The Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop is an informal evening seminar, starting at 6.30 p.m., and conducted over zoom. Participants are graduate students and faculty in law and history from U of T, York, McMaster and other institutions, as well as lawyers, judges and law students. All law students with an interest in legal history are welcome. Law students may also take the workshop for credit – see Course List.

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2022-23 Schedule

Fall Term 2022

Wednesday September 14 - Jordyn Beaupre, McMaster University: “Localism in an International Social Purity Crusade: Establishing the Age of Consent in Late-Victorian Canada”.

Wednesday September 28 - Dan Rohde, Harvard University: "The Bank of the People, 1835-1840: Law, Money and Sovereignty in Upper Canada".

Wednesday October 12 – Bruce Ryder, Osgoode Hall Law School: “Canada’s First Anti-Discrimination Law: Ontario’s 1932 Prohibition on Unfair Discrimination in Insurance Industry”

Wednesday November 2 – Jim Phillips, University of Toronto: “The Trials and Travails of Elizabeth Campbell: A remarkable Parliamentary Divorce of the 1870s”.

Wednesday November 16 – Philip Girard, Osgoode Hall Law School: “On the edge of many empires: employers’ liability and workers’ compensation in Quebec’s industrial age, 1880-1931”.

Wednesday November 23 - Elena Caruso, University of Kent Law School: “The ‘Social Decriminalisation’ of Abortion and the Rise of the Feminist Movement in 1970s Italy".

Wednesday December 7 – Ian Radforth, University of Toronto: “Deadly Swindle: an English Dandy on Trial for Murder in Victorian Ontario.”

Winter Term 2023

Wednesday January 11 - Nicole O’Byrne, University of New Brunswick: “A Legal History of Abortion Access in New Brunswick”.

Wednesday January 25 – Stepan Wood, University of British Columbia: “Indigenous litigants and the reception of English law in Canada.”

Wednesday February 8 – Sally Hadden, Western Michigan University: “Early Colonial American Courts, Appeals and ‘Primitive’ Judicial Review.”

Wednesday February 22 - Tyler Wentzell, University of Toronto: “An Officer and a Litigant: Canadian Militia Commanders in Civil Actions Against Municipalities, 1867-1904”

Wednesday March 8 – Brad Miller, University of British Columbia: "The Internationalization of the Frederick Gerring."

Wednesday March 22 – Taylor Starr, York University: TBA

Wednesday April 5 – Genevieve Painter, Concordia University: TBA

Past Speakers and Archives

Past speakers have included:

  • David Sugarman, University of Lancaster, on the Pinochet case
  • Bob Gordon,  Yale University, on Moral and Economic Regulation
  • John Beattie, University of Toronto, on the Bow Street Runners
  • Mark Walters, Queen's, on early conceptions of aboriginal title
  • Karen Pearlston, Osgoode Hall Law School, on "Coverture and the Feme Sole Trader in England"
  • John Weaver, McMaster University, on 'Steyntje and Her Children: A Slave’s Pursuit of Freedom in the Cape Town Courts and before the Privy Council"