Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A History of Law in Canada: Volume II book cover

The forthcoming book, A History of Law in Canada Volume II: Law for the New Dominion, 1867-1914  (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2022), is co-authored by Faculty of Law Professor Jim Phillips, editor-in-chief of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History; Philip Girard, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; and R. Blake Brown a professor in the Department of History at Saint Mary’s University, and an adjunct professor at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

This is the second of three volumes in an important collection that recounts the sweeping history of law in Canada. The period covered in this volume witnessed both continuity and change in the relationships among law, society, Indigenous peoples, and white settlers. The authors explore how law was as important to the building of a new urban industrial nation as it had been to the establishment of colonies of agricultural settlement and resource exploitation. A History of Law in Canada Volume I (2018) addressed the most important developments in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, including legal pluralism and the co-existence of European and Indigenous law. Volume II covers the first half century after Confederation, highlighting, among other things, the displacement of Indigenous law. It pays particular attention to the Métis and the Red River Resistance, the Indian Act, and the origins and expansion of residential schools in Canada. 

The book is divided into four parts: the law and legal institutions; Indigenous peoples and Dominion law; capital, labour, and criminal justice; and those less favoured by the law. A History of Law in Canada examines law as a dynamic process, shaped by and affecting other histories over the long term.

The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History was established in 1979 to promote the publication of work on the history of Canadian law, and to create and preserve an oral history archive.

Since 1981 to 2022, the Society has published 118 books on a range of topics in Canadian legal history, and has recorded more than 640 oral histories from various members of the legal profession.

Read more about this publication at The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History