The Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop is an informal evening seminar. Participants are graduate students and faculty in law and history from U of T, York, McMaster and other institutions, as well as law students. All law students with an interest in legal history are welcome.

If you would like to be put on the mailing list and to receive the papers, please send an email to

2019-20 Schedule

January 15: Lara Tessaro, University of Kent: ‘Cosmetically Constitutional: A Legal Form for Material Substance, 1932-195?”.

January 29: Coel Kirkby, University of Sydney:  TBA

Wednesday February 12: Jim Phillips, University of Toronto: ‘A Legal History of Indigenous Policy in Early National Canada: The Indian Acts, 1869-1920’.

Wednesday February 26: Kris Kinsinger, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘To Entrench or Not to Entrench? Canadian Constitutionalism and the Bill of Rights Debate’

Wednesday March 11: Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘Improper Intimacies and Patriarchal Relations in Canada’s North-West Territories: Methodological, Ethical, and Interpretative Challenges in the Nineteenth-Century Criminal Court Records.’

Wednesday March 25: Elizabeth Koester, University of Toronto: ‘Eugenics in the Ontario Legislature: Dr. Forbes Godfrey and his Private Member's Bills, 1910 to 1921.’

April 1: Erika Chamberlain and Rande Kostal, Western 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"