus making it an important contribution to the study of Canada’s commercial law.

Successful PH.D. defence by Karen Schucher on history of Ontario's human rights regime

 Karen Schucher of Osgoode Hall Law School successfully defended her doctoral dissertation today.
The dissertation, titled "Coercing Justice? Exploring the "Aspirations and Practice" of Law as a Tool in Struggles Against Social Inequalties," traces the history of Ontario's human rights regime.
Congratulations, Karen!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Call for expressions of interest: legal history workshop winter/spring term 2015

Jim Phillips and I are working on next term's schedule for the Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop.
We have a number of people interested,  and I will be emailing anyone who has communicated with Jim or with me about presenting next term to confirm and select dates.
But there are still a number of spots available.
If you will be in the Toronto area and would like to present, please email me (  or Jim (  Let us know your title or topic (if you have one, not essential at this stage) and preferences for dates (i.e. earlier or later in term, times you cannot make it, etc.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New from Osgoode Society/UTP: Petty Justice by Paul Craven

Just in through my mailbox, Petty Justice: Low Law and the Sessions System in Charlotte County, New Brunswick 1785-1867, by Paul Craven of York University.

Petty Justice: Low Law and the Sessions System in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, 1785-1867I admit to having some advance knowledge of the contents--which are admirable, the result of awe-inspiring archival research--but was pleasantly surprised by the physical charms of the book design. The cover illustration is lovely, as is the type face, a departure from the standard Osgoode Society/UTP norm, which I have always found elegant, but a tad cold, and not terribly conducive to close reading. This font/size is very readable (which may offset the 500+ pages of text, charts, tables, bibliography and index somewhat). The choice of footnotes over the usual endnotes also adds to the accessibility,

Here's the publisher's blurb:

Until the late nineteenth-century, the most common form of local government in rural England and the British Empire was administration by amateur justices of the peace: the sessions system. Petty Justice uses an unusually well-documented example of the colonial sessions system in Loyalist New Brunswick to examine the role of justices of the peace and other front-line low law officials like customs officers and deputy land surveyors in colonial local government.
Using the rich archival resources of Charlotte County, Paul Craven discusses issues such as the impact of commercial rivalries on local administration, the role of low law officials in resolving civil and criminal disputes and keeping the peace, their management of public works, social welfare, and liquor regulation, and the efforts of grand juries, high court judges, colonial governors, and elected governments to supervise them. A concluding chapter explains the demise of the sessions system in Charlotte County in the decade of Confederation.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Congratulations to Charlotte Gray for Toronto Book Award

The City of Toronto has announced that Charlotte Gray has won the 2014 Toronto Book award for The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and The Trial that Shocked a Country, a co-publication of the Osgoode Society and Harper-Collins.
Congratulations to Charlotte and both publishers!


hat tip Trish McMahon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New from MQUP: Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec by Brian Young

 New from McGill-Queen's University Press

The Taschereaus and McCords
By Brian Young 
History has often ignored the influence in modern Quebec of family dynasties, patriarchy, seigneurial land, and traditional institutions. Following the ascent of four generations from two families through eighteenth-century New France to the onset of the First World War, Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec compares the French Catholic Taschereaus and the Anglican and English-speaking McCords.

Consulting private, institutional, and legal archives, Brian Young studies eight family patriarchs. Working as merchants or colonial administrators in the first generation, they became seigneurial proprietors, officeholders, and prelates. The heads of both families used marriage arrangements, land stewardship, and judgeships to position their heirs. Young shows how patriarchy was a central force in both domestic and public life, as well as the ways in which Taschereau and McCord family strategies extended into the marrow of Quebec society through moral authority, influence on national identities, and their positions within senior offices in religious, judicial, and university institutions. Through courthouses, cemeteries, belfries, and their own chapels and neoclassical estates, they created encompassing cultural landscapes. Later generations used museums, archives, historian collaborators, photography, and modern print to elevate family achievement to the status of heroic national narratives.

Sagas of the monied and entrepreneurial, nationalist imperatives to protect a vulnerable people, and skepticism about the lasting power of great families and historical institutions have relegated the influence of the Taschereaus and McCords to obscurity. Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec resuscitates the central role these elite families played in English and French Quebec.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Call for Participation: ACDS/CLSA mid-winter meeting, Montreal, Jan. 17-18

From the ACDS/CLSA.
Note: this is addressed to members, but becoming one is easy: go to the website membership page. (Student members pay only $30.)

English follows.
Chers membres,
Le comité de l’ACDS vous invite à soumettre vos contributions pour sa prochaine rencontre de mi-hiver qui aura lieu au campus du centre-ville de l’Université Concordia, à Montréal, les 17 et 18 janvier 2015 prochain. La conférence mi-hiver est une occasion informelle de rencontrer d’autres membres pancanadiens de la Société et de vous impliquer dans son organisation.
Cette année, le thème de la conférence s’intitule Dynamiser le droit : esquisses inédites dans les études sociojuridiques. Les membres sont encouragés à former des tables-ronde ou des panels s’articulant autour des grands thèmes de la recherche sociojuridique, dont « le droit et la religion », « le crime et la peine », « les perspectives juridiques autochtones », « la méthodologie sociojuridique » ou tout autre thème ayant trait à vos sujets particuliers de recherche. Les soumissions individuelles sont également les bienvenues.
Prière d’envoyer 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 21 novembre 2014. Les contributions retenues seront présentées le samedi 17 janvier 2015. La réunion du conseil d’administration aura lieu le dimanche 18 janvier 2015. 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 janvier.

Dear Members,

This is a general call for participation in the CLSA’s Annual Mid-Winter Meeting, which will take place at Concordia University’s downtown campus, in Montreal, Quebec, January 17-18, 2015. The Mid-Winter Meeting is a relatively small, informal gathering and a great way to connect with CLSA members from across the country and to get involved in the organization.  

The broad theme for this year is “Engaging Law: New Ideas in Socio-Legal Studies”.  Members are encouraged to organize round table discussions or panels around themes within socio-legal scholarship, including “law and religion”, “crime and punishment”, “indigenous legal perspectives”, “socio-legal methods”, “legal history” or any other research area that is of interest.  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) to by November 21, 2014.  All accepted presentations will be given on Saturday, January 17, 2015. The board meeting will take place on Sunday, January 18, 2015. 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 Montreal in January.

Free MOOC on Magna Carta and its legacy around the world

Students of constitutional history may be interested in a free MOOC (massive open online course)  being offered by Royal Hollway College, University of London, on Magna Carta and its legacy around the world (presumably including Canada.)

Here's a link:

Hat tip to Art Linton of Magna Carta Canada.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Call for Proposals: ACDS/CLSA annual meeting, Ottawa, June 3-5

Congress/ Congrès 2015
Call for Proposals
University of Ottawa, Ontario
June 3-5, 2015

The Canadian Law and Society Association welcomes proposals for our annual meeting to be held at Congress 2015 in Ottawa. In keeping with this year’s thematic focus on “Capital ideas” we invite proposals for papers, panels and other presentations that engage broadly with the concept of “capital” and its intersections with law and society.

This broad theme includes but is not limited to the following areas of inquiry:
·           capital markets: governance and regulation of/by; economic austerity; colonialism and the development of new Empires; risk and the encroachment of capitalist logics in seemingly non-economic legal relations; prison industrial complex
·           emotional capital: emotional labour and law; emotional equity; role of emotion in law; victimology
·           property as an organizing principle in law: Indigenous land claims; bodies and desires; commodification
·           moral capital: moral entrepreneurship; abolitionism (slavery, sex work); as a mode of governance
·           cultural capital: cultural and social reproduction; cultural knowledge and power; information technology and hegemony; objectification and embodiment
·           human capital: labour rights; transnational mobility; exploitation; knowledge production and economies
·           capital punishment: racial, gender and social bias; “humane” executions; wrongful convictions; cruel and unusual punishment

Proposals by may include but are not limited to:
-          Individual papers
-          Complete panels
-          Roundtables
-          Research workshops
-          Author meets readers sessions

All submissions must include: (1) a proposal of between 150-200 words for individual papers, (2) 2-4 keywords (3) a maximum 50-75 word bio that highlights institutional or community affiliation, research interests, current projects and/or publications. Proposals from graduate students are strongly encouraged.
If you are a graduate student who would like more information on the Graduate Student Workshop (date to be determined) please
For panel and roundtable proposals please include a 150-word description addressing the objectives of the entire panel and a 150-word abstract for each presenter/participant as well as each participant’s 50-75 word bio.

Please e-mail submissions and contact details to Lara Karaian at by November 20, 2014.  

We also invite expressions of interest for chairing panels.

L’association canadienne droit et société vous invite à soumettre vos contributions pour la prochaine rencontre annuelle qui aura lieu à Ottawa lors de la tenue de son prochain Congrès en 2015. Dans l’esprit de notre thème annuel ‘’Idées capital’’, nous vous invitons à soumettre toute proposition de communications, de panels ou de présentations qui s’engagent dans cette vaste réflexion portant sur la notion du ‘’capital’’, aux carrefours des questions de droit et de société.
Cette thématique générale inclut, sans se limiter, à ces différentes pistes de réflexion :
  • Les marchés financiers : ce qui les gouvernent et régulent, de même que ce qu’ils gouvernent et régulent eux-mêmes; l’austérité économique; le colonialisme et le développement des nouveaux empires économiques; l’empiètement qu’opèrent et les risques qu’importent les logiques capitalistes dans le domaine
  • Le capital émotionnel : le travail et le droit émotionnel; l’équité émotionnelle; le rôle de l’émotion en droit ; la victimologie
  • La propriété comme principe structurant du droit : les revendications territoriales des Autochtones; les corps et leurs (les) désirs; la commercialisation au sens large.
  • Le capital moral : l’entreprenariat moral; l’abolitionnisme (de l’esclavage, de la prostitution); comme mode de gouvernance.
  • Le capital culturel : la reproduction culturelle et sociale; le pouvoir et le savoir culturel; les technologies de l’information et la question de l’hégémonie; l’objectivation, l’objectification, la représentation et la personnification.
  • Le capital humain : les droits des travailleurs; la mobilité transnationale, l’exploitation; la production du savoir et des économies.
  • La peine capitale : la race, le genre et les biais sociaux ; aux exécutions et persécutions humaines; aux convictions injustifiées ou erronées ; aux châtiments cruels, injustes ou arbitraires.
Les propositions peuvent inclure, sans s’y limiter :
  • Des communications individuelles;
  • Des panels;
  • Des tables rondes;
  • Des ateliers de recherche;
  • Des sessions de discussion entre un auteur et son lectorat;
Toutes les soumissions doivent comprendre : (1) un résumé de 150-200 mots des articles individuels; (2) 2-4 mots clés pour identifier la proposition; (3) une biographie de 50-70 mots mettant en lumière vos engagements institutionnels et communautaires, vos intérêts de recherche, vos projets actuels et/ou vos publications. Les soumissions d’étudiants aux cycles supérieurs sont fortement encouragées.
Pour les étudiants aux cycles supérieurs qui souhaiteraient en savoir plus sur l’Atelier des étudiants aux cycles supérieurs (date à venir), veuillez nous contacter à l’adresse suivante :
Pour les propositions de panels et de tables rondes, veuillez inclure une description de 150-200 mots à propos des objectifs de la rencontre ainsi qu’un résumé de 150 mots de la contribution que chaque présentateurs/participants exposera, de même qu’une biographie de 50-75 mots pour chacun des participants.
Veuillez soumettre vos propositions et vos coordonnées complètes avant le 20 novembre 2014 à Lara Karaian à l’adresse suivante :
Nous vous invitons également nous communiquer tout intérêt pour la présidence et l’animation de panels.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Congratulations to Ubaka Ogbogu on defence of dissertation on Vaccination Law in Ontario and Nova Scotia, 1800-1924

Good news from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law via Twitter (UofA Faculty of Law @UofALawFaculty)  that Ubaka Ogbogu has successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at the U of T Faculty of Law on Vaccination and the Law in Ontario and Nova Scotia, 1800-1924.

Here's the notice:

The University of Alberta, Faculty of Law would like to offer its sincerest congratulations to our colleague Professor Ubaka Ogbogu for successfully defending his doctoral thesis at theUniversity of Toronto Faculty of Law in September, 2014. He will graduate with a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree this Fall.
Professor Ogbogu’s doctoral dissertation, titled ‘Vaccination and the Law in Ontario and Nova Scotia (1800 – 1924)’ provides an original, comprehensive account of vaccination law and policy in nineteenth century Canada, encompassing the factors and ideologies that triggered and shaped the legal regulation of smallpox vaccination, the processes, design, content and outcomes of legal regulation, challenges associated with the implementation and enforcement of vaccination laws, and the influence or impact of broader social and political arrangements and norms. It also provides a firsthand account of why and to what extent mandatory approaches to vaccination were utilized in preventing the introduction and spread of smallpox, how such approaches were fashioned, and the reasons why they succeeded or failed to achieve stated regulatory aims.
According to Professor Ogbogu, “the issue of whether governments can justifiably require individuals to get vaccinated for the sake of protecting public health has always been and remains one of the most divisive social and regulatory issues in Canada and many other countries around the world.” He adds: “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study on the issue, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills gained from the doctorate to enriching the academic lives of our students and everyone at U of A Law.”
Ubaka Ogbogu is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed to the Faculties of Law and Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. He teaches Torts, Law and Medicine, Pharmacy Law and Ethics and the Health Law Moot Program. His research interests are in health law, public health law, science and health policy studies, law, bioethics and biomedicine, legal history of public health and health care in Canada and the law of torts (with a special focus on medical malpractice and health care torts). He is particularly interested in the points of confrontation between ethics, morality, economics and law, particularly in relation to the governance of novel and controversial health care technologies. Professor Ogbogu holds a research appointment as the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law and Science Policy and he is a member of the Faculty’s Health Law Institute.
Professor Ogbogu would like to thank the members of his dissertation committee, including Professors Trudo Lemmens (Toronto, co-supervisor), Jim Phillips (Toronto, co-supervisor), Philip Girard (Osgoode, external), Angela Fernandez (Toronto, internal-external), Martin Friedland (Toronto, internal-external) and Angela Miles (Toronto, Chair). He would also like to thank Sarah Hamill, Maeghan Toews, Adam Ollenberger, Carmelita Robertson and the wonderful staff at the Archives of Nova Scotia, Archives of Ontario, Argyle Township Court House Archives and the Halifax Regional Municipality Archives for research and editorial assistance, and colleagues at the Faculties of Law and Pharmacy and at the Health Law Institute for support and advice during his doctoral studies. Finally, Professor Ogbogu would like to thank his wonderful family and friends for their never-ending support and encouragement.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Call for Papers: The Scholar, Teacher, Judge, and Jurist in a Mixed Jurisdiction, at McGill, June 2015

English follows:
« Le chercheur, le professeur, le juge et le juriste
dans une juridiction mixte »

La World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists est heureuse d’annoncer son Quatrième Congrès International, qui se tiendra à la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill (Montréal, Canada). Le Congrès débutera avec une réception suivie d’une conférence le 24 Juin en soirée et se poursuivra jusqu’au 26 juin 2015. Le thème de ce congrès sera « Le chercheur, le professeur, le juge et le juriste dans une juridiction mixte ».
Les juridictions mixtes, comme elles sont traditionnellement perçues, se situent à l’intersection de la tradition de la Common law et de la tradition civiliste. Elles comprennent souvent d’autres droits, comme le droit ethnique  ou le droit religieux. Riches du point de vue de l’histoire du droit et du pluralisme juridique, elles sont souvent vues comme des laboratoires naturels de droit comparé.
Les lois, les méthodes et les institutions des juridictions mixtes reflètent inévitablement la présence de différentes traditions rivalisant pour la suprématie ou demandant la réconciliation. La complexité accrue des juridictions mixtes donne lieu à des exigences particulières pour la formation des juges, des juristes et du personnel des tribunaux, l’enseignement du droit privé, la recherche scientifique et la réforme du droit. Dans quelle mesure ces défis ont-ils été relevés par les parties prenantes des juridictions mixtes?
Nous proposons d’explorer ces questions.
Nous accepterons les propositions de textes sur tout sujet apparenté au droit des juridictions mixtes. Elles pourront être soumises par des juristes de toute juridiction, qu’ils soient membres de l’Association ou non. Les propositions devront être envoyées au secrétaire général du WSMJJ, Seán Patrick Donlan ( d’ici le 15 octobre 2014. Les soumissions ne doivent pas dépasser 500 mots et doivent être accompagnées d’un curriculum vitae d’une page. Le temps alloué pour la présentation des textes ne dépassera pas 20 minutes. La publication des textes présentés à la conférence sera envisagée.
L’Association regrette de ne pas pouvoir couvrir les frais de déplacement des participants au Congrès.
Veuillez prendre la date en note.
The Fourth Worldwide Congress
of The World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists
McGill University Faculty of Law,
 Montreal, Canada June 24-26, 2015

 “The Scholar, Teacher, Judge, and Jurist in a Mixed Jurisdiction”
The World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists is pleased to announce a Fourth Worldwide Congress to be held at McGill University’s Faculty of Law (Montreal, Canada) from an opening evening reception and lecture on 24 June through 26 June 2015. The theme of the Congress will be “The Scholar, Teacher, Judge and Jurist in a Mixed Jurisdiction.”
Mixed Jurisdictions, as they are traditionally understood, stand at the crossroads of the Common law and Civil law. They also frequently encompass other ethnic and religious laws. Rich in legal history and complex pluralism, they are often seen as natural laboratories of comparative law.
The laws, methods, and institutions of mixed jurisdictions are inevitably affected by the influence and presence of different traditions vying for supremacy or requiring reconciliation. Their added complexity places special demands upon the training of judges and jurists, the staffing of courts, the teaching of private law, the research of scholars, and the task of law reform. To what extent have these challenges been met by the actors and institutions of mixed jurisdictions?
We propose to investigate these issues.
Proposals for papers on any topic related to mixed legal systems are welcome. They may be submitted by jurists from any jurisdiction, and by members and non-members of the Society alike. Proposals should be submitted to WSMJJ General Secretary Seán Patrick Donlan ( by 15 October 2014. They should not exceed 500 words and should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of one page only. The time allocated for delivery of papers will be no longer than 20 minutes. Papers delivered at the conference will be considered for publication.
The Society regrets that it cannot cover travel expenses of participants in the Congress.
Please reserve the date. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CJLS/RCDS: Call for Special Issue Proposals: UPDATED

The Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit et Société   (CJLS/RCDS) is pleased to invite proposals for our Special Issue to appear in 2016. We welcome proposals covering any topic in the field of law and society. Proposals are due by November 1st.

About the Journal: The Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit et Société is a bilingual periodical publishing innovative research in the broad field of law and society scholarship. Rooted in the distinctive Canadian Law and Society movement, CJLS features international scholarship concerning the intersection of law and sociology, cultural studies, literature, political science, criminology, history, human rights, gender studies and political economy. The journal is edited by Professors Benjamin L. Berger, Joane Martel, and Dawn Moore, and supported by an international editorial board comprised of leading scholars from a range of disciplines.

For rules, guidelines and a sample successful request, email

CFP: Law in Transition - Association of Young Legal Historians Annual Forum

Via David Schorr and H-Law, a call for papers for The XXIst Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians, and 6th Berg Institute International Conference, with the theme "Law in Transition," which will take place at Tel Aviv University March 1-3, 2015.

The upcoming XXIst Annual Forum of the Association of Young Legal Historians aims at a comprehensive discussion of law in transition. A wide variety of transitions of historical significance can be explored: political, economic, social, cultural, and more. “Law”—legal symbols, discourses, players, institutions, theories, and texts—has played a significant role in historical transitions, and legal historians have been crucial in exploring its multiple and contradictory effects. The stakes are not just historical, but current: these studies encourage transitions in the way law itself is conceived, theorised, and researched.
We invite young legal historians to present papers dealing with any aspect of law in transition. (Proposals on other topics will also be considered.) Papers can explore specific events or periods in a particular region or state, or provide a comparative analysis of different periods or multiple locations. Papers can focus on local questions or deal with transnational legal justice. We welcome papers combining legal transitions with political, economic, social, and cultural ones. Methodological reflections are also welcome:  Have legal transitions been “top-down” or “bottom-up”? What have been the legal sources of transition? What are the relationships between legal and non-legal histories of transition? What conceptions of law, its forms of operation, its effects, and its significance inform the analysis of transition?
The conference's discussion formats will vary to include panels of 3-4 independent papers, roundtables, panels dedicated to a specific book (including author-meets-readers if authors can attend), and panels dedicated to a canonical article. The organising committee encourages the submission of proposals for all of these formats, and will also welcome new and exploratory formats.
Presentations may be given in any major language, but English-language presentations are likely to receive the widest audience.
The deadline for proposals is 1 November 2014; please Decisions will be made quickly.
-          Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of up to 350 words and a short c.v.
-          Proposals for full panels should include, in addition to individual paper proposals, an abstract introducing the theme of the panel.
-          Proposals for roundtables should include an introduction of theme, abstracts of presenters’ intended comments (up to 100 words for each presenter), and a short c.v. for each participant.
-          Proposals for panels discussing a single book or article should include a full citation of the book or article, an explanation of its significance, abstracts of the papers, and a short c.v. for each participant.
The conference fee will be ILS 450 (approximately 95 Euro). The program will include social events and tours.
Discounted conference fees and accommodation at a nominal charge will be available for participants with no institutional funding. Applicants requesting such support should explain their request in a document accompanying their submission.
The Call for Papers can be found here. Further information about the Association of Young Legal Historians and past Annual Forums can be found at Please direct any questions about the conference to
The conference is sponsored by the David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, with the support of the TAU Office of the Vice President, Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Entin Faculty of Humanities, and Yavetz Graduate School of Historical Studies.
We look forward to welcoming you to Tel Aviv.
The Organising Committee: Omer Aloni, Yael Braudo-Bahat, Doreen Lustig, Dina Moyal, Anat Rosenberg, David Schorr

Binnema, "Protecting Indian Lands by Defining Indian: 1850-76"

In the current issue of Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue d'études canadiennes , an article by Ted Binnema of UNBC entitled "Protecting Indian Lands by Defining Indian: 1850-76". 

Here's the abstract:

In 1850, the government of the Province of Canada defined Indian for the first time. In the twentieth century, the legal provisions by which generations of status Indian women in Canada lost their status when they married non-status men became among the most controversial aspects of Canadian legislation relating to First Nations peoples. The government’s decision to define Indian, and its actual definitions, came to exemplify the coercive nature of Canadian Indian policy. This essay challenges many assumptions regarding the history of Canada’s definition of Indian. A close examination shows that officials only reluctantly decided to define Indian in law in 1850 in efforts to protect Indian land in Lower Canada. The evidence also shows that the first legal definition ofIndian was intended to conform to the “ancient customs and traditions” of these Indigenous communities. Furthermore, government officials consulted meaningfully with Aboriginal leaders when they revised the definition between 1851 and 1876. During the entire period, the Aboriginal political elite were effective advocates for their own interests.

En 1850, le gouvernement de la Province du Canada a défini le terme indien pour la première fois. Au XXe siècle, les dispositions légales qui avaient entraîné la perte du statut de plusieurs générations de femmes indiennes au Canada lorsqu’elles avaient épousé des non-Indiens en viennent à représenter un aspect parmi les plus controversés de la législation canadienne visant les Premières nations. La décision du gouvernement de définir le terme indien, et sa définition même, ont fini par illustrer la nature coercitive des politiques indiennes du Canada. Le présent article questionne plusieurs des hypothèses sur l’historique de la définition canadienne du terme indien. Un examen approfondi montre que les autorités ont finalement décidé avec beaucoup de réticence de définir le terme indien dans la loi en 1850 afin de pouvoir protéger les terres indiennes dans le Bas-Canada. Les éléments probants montrent également que la première définition légale du terme indien visait à se conformer aux « coutumes et traditions anciennes » des communautés indigènes. Les représentants du gouvernement ont consulté véritablement les leaders autochtones lorsqu’ils ont révisé la définition entre 1851 et 1876. Pendant toute cette période, l’élite politique autochtone a plaidé efficacement en faveur de ses propres intérêts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Harris and Au on the Abolition of Notice in Title Registration of Real Property in BC in SSRN

Doug Harris of UBC Faculty of Law and former student May Au have posted "Title Registration and the Abolition of Notice in British Columbia" on SSRN. The article will be published in The UBC Law Review. 


Systems of land law must balance competing goals of securing title for existing interests in land with facilitating their transfer. Title registration systems operate to facilitate transfers of interests in land. They reflect a choice to enhance the security of transfers of interests, providing what has been characterized as dynamic security at the expense of the static security of existing interests. One of the cardinal principles of title registration is the abolition of the doctrine of notice. In equity, if purchasers of a legal interest have notice of a prior equitable interest, then they take their interest subject to that prior interest. To do otherwise is to perpetrate a fraud. Most title registration systems abolish notice; prior unregistered interests do not affect purchasers who register their interests, whether or not they have notice of the prior interest, except, so many title registration statutes provide, in the case of fraud. This article investigates the evolution of provisions purporting to abolish notice in Torrens title jurisdictions, it describes the variety of provisions that emerged, it reviews the longstanding uncertainty in British Columbia over the extent to which the doctrine of notice is abolished, and it considers a number of proposals for reform. It concludes that the uncertainty is a function of an unresolved policy choice between static and dynamic security, and that the British Columbia Court of Appeal or the legislature needs to intervene to clarify that choice.

Monday, September 15, 2014

McNeil on Indigenous Rights Litigation, Legal History, and the Role of Experts

Kent McNeil of Osgoode Hall Law School has what looks like an intriguing article in the Summer 2014 issue of the Saskatchewan Law Review, "Indigenous Rights Litigation, Legal History, and the Role of Experts."
Abstract unavailable.