Search This Blog

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Craven, "Just Cause--Industrial Discipline at Arbitration in the 1940s"

Paul Craven has published "Just Cause--Industrial Discipline at Arbitration in the 1940s" in the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal.

The Journal does not provide an abstract, but Professor Craven has kindly provided the editor's summary:

The principal elements of just cause protection for unionized workers in
the context of industrial discipline can be summed up in what the author refers
to as the “four Rs”: reasons, reinstatement, equitable relief, and representation.
While the scope and meaning of just cause came to be fully developed in the
arbitral jurisprudence of the 1960s and 1970s, several of its core aspects are
of considerably older provenance. This paper throws light on a little-known
chapter in the development of the “common law of the shop” by reporting on the
results of primary research into mostly unreported arbitration awards in discipline cases, conducted under the auspices of the Ontario Department of Labour in the wartime and immediate post-war periods. 
Although they did not set out to create a systematic jurisprudence, the arbitrators in those early cases clearly anticipated the established model of corrective and industrial discipline: they gave effect to a requirement for reasons; reinstated employees found innocent of allegations of wrongdoing and awarded compensation; articulated a need for prior warnings and a culminating incident; “made the punishment fit the crime”by substituting lesser penalties and taking into account mitigating factors such as length of service; and afforded a measure of protection to union officials against reprisal while emphasizing their responsibility for securing compliance with grievance procedures. Ultimately, the author argues, the early arbitrators saw their role chiefly as the cultivation of workplace harmony and avoidance of work stoppages, seeking to reconcile industrial unionism with industrial peace.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Osgoode Society Books on Sale until December 14


Our back catalogue is on sale for $10 per book plus shipping

Looking for a good book to give as a gift this Holiday Season? Missing something from the more than 100 books published by the Osgoode Society?

Whether you’re looking for biographies or collections of essays, we have something for every reader.

Simply fill out the form and email it to the Osgoode Society ( As a bonus, every person who purchases a book may receive a free copy of Cornerstones of Order: Courthouses and Town Halls of Ontario, 1784-1914 by Marion MacRae and Anthony Adamson (shipping not included).

We will contact you once we process your order, and provide you with an estimate for the cost of shipping if applicable. (If you can come to Osgoode Hall in Toronto you will be able to pick up your books at the Osgoode Society's office for free).

The sale is open to non-members as well as members.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

David Steeves interviewed about Daniel Samson Case on CTV Atlantic

On November 25th, David Steeves was interviewed by Bruce Frisko of CTV Atlantic on the subject of Daniel Samson, a black Nova Scotian accused of murder in a controversial case in the 1930s. Earlier that week, the Samson case was the subject of a two-part series by CTV Atlantic on the last execution in Halifax. David’s essay on the case, "Maniacal Murderer or Death Dealing Car: The Case of Daniel Perry Samson, 1933-1935" appeared in The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays (Osgoode Society for Legal History, 2012), and was a co-winner of the Society’s Peter Oliver prize for that year.

Here's a link to the interview.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop Schedule for winter-spring 2018


All sessions at 6.30. Room TBA.

Wednesday January 17: Robyn Schwarz, Western University: “Protecting the Nuclear Family: A Gendered Analysis of the 1968 Divorce Act”. 

Wednesday January 31 – Elizabeth Koester, University of Toronto: ‘Litigating Eugenics:  The 1936 Eastview Birth Control Trial’.

Wednesday February 14: Tom Telfer, Western University: ‘The New Bankruptcy “Detective Agency”? The Origins of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Great Depression Canada.’

Wednesday February 28 - Donald Fyson, Laval University: TBA

Wednesday March 14: Jeff McNairn, Queen’s University: ‘ “Where covert guile and artifice abound:” Making Legal Knowledge of Insolvency and Fraud in Upper Canada, 1794-1843.’

Wednesday March 28: Michael Boudreau, St Thomas University: ‘Capital Punishment in New Brunswick, 1869-1957’.

Wednesday April 4 - Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘Historicizing Criminalization of Canada’s First Nations: A Project for Legal Historians?’

New from McGill-Queen's UP: Ignace & Ignace, Secwepemc People, Land and Laws

New from McGill-Queen's University Press, Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws,  Yerí7 re Stsq'ey's-kucw 

An exploration of Secwépemc history told through Indigenous knowledge and oral traditions.

Secwépemc People, Land, and LawsSecwépemc People, Land, and Laws is a journey through the 10,000-year history of the Interior Plateau nation in British Columbia. Told through the lens of past and present Indigenous storytellers, this volume detail how a homeland has shaped Secwépemc existence while the Secwépemc have in turn shaped their homeland.

Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt, compellingly weave together Secwépemc narratives about ancestors’ deeds. They demonstrate how these stories are the manifestation of Indigenous laws (stsq'ey') for social and moral conduct among humans and all sentient beings on the land, and for social and political relations within the nation and with outsiders. Breathing new life into stories about past transformations, the authors place these narratives in dialogue with written historical sources and knowledge from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, earth science, and ethnobiology. In addition to a wealth of detail about Secwépemc land stewardship, the social and political order, and spiritual concepts and relations embedded in the Indigenous language, the book shows how between the mid-1800s and 1920s the Secwépemc people resisted devastating oppression and the theft of their land, and fought to retain political autonomy while tenaciously maintaining a connection with their homeland, ancestors, and laws.

An exemplary work in collaboration, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws points to the ways in which Indigenous laws and traditions can guide present and future social and political process among the Secwépemc and with settler society.
h/t Karen Tani at the Legal History Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

LLM Scholarship for study of BC legal history

via Doug Harris:

UBC’s Allard School of Law History Project LLM Scholarship
The Peter A. Allard School of Law is offering a one-year scholarship of $15,000 to support an LLM student during the 2018-19 academic year to write a thesis on some aspect of British Columbia’s legal history, with preference for a student working on the history of legal education or the legal profession and who intends to use the materials available through the Allard School of Law History Project.

Through the generous donation of Peter A. Allard, Q.C., the Law School established the Allard School of Law History Project to collect, preserve, and communicate its rich history and the history of legal education and the legal profession in British Columbia.  More information at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Forthcoming from U of T Press: Hollander, Politics and Principles: Mackenzie King and Labour, 1934-1948

Forthcoming from U of T Press, Politics and Principles: Mackenzie King and Labour, 1934-1948 by Taylor Hollander.

Power, Politics, and PrinciplesSet against the backdrop of the U.S. experience, Power, Politics, and Principles uses a transnational perspective to understand the passage and long term implications of a pivotal labour law in Canada By utilizing a wide array of primary materials and secondary sources, Hollander gets to the root of the policy-making process, revealing how the making of P.C. 1003 in 1944, a wartime order, that forced employers to the collective bargaining table and marked a new stage in Canadian industrial relations, involved real people with conflicting personalities and competing agendas.
Each chapter of Power, Politics, and Principles begins with a quasi-fictional vignette to help the reader visualize historical context. Hollander pays particular attention to the central role that Mackenzie King played in the creation of P.C. 1003. Although most scholars describe the Prime Minister’s approach to policy decisions as calculating and opportunistic, Power, Politics, and Principles argues that Mackenzie King’s adherence to key principles especially his determination to preserve and enhance the cohesiveness of the country, created a more favourable legal environment in the long run for Canadian workers and their unions than a similar collective bargaining regime in the U.S.

Eric Tucker, "On Writing Labour Law History: A Reconnaissance" posted on SSRN

Eric Tucker of Osgoode Hall Law School and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (visiting) has posted "On Writing Labour Law History: A Reconnaissance" on SSRN. The article is part of the Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper series.

Labour law historians rarely write about the theoretical and methodological foundations of their discipline. In response to this state of affairs, this article adopts a reconnaissance strategy, which eschews any pretense at providing a synthesis or authoritative conclusions, but rather hopes to open up questions and paths of inquiry that may encourage others to also reflect on a neglected area of scholarship. It begins by documenting and reflecting on the implications of the fact that labour law history sits at the margins of many other disciplines, including labour history, legal history, labour law, industrial relations and law and society, but lacks a home of its own. It next presents a short historiography of the writing of labour law history, noting its varied and changing intellectual influences. Next the article notes some of the methodological consequences of different theoretical commitments and discusses briefly the possibilities opened up by computer technologies as revealed by two interesting projects that rely heavily on the construction of sophisticated data bases. Finally, the article reflects on the methodological challenges I have experienced in my current project on labour law’s recurring regulatory dilemmas and conclude with some thoughts on the contribution labour law history can make to our understanding of the dynamics that shape its current challenges.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Osgoode Society to launch 2017 books tomorrow!

The Osgoode Society's 2017 books will be launched tomorrow (Thursday, November 2nd) at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
Join (or re-new your membership)! Come to the launch!

Our books for 2017 are
Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Lif
by Constance Backhouse



Friday, October 20, 2017

Updated fall 2018 schedule for Osgoode Society legal history workshop

 A few changes for the rest of the fall term:

* moved* Wednesday November 1 – Philip Girard, Osgoode Hall Law School, "Two Cheers for the Constitutional Act of 1791." 

NOTE: The Osgoode Society 2017 Annual Book Launch will take place on Thursday, November 2. 

* new* Wednesday November 15 – Lara Tessaro, Osgoode Hall Law School, “ ‘At some loss as to the precise object you have in mind’: Enacting Estrogenic Substances with Canada’s Food and Drugs Act, 1939-1944

Wednesday November 29 - Nick Rogers, York University: " 'Strumpet hot bitch!' Defamation Suits before Bristol's Bawdy Court, 1720-1790."

Times and places remain the same.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CLSA/LSA submission deadline extended

The deadline to submit proposals to the CLSA/LSA meeting in Toronto next June has been extended from October 18th to October 23rd. You can submit your proposals here:

Monday, October 16, 2017

CFP: Comparative perspectives on regulating age of consent and child-marriage in the British Empire, 1880 to 1930

via Legal History Blog:

Comparative perspectives on regulating age of consent and child-marriage in the British Empire, 1880 to 1930.  June 15, 2018.  SOAS University of London.

This is a call for proposals for a one-day interdisciplinary conference which aims to explore the debates that led to the reform of age of consent laws around the British Empire during the years 1880 to 1930. The conference is particularly interested in exploring the issues of age of consent and child marriage through interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives in law and history.

Intertwined within these debates are notions of gender, women's rights, biology, and attempts to understand the native psyche. These compete with tropes of cultural relativism, orientalism, the female victim, and the white man's burden amongst other concerns. For the purpose of this conference, consent is interpreted widely to include physical and intellectual consent to sexual activities as well as marriage.  The conference aims to bring together the growing number of scholars who are currently working on the histories of age of consent in the British Empire.

Recognising that the development and history of the age of consent debate is transnational, international, and multi-layered one, the conference is conceived of as a starting point for forming an international network of scholars working in the area. 

Themes of the conference include but are not limited to notions of consent-physical and/or intellectual; age of consent campaigns and national movements; religion/class/region based perspectives on consent; comparative or regional studies on age of consent/marriage; age of consent for males; consent, female body, and nationalism/imperialism.

Please send 300-word abstract with a short bio to The deadline is 08 January 2018.  Bursaries might be available for PG students.  Organisers: Dr Kanika Sharma (SOAS) and Dr Laura Lammasniemi (Anglia Ruskin University).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CFP: Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonized

Call for Papers


The University of the West Indies, July 11-13, 2018

The conference ‘Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonised’ will be held at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, in Barbados from July 11 to 13, 2018. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Humanities and Education of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and an international group of legal historians and historians of the law.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Maya Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History, Harvard University

This conference follows the successful conference on the Legal Histories of the British Empire held at the National University of Singapore in 2012, and is similarly designed to bring together senior and emerging scholars working in the fields of imperial and colonial legal history.

We invite paper or panel proposals addressing legal histories of empires broadly, and encourage participants to think in particular how their research connects with the theme of the conference: perspectives from the colonized.

Without in any way limiting the range of proposals topics and themes might include: relations between Empires; histories from the peripheries of empire; mobilities, networks and transplants; law and gender; Indigenous histories and the law; slavery and indentured labour; regulation of labour; histories of immigration law; administration of justice and rule of law; histories of public or private law; colonial law and local circumstances; settler colonialism; crime; the professions.

Individual paper proposals should be maximum 300 words (and include a bio of no more than 100 words); panel proposals should consist of an overall panel theme (300 words), the titles of individual papers and short bios (no more than 100 words) of each presenter. Panels may include commentators.

Proposals should be sent to Prof Shaunnagh Dorsett, University of Technology Sydney ( by 15 JANUARY 2018.

General inquiries about the Conference should be addressed to Dr. Asya Ostroukh, UWI, Cave Hill (

Conference website: (Information, including accommodation options and additional optional activities on July 10 and 14 will be available soon.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pilarczyk, Acts of the 'Most Sanguinary Rage': Spousal Murder in Montreal, 1825-1850 in AJLH

Ian Pilarczyk of Boston University has published Acts of the “Most Sanguinary Rage”: Spousal Murder in Montreal, 1825-1850 in the September issue of the American Journal of Legal History.

Here's the abstract:

his study examines the 11 cases of wife murder (uxoricide) and 3 cases of husband murder (mariticide) identified in the judicial district of Montreal between 1825-1850, a period of considerable social flux.Through examination of judicial archives and primary sources, supplemented by comprehensive review of period newspapers, these cases allow us to examine the dynamics and causes that motivated spousal murders and offer insight into the motivations, means, and mechanics of investigation and prosecution of these crimes as well as the role of mercy and executive clemency. In so doing, it contributes to our understanding of family violence and the administration of criminal justice for an under-examined period in Canadian history. These gendered crimes reflect “traditional” male attempts to exert and maintain power dynamics and privilege through the use of ongoing violence, rather than the influence of romantic ideals and sexual jealousy reflected in other jurisdictions of the period, and rarely involved premeditated murder. Wives, in contrast, had motives that were altogether murkier, but their actions suggested they acted opportunistically to achieve their desired ends. Whatever the reasons that motivated them, these cases were set against a deeply-gendered backdrop of juridical processes and media coverage that reinforced traditional notions of gender and social mores, and in which the identity of female offenders and victims receded almost to the point of invisibility.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Law and Society Association and Canadian Law and Society Association to meet in Toronto, June 2018

I am really looking forward to this. Let's try for a strong Canadian legal history contingent, both presenting and attending!

2018 joint meeting of the Law and Society Association
and the Canadian Law and Society Association/ Association Canadienne Droit et Société

June 7 - 10, 2018

Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Canada



For thousands of years the place where the City of Toronto is located has been a crossroad where many peoples have met and had fruitful exchanges. According to some Indigenous knowledge keepers, the word “Toronto” comes from the Wendat term for a fishing weir constructed of sticks standing in the water. Lake and river fishing has been an important activity for the area’s many Indigenous peoples, including Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and Chippewa. The Indigenous knowledge frameworks and laws of the peoples of this area encourage a multilayered understanding of an item such as a fishing weir in terms of its natural, sacred, practical and social meanings.
The area continues to be home to many Indigenous people from all over Canada and beyond, but Toronto has also been shaped by immigration flows from many parts of the world, with about half of its current residents being born outside of Canada.
The Law and Society Association and the Canadian Law and Society Association hope that our joint meeting in Toronto will be creative and fruitful, in keeping with the traditional use of this land as a gathering place, and that visitors to the area will take the opportunity to make new connections not only with one another but also with diverse local communities.

Call for papers and panels here.

Stanger-Ross, Blomley "‘My land is worth a million dollars’: How Japanese Canadians contested their dispossession in the 1940s" in LHR

New in the Law and History Review, Jordan Stanger-Ross and Nicholas Blomley and the Landscapes of Injustice Collective of the University of Victoria have an article: Stanger-Ross, Blomley "‘My land is worth a million dollars’: How Japanese Canadians contested their dispossession in the 1940s."

Here's the abstract:

On July 31, 1944, Rikizo Yoneyama, a former resident of Haney, British Columbia, an agricultural area east of Vancouver, wrote to the Canadian Minister of Justice to protest the sale of his property. Two years earlier, when he and his family had packed their belongings for their forced expulsion from coastal British Columbia, they could take with them only what they could carry and, like other displaced people, they left much behind. “I realize that we are the victims of a war emergency and as such are quite willing to undergo … hardship … to help safeguard the shores of our homeland,” wrote Yoneyama, “however, I do urgently desire to return to my home … when the present emergency ends. May I plead your assistance in the sincere request for the return of that home?” When letters like his did receive a response from the federal government (there is no record that he did so in this case) it came in the form of standard letter, acknowledging that “the disposal of … property will be a matter of personal concern” but informing Japanese Canadians that, in conformity with a new federal law, everything, including their homes, would be sold.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Travel grant for research on environmental groups at Laurier archives

via H-Canada:

Applications are currently being accepted for the Joan Mitchell Travel Grant at the Laurier Archives, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  The travel grant will support a graduate student or established scholar who wishes to travel to the Laurier Archives to conduct research.  For more information on the grant, please visit:  The application deadline is: December 2, 2016.
The Laurier Archives collects in three main areas: The history of the Lutheran Church in Canada; the environmental conservation movement in Canada; and Canadian music....

In our environment conservation collection, records of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee document many of the major environmental issues facing Canada's north.  It contains series documenting pipelines, (including the McKenzie Valley Pipeline; the Alaska Highway Pipeline; the Foothills Pipeline); hydro-electric projects in the Hudson Bay area; interviews with Indigenous leaders about the effects of large scale dams; marine conservation, national parks; Northern communities and Indigenous peoples.  The Ken Hewitt fonds document hydrological research in the Himalayas.  Also check out the records of the Canadian Water Resources Association; the Canadian Environmental Law Association; the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association; and geographer George Francis.

For more information, please contact the Laurier Archives.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Harris, "Property and Sovereignty: An Indian Reserve and a Canadian City"

Doug Harris has posted "Property and Sovereignty: An Indian Reserve and a Canadian City" on SSRN. The article will appear in volume 50 issue 2 of the  UBC Law Review

Here's the abstract.

Property rights, wrote Morris Cohen in 1927, are delegations of sovereign power. They are created by the state and operate to establish limits on its power. As such, the allocation of property rights is an exercise of sovereignty and a limited delegation of it. Sixty years later, Joseph Singer used Cohen’s conceptual framing in a critical review of developments in American Indian law. Where the US Supreme Court had the opportunity to label an American Indian interest as either a sovereign interest or a property interest, he argued, it invariably chose to the disadvantage of the Indians. Within Canada, Indigenous peoples have struggled to have their interests recognized as property rights, let alone as sovereign power. As John Borrows makes clear, Canadian courts have established Canada’s sovereignty as the jurisdictional bedrock on which Indigenous peoples must establish their property rights. This article uses the uses the concepts of property and sovereignty as revealed by Cohen and as interpreted by Singer and Borrows in the context of the rights of Indigenous peoples to recount the history of the appearance, disappearance, and reappearance of an Indian reserve in the City of Vancouver. Allotted by the colony of British Columbia in the 1860s and expanded in 1876 after British Columbia joined the Canadian confederation, the Kitsilano Indian Reserve is one of more than 1500 Indian reserves scattered across the province. Using archival material, much of it introduced in litigation, the article examines the changing character of the Indian reserve in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a property interest and as a limited delegation of sovereignty, in a context where the distribution of sovereignty between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state remains unresolved.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Foster, "Another good thing: Ross River Dena Council v. Canada in the Yukon Court of Appeal: or: Indigenous title, 'presentism' in law and history, and a Judge Begbie Puzzle revisited."

In the June issue of the University of British Columbia Review, an article by Hamar Foster, "Another good thing: Ross River Dena Council v. Canada in the Yukon Court of Appeal: or: Indigenous title, 'presentism' in law and history, and a Judge Begbie Puzzle revisited." 

No abstract available, sorry.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

RIP James Snell

We were saddened to hear of the recent death of University of Guelph university professor emeritus James G. Snell. Professor Snell was a co-author (with Frederick Vaughan) of one of the Osgoode Society's earliest legal histories, a well-regarded volume entitled Supreme Court of Canada: History of the Institution.

Here's his obituary from the Guelph Mercury.

h/t David Cameletti

Poutanen, “Due Attention Has Been Paid to All Rules”: Women, Tavern Licences, and Social Regulation in Montreal, 1840–1860"

In the May 2017 issue of Histoire Sociale/ Social History, Mary Anne Poutanen has published “'Due Attention Has Been Paid to All Rules': Women, Tavern Licences, and Social Regulation in Montreal, 1840–1860."

Taverns and inns were centres of neighbourhood life, places for travellers seeking meals, drink, and accommodation and commercial and domestic spaces where keepers and their families earned a living and that they called home. Women figured largely in public houses as patrons, servants, family members, and publicans in their own right. The article focuses on a sample of 90 female publicans who held tavern licences from 1840 to 1860, arguing that keeping these establishments afforded them distinct levels of economic independence and power. It considers broadly those characteristics that constituted ideal female keepers in mid-nineteenth-century Montreal and how they maintained a respectable status precisely at a moment when alcohol consumption and associated licensed and unlicensed commercial sites were coming increasing under scrutiny by temperance advocates, authorities of the criminal justice system, and elites. To retain their licences, female keepers had to negotiate the landmines of respectability by following licensing regulations, maintaining a reputable demeanour, and regulating the public house’s culture and clientele.

Les tavernes et les auberges étaient des lieux où la vie de quartier battait son plein, des endroits où les voyageurs trouvaient à manger, à boire et à se loger, des aires commerciales et domestiques où les tenanciers et leur famille gagnaient leur vie et qu’ils considéraient comme leur chez eux. Les femmes étaient très présentes dans ces établissements, soit comme clientes, servantes, membres de la famille ou patronnes de plein droit. L’article porte sur un échantillon de 90 tenancières qui détenaient un permis de taverne de 1840 à 1860. Le fait qu’elles tenaient ces établissements leur procurait des niveaux d’indépendance et de pouvoir économiques appréciables, selon l’auteure. Celle-ci se penche en gros sur les caractéristiques qui en faisaient des tenancières idéales dans la Montréal du milieu du XIXe siècle et sur la façon dont elles préservaient leur respectabilité, précisément à un moment où la consommation d’alcool et les établissements commerciaux – avec ou sans permis – où elle avait lieu étaient de plus en plus surveillés de près par les apôtres de la tempérance, les autorités du système de justice criminelle et les élites. Pour conserver leur permis et préserver leur respectabilité, les tenancières devaient donc observer la réglementation sur les permis, conserver leur bonne réputation et régir la culture et la clientèle de l’établissement.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop: Winter 2018 schedule

Here is the schedule for the winter term, 2018. I will provide room numbers and any other updates when available.

Note that there is one slot currently open. If you are interested, please email Jim Phillips.


All sessions at 6.30. Room TBA.

Wednesday January 10 or 17: TBA 

Wednesday January 31 – Elizabeth Koester, University of Toronto: ‘Litigating Eugenics:  The 1936 Eastview Birth Control Trial’.

Wednesday February 14: Tom Telfer, Western University: ‘The New Bankruptcy “Detective Agency”? The Origins of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Great Depression Canada.’

Wednesday February 28 - Donald Fyson, Laval University: TBA

Wednesday March 14: Jeff McNairn, Queen’s University: ‘ “Where covert guile and artifice abound:” Making Legal Knowledge of Insolvency and Fraud in Upper Canada, 1794-1843.’

Wednesday March 28: Michael Boudreau, St Thomas University: ‘Capital Punishment in New Brunswick, 1869-1957’.

Wednesday April 4 - Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘Historicizing Criminalization of Canada’s First Nations: A Project for Legal Historians?’

Roach, "The Judicial, Legislative and Executive Roles in Enforcing the Constitution: Three Manitoba Stories"

Kent Roach has posted "The Judicial, Legislative and Executive Roles in Enforcing the Constitution: Three Manitoba Stories" on SSRN. The essay is forthcoming in Canada in the World: Comparative Perspectives on the Canadian Constitution, edited by Richard Albert and David R. Cameron (Cambridge University Press).


The comparative strengths and weaknesses of judicial, executive and legislative enforcement of the Constitution are examined through a case study of attempts to enforce the rights of the overlapping Francophones, Roman Catholics and the Métis minorities in Manitoba. In these case studies, the courts were generally the more reliable protector of minority rights than legislatures or the executive. At the same time, there was not always compliance with judicial decisions and courts often produced remedies that were less effective than had there been co-operation with the executive, the legislature and civil society. In particular, legislative remedies both with respect to restoring funding to Catholic schools and ensuring French language services from the government would have been more effective than judicial remedies. They were, however, blocked by filibusters by legislators hostile to the minority rights in question. The 1983 legislative obstruction forced the Supreme Court of Canada in 1985 to pioneer the innovative remedy of a suspended declaration of invalidity. This remedy allows both courts and legislatures to participate in devising remedies. It is now used frequently in Canada and is enshrined in the 1996 South African Constitution.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Deadline extended: Law and Society Grad Student Conference: Constraints and the Law


Colloque CRDS pour étudiants en cycle 

supérieure: Droit & Contraintes/ 

CRDS Graduate Student Conference: 

Constraints & the Law

CRDS Conférence Droit et Société: Droit et Contraintes/ 

CRDS Law and Society Conference: Constraints and the Law

Law and Society Conference: Constraints and the Law
This is a general call for papers for the first ever 
graduate conference hosted by the Law and Society 
research group (CRDS) at UQÀM.
Location: Université de Québec À Montréal
 (Department of Legal Studies)
Date: November 23rd and 24th, 2017
Deadline for submissions: AUGUST 22nd, 2017
The Collectif de Recherche en Droit et Société (CRDS) invites 
graduate students and other scholars, from various disciplines, 
to participate in a conference bringing together scholars and 
researchers with a particular interest in socio-legal studies, 
the sharing of inter-disciplinary research, legal pluralism, 
the exchange of ideas, methods, opportunities and criticism, 
to submit their proposals related to one or more of the themes 
discussed in the attached document.

CRDS Organizing Committee
Conférence Droit et Société : Droit et contraintes
 Le Collectif de Recherche Droit et Société (CRDS) de l’UQAM 
lance un appel à communications pour sa toute première 
Lieu : Université du Québec à Montréal 
(Département de Sciences juridiques)
Date : 23 et 24 novembre 2017
Date limite pour soumission : AOÛT 22, 2017, à minuit
Le Collectif de Recherche en Droit et Société (CRDS) 
du Département des sciences juridiques de l’UQAM 
a le plaisir de vous annoncer la tenue du colloque 
« Droit et contraintes » les 23 et 24 novembre 2017.
 Nous invitons les étudiants et étudiantes aux cycles 
supérieurs ainsi que les chercheurs et chercheuses 
avec un intérêt particulier pour les études sociojuridiques 
ainsi que les perspectives interdisciplinaires ou pluralistes
à participer à cette conférence. Les échanges de même 
que la collaboration avec des étudiantes et étudiants 
de différentes disciplines sont les bienvenus et 
même fortement encouragés.  
Comité d'organisation CRDS

Monday, July 31, 2017

John Beattie online book of remembrance

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the sad news of the death of John Beattie, English (and Canadian) legal historian par excellence and all-round wonderful person.
An online book of remembrance has been set up. If you were a student, colleague, friend or fan, his family would appreciate hearing from you.