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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