Instructor(s): Blaine Baker

For graduate students, the course number is LAW5051HS.

This course satisfies the Perspective Course Requirement.

This is a survey course in Canadian Legal History, set in the late-eighteenth, nineteenth, and early- twentieth centuries. Modern legal history’s alliances with cultural, social, and economic history will be emphasized, as appropriate from one topic to the next. Following a brief historiographical and theoretical introduction to modern Anglo-American legal history, themes that will be addressed include: the initiation into (education) and expulsion from (discipline) the legal profession; shifting business structures of law practice; lawyers as architects of the state and the market; integrating aboriginal traditions into the state; judicial institutions; legal thought and literature; legal nativism; and, ethnicity and gender-based changes in the composition of the legal profession. Two, three, or four class hours may be allocated to each of those topics, contingent on their breadth, the availability of relevant reading material, and the interests of the class. This course complements others like Criminalization in Historical and Theoretical Perspective, Foundations of Legal Theory, History and Theory of the Common Law, History of Crime and Punishment, Introduction to the Civil Law Tradition, and Legal Archeology (all of which are offered from time to time), but none of those courses is a pre-requisite, co-requisite, or anti-requisite to this one.

Each student will be asked to write an in-term research paper from secondary sources (about 1800 words), elaborating beyond the assigned readings on one or another of the topics covered in this course and worth one-third of his or her final grade. The instructor will provide suitable guidance for those projects. Those in-term papers must be submitted by the due date for written work in the first term of the 2016-17 academic year. A twenty-four-hour take-home examination (about 3,600 words), worth two-thirds of a final grade, will also be administered at each student’s election anytime during the examination period (see University of Toronto Faculty of Law Take-home Policy for details).

At a Glance

Second Term
Perspective course



20 JD

2 Criminology students


Th: 10:30 - 12:20