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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nominations sought for Peter Oliver Prize for published work by a student in Canadian legal history

Note imminent deadline:

Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History

The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History invites nominations for the Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History. The prize, named for Professor Peter Oliver, the Society's founding editor-in-chief,  is awarded annually for published work (journal article, book chapter, book) in Canadian legal history written by a student. Students in any discipline at any stage of their careers are eligible. The Society takes a broad view of legal history, one that includes work in socio-legal history, legal culture, etc., as well as work on the history of legal institutions, legal personnel, and substantive law.

Faculty members are encouraged to nominate student work of which they are aware, and the Society will also be pleased to accept self-nominations.  Those nominating their own work should send a copy of it to the Society. The deadline for nominations for the 2014 Prize, to be awarded for work published in 2013, is April 30, 2014.

Please send nominations to Professor Jim Phillips, Editor-in-Chief, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M5H 2N6, or by email to

Applications sought for McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History

R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History

The R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History was created on the occasion of the retirement as Chief Justice of Ontario of the Hon. R. Roy McMurtry.  It honours the contribution to Canadian legal history of Roy McMurtry, Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Ontario, founder of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and for many years (and currently) the Society's President. The fellowship was established by Chief Justice McMurtry's friends and colleagues, and endowed by private donations and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

The fellowship is to support graduate (preferably doctoral) students or those with a recently completed doctorate, to conduct research in Canadian legal history, for one year. Scholars working on any topic in the field of Canadian legal history are eligible. Applicants should be in a graduate programme at an Ontario University or, if they have a completed doctorate, be affiliated with an Ontario University.  The fellowship may be held concurrently with other awards for graduate study. Eligibility is not limited to history and law programmes; persons in cognate disciplines such as criminology or political science may apply, provided the subject of the research they will conduct as a McMurtry fellow in Canadian legal history. The selection committee may take financial need into consideration.

The fellowship will be awarded in June 2014, and will have a value of $16,000.  Applications will be assessed by a committee appointed by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and consisting of Society Directors and academics. Those interested should apply by sending:

A full curriculum vitae
A statement of the research, not exceeding 1,000 words, that they would conduct as a McMurtry fellow. The statement should clearly convey the nature of the project, the research to be carried out, and the relationship, if any, between the project and previous work done by the applicant.
The names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees. Please do not ask your referees to write; the Society will contact them if necessary.
For persons not currently connected with an Ontario University, an indication of how and when they intend to obtain such a connection.

Please send applications to Marilyn Macfarlane, McMurtry Fellowship Selection Committee, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5H 2N6, or by email to . The deadline for applications is May 15, 2014.

Grandpre, "The Justice Mill: George William Baker at the Winnipeg Police Court, 1901-1903"

New in Manitoba History, "The Justice Mill: George William Baker at the Winnipeg Police Court, 1901-1903" by Stephen Grandpre, a doctoral student in history at Western University.

Here's the description (from the index America: History & Life):
An essay is presented concerning the career of former Winnipeg, Manitoba, chief police magistrate George William Baker from 1901 to 1903. It discusses his method of rapidly adjudicating cases at the James Street court in Winnipeg with firmness, his attitude toward civil cases as opposed to criminal cases, and his attitude toward crimes against property and morality. The article also discusses opposition to Baker's judicial style and rulings, particularly the use of corporal punishment. The article states that he was dismissed from his position in December 1903.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New from UTP: Commissions of Inquiry and Policy Change: A Comparative Analysis, edited by Gregory J. Inwood and Carolyn M. Johns

Commissions of Inquiry and Policy Change: A Comparative Analysis

A new collection from the U of T Press, Commissions of Inquiry and Policy Change: A Comparative Analysis (IPAC Series in Public Management and Governance) edited by Ryerson University's Gregory J. Inwood and Carolyn M. Johns. Available in paper or hardback.

Heavy on the political science, but there's legal history in there too.

Here's the table of contents:

List of Tables, Figures, and Chapter Appendices
Chapter 1: Why Study Commission of Inquiry – Gregory J. Inwood (Ryerson University, Politics and Public Administration) and Carolyn M. Johns (Ryerson University, Politics and Public Administration)
Chapter 2: Theories of Policy Change and a Four Part Theoretical Framework for Comparative Analysis – Gregory J. Inwood and Carolyn M. Johns
Chapter 3. Structuring Canada’s National Policy Debate: The Royal Commission of Canada’s Economic Prospects – Neil Bradford (Huron College, University of Western Ontario, Political Science)
Chapter 4: Politics and Promise: A Feminist-Institutionalist Analysis of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women – Joan Grace (University of Winnipeg, Politics)
Chapter 5: The Lasting Impact of the Inquiry into the Construction of a Pipeline in the Mackenzie Valley – Frances Abele (Carleton University, Public Policy and Administration)
Chapter 6: Of Leaps of Faith and Policy Change: The Macdonald Royal Commission – Gregory J. Inwood
Chapter 7: The Framing of Scientific Governance in Canada: Policy Change and the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies – Francesca Scala (Concordia University, Political Science)
Chapter 8: The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples: An Exercise in Policy Education – Peter H. Russell (University of Toronto, Political Science)
Chapter 9: Manufacturing Civil Society?: How the Krever Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada Shaped Collective Action and Policy Change – Michael Orsini (University of Ottawa, Political Science)
Chapter 10: The Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada: Laying the Groundwork or a Missed Opportunity for Policy Change? – Patricia L. O’Reilly (Ryerson University, Politics and Public Administration)
Chapter 11: The Walkerton Inquiry and Policy Change – Carolyn M. Johns
Chapter 12: The Goudge Inquiry: Anatomy of Success for an Inquiry to Change Policy? – Lorne Sossin (Osgoode Hall Law School, Dean and Professor)
Chapter 13: Commissions of Inquiry and Policy Change: A Comparative Analysis – Gregory J. Inwood and Carolyn M. Johns

Irish Lawyers again

Last week I posted about a conversation about Irish lawyer emigrants to Canada in the 19th century on the Legal History Workshop listserv and invited those who had responded (and those who replied privately to Angela Fernandez) to add a comment on that post or email me to be included in a new post. This would allow us to keep those responses in the blog archive (or maybe on the Osgoode Society website) for future reference.
So far I have express permission from Chris Moore. Here's what he had to say on the subject:
There are several examples of Irish gentry families coming to Upper Canada and then taking up the law:  the Baldwins c1800), theBlakes (1830s), the McCarthys (1840s) are notable examples.  But most of them  took up the law after they came to Upper Canada, apparently having discovered that rural landholding was not going to support them here the way they expected.   Chief Justice of Ontario John Hawkins Hagarty, lawyer and judge George Skeffington Connor, and Supreme Court of Canada judge John Wellington Gwynne were all Irish-born, and all studied at Trinity College Dublin, I think, but they all articled here in Canada, not in Ireland (I think! --  DCB and other standard references should have the details.) Judge/Senator James Gowan the same.

The McCarthys were Irish lawyers before emigrating.  D’Alton McCarthy Sr (father of the politician-founder of the McCarthy law firm) had been a solicitor in Ireland and had to article 5 years to start again in Upper Canada, as there was no automatic recognition of  British (including Irishsolicitors’ credentials, though there was for barristers.  (Moore, McCarthy Tetrault, p18 – pardon me citing myself!) I’m not aware of any Irish barrister of King’s Inn asking the Law Society of Upper Canada to recognized his credentials – I’m pretty sure there were not many.

So – a fair number of individual cases of Irish-born eventual lawyers, Protestant, at the upper end of the class system, and frequently becoming high up in the UC bench and bar.  How much they formed an organized community of self-consciously “Irishlawyers in Upper Canada, I’m not sure. I was about to say not much – but maybe there are more connections to tease out than I had thought of. It’s not a thing Canadian legal historians have made much of. 
Thanks for this, Chris!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Canadian (and other) Legal History at the Berks

The Berkshire Conference on Women's History (the 16th!) is being held this year in Toronto! There's always a lot of cross-over between legal and women's history at the Berks, and this year is no exception.

Highlights of particular interest to fans of Canadian legal history:

A reception hosted by the Institute of Feminist Legal Studies of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, from 6:30 to 8 pm on Friday, May 23rd.

Then on Saturday, Mary 24th, at 10 a.m. a roundtable discussion sponsored by the IFLS and the Osgoode Society "Cutting Edge Contributions and Critical Reflections in Canadian Feminist Legal History," with Sonia Lawrence of the IFLS (chair) and eminent Canadian Legal Historians Constance Backhouse, Bettina Bradbury, Shelley Gavigan and Mary Jane Mossman.

For more information, visit the conference website and have a look at Berks by the day.

Schorr on Riparian Rights in Lower Canada and Canada East on SSRN

David Schorr of the University of Tel Aviv (who has a great blog you should check out--Environment, Law and History) has posted a working paper, "Riparian Rights in Lower Canada and Canada East: Inter-Imperial Legal Influences" on SSRN.

Here's the abstract:
The development of the law of riparian rights in the Anglo-American world in the nineteenth century has been analyzed from several points of view, including economic property theory and Marxian legal history. Transnational aspects of the subject have not been neglected, as some have highlighted the transatlantic framework in which this body of doctrine developed, and others have examined the use of Continental, civil law sources by some of the American jurists responsible for that development. Yet the inter-imperial aspect of this story, in particular the meeting of the laws of the British and French Empires, has gone unremarked. 

This paper examines the crossed histories of English common law, French civil law, and American law in the jurisprudence of water rights in Lower Canada/Canada East/Quebec in the mid-nineteenth century, and the influence of this jurisprudence on the developing water law of the British Empire.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Applications sought for Preyer Prizes

The American Society for Legal History invites applications for two Kathryn T. Preyer Prizes for young legal historians:

Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars
Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to young legal historians, the program of Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars is designed to help legal historians at the beginning of their careers. At the annual meeting of the Society two younger legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society. The generosity of Professor Preyer’s friends and family has enabled the Society to offer a small honorarium to the Preyer Scholars and to reimburse, in some measure or entirely, their costs of attending the meeting. The competition for Preyer Scholars is organized by the Society’s Kathryn T. Preyer Memorial Committee.
Submissions are welcome on any topic in legal, institutional and/or constitutional history.  Early career scholars, including those pursuing graduate or law degrees, those who have completed their terminal degree within the previous year, and those independent scholars at a comparable stage, are eligible to apply. Papers already submitted to the ASLH Program Committee–whether or not accepted for an existing panel–and papers never previously submitted are equally eligible. Once selected, Preyer Award winners must present their paper as part of the Preyer panel, and they will be removed from any other panel.
Submissions should be a single MS Word document consisting of a complete curriculum vitae, contact information, and a complete draft of the paper to be presented. Papers must not exceed 40 pages (12 point font, double-spaced) and must contain supporting documentation. In past competitions, the Committee has given preference to draft articles and essays, though the Committee will still consider shorter conference papers. as one of the criteria for selection will be the suitability of the paper for reduction to a twenty-minute oral presentation. The deadline for submission is June 15, 2014.
Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will receive a $500 cash award and reimbursement of expenses up to $750 for travel, hotels, and meals. Each will present the paper that s/he submitted to the competition at the Society’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, on November 6-9, 2014.  The Society’s journal, Law and History Review, has published several past winners of the Preyer competition, though it is under no obligation to do so.
Please send submissions as Microsoft Word attachments by June 15, 2014, to the chair of the Preyer Committee, Gautham Rao <email>.  He will forward them to the other committee members.
The 2014 Preyer Memorial Committee
Sam Erman, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Southern California
Serena Mayeri, Professor of Law and History, University of Pennsylvania
Gautham Rao, Assistant Professor of History, American University
Michael Schoeppner, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, University of Maine at Farmington
Karen Tani, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley
Here's the link one more time:

Discussion of Irish Lawyers in Canada

A few days ago, Angela Fernandez sent an email to the legal history workshop listserv with a question for a colleague about lawyers who had qualified to practise in Ireland and subsequently emigrated to Canada.
There have been some great replies from a number of knowledgeable members of the listserv. However, there has been a request from one recipient that people not 'reply all' so as not to clog the mailboxes of those who are not interested (though I can't imagine there are many of those on a listserv dedicated to legal history.)
Everyone may already have said his/her piece. However, if there are more people who want to weigh in on this topic off the general email, please feel free to use the comments function of this blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CFP: Australia and New Zealand Law and History Conference, December 10-13, 2014

Call for papers:
On behalf of the School of Law of the University of New England, Australia, the organising committee of the 33rd annual conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society takes pleasure in issuing a call for papers. The conference will be held at the BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort, Coffs Harbour, on the magnificent mid-north coast of New South Wales, between December 10-13, 2014. More details can be found on the conference website which will be updated with further information as the conference date approaches.
The conference theme is "Law's Empire or Empire's Law?: Legal Discourses of Colonies and Commonwealths". The conference theme provides wide scope to discuss law and history in a variety of settings. Although an important context for the conference is the interrelation between imported laws of a parent jurisdiction and their application to other domains, both jurisdictional and geographical, we encourage potential presenters to interpret the conference theme broadly.
The keynote speakers for the conference are Professor Paul Mitchell, of the Faculty of Laws, University College London, and Professor Mike Grossberg, Sally M Reahard Professor of History & Professor of Law, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.  Professor Mitchell and Professor Grossberg have long standing research interests in the conference theme and we are delighted they are able to present keynote addresses.
The organising committee would welcome interest from lawyers and historians from any jurisdiction. The call for papers will be open until late June. Inquiries or paper proposals - including a title, brief abstract and brief biography - should be sent to

Call for Proposals: Property Rights, Land and Territory in the European Overseas Empires, Lisbon, 26-27 June 2014.

International Conference announced: Property Rights, Land and Territory in the European Overseas Empires, Lisbon, 26-27 June 2014.

The occupation of territories, the rule over land and the definition of property rights, either de jure or de facto, were major concerns in the making and long-term development of almost every European overseas empire. They were also deeply interrelated with other key aspects of the empire-building process, including sovereignty claims, territorial expansion, settlement, taxation, power relations, social mobility, economic development, and the relationship with indigenous peoples. Therefore, those issues were of interest to all parts involved in the colonial venture - imperial governments, colonial authorities, first and later generations of settlers, native peoples and their elites - who dealt with them through complex and dynamic processes of negotiation and conflict.
The solutions adopted to regulate property rights and other territorial and land-related issues had their roots in legal norms, political concepts, institutions, ideologies and social practices transposed from each European metropole, then reframed and accommodated to each colonial context. Developing from different backgrounds in Europe, these theories and practices combined in a variety of ways with different conditions in the colonies, producing both contrasting and similar outcomes across time and space. 
The research on these topics has already achieved a huge body of results, but, for the most part, it has been pursued in a piecemeal fashion, either by disciplinary fields, empires or regions of the world, thus overlooking their interconnections. How can we compare the way issues of land, territory and property rights were dealt with across a variety of empires (e.g. Portuguese, Spanish, British, Dutch, French) and their different geographies? What can different branches of scholarship (from legal, economic, political, social and cultural history) offer each other? This conference aims to provide answers to these questions, by bringing these previously separate studies together into a common forum and setting them in comparative perspective.
Deadline for proposals submission: 20 April 2014, sent to
Paper proposals: please attach a Word file with the title, a 250-words abstract, name, institutional affiliation and a 100-words bio note of the proponent.
Panel proposals: please attach a Word file with the title and a 300-words abstract for the panel, plus the titles of papers (max 4), name, institutional affiliation and a 100-words bio note of the organizer and each presenter.
Notification of acceptance: 5 Mai 2014.
Registration fees: regular 50 €, student 40 €; after 1 June: regular 70 €, student 55 €. Venue: ISCTE-IUL (University Institute of Lisbon), 26-27 June 2014.
Scientific Committee:Allan Greer, António Hespanha, Bas van Bavel, Jorge Flores, José Vicente Serrão, Rosa Congost, Rui Santos, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Vera Ferllini
Organizing Committee: José Vicente Serrão, Bárbara Direito, Eugénia Rodrigues, Susana Münch Miranda
Host Institution: CEHC-IUL
Funding: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologiawebsite: 
This Conference incorporates the activities of the FCT Research Project (PTDC/HIS-HIS/113654/2009): "Lands Over Seas: Property Rights in the Early Modern Portuguese Empire"