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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Osgoode Society administrator sought: Nov. 15 deadline for applications

The Osgoode Society invites applications for the post of Administrator, with duties to commence in January, 2017.

The Society is a charitable organization, and its purposes are to promote public interest in the history of law, the legal profession and the judiciary and to stimulate research and publication on these subjects.  It is the one of the most successful legal historical publishers in the common law world.
The administrator reports directly to the Editor-in-Chief and serves as secretary to the Board of Directors.
It is anticipated that on average the Administrator will be required to work between 3.5 and 4 days a week.  The duties of the Administrator will include managing the day to day operations of the Society which are located in Osgoode Hall on Queen Street.
The Administrator will be responsible for all significant tasks and events undertaken by the Society during the year, including duties in connection with the Society’s publishing and Oral History Programs.  The Administrator will work with the Editor-in-Chief and the Oral History Co-ordinator, whose offices are not located in Osgoode Hall.  The Administrator must therefore be able to work successfully without direct supervision.
The successful candidate will be fully conversant with all aspects of basic word processing and other computer databases and programs. A post-secondary degree is a minimum requirement but there is no particular prior work experience required.
This is a great opportunity for a person looking to achieve a greater work-life balance while still completing challenging work related to law, history and publishing.
For further information about the Society consult this website.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity please provide a cover letter and a copy of your resume to Professor Jim Phillips, Faculty of Law & Department of History, University of Toronto, 78 Queen’s Park, Toronto, M5S 2C5, or to Applications will be considered starting November 15th.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Canadian Legal History at the ASLH conference

Next week, the American Society for Legal History is meeting in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York, for its annual conference!

The programme is available on the ASLH website, along with other useful information.

The whole programme looks great, and there will be a number of panelists speaking on Canadian legal history subjects. Sadly, a number of them will be on at the same time, but it was ever thus.

I combed through the programme for Canadian content so you won't have to:

Look for:

Friday. Session I. 8:15-10:00AM 
"Indian Character" and Indigenous Characters in Canadian Criminal Law (Algonquin room)
Chair: Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa
Commentator: Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School,
Chandra Murdoch, University of Toronto, "Applications of the Indian Act: Character Evaluation and Political Power on the St. Regis Reserve, 1887-1910"
Jacqueline Briggs, University of Toronto, "Brokers for Legal Services: Indian Agents and the Department of Indian Affairs Legal Aid Program, 1880 to 1970"
Carolyn Strange, Australian National University, "Sexual Psychopathy, the Indian Mind, and the Death Penalty in Mid-20th Century Canada: An Unexplored Nexus"

Friday Session II, 10:30-12:00PM
Aboriginal People and Legal Intermediaries in Colonial Courts (Algonquin room)
Chair & Commentator: John McLaren, University of Victoria,
Canadian Panelist:
Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School, "A Criminal Court to do its Bidding? Criminal Law and Canadian Indian Policy in the North-West, 1876-1905"

Women, "Aliens," and Citizenship: Married Women's Nationality Laws and Repatriation Campaigns in Europe and North America, 1920s-1950s (Alberta room)
Chair: Philip Girard, York University
Commentator: Audrey Macklin, University of Toronto
Canadian panelist:
Franca Iacovetta, University of Toronto, "'In the case of a woman' or 'The headache': Married Women's Nationality and Canada's Citizenship Act at Home and Abroad 1946-50"

The Americanization of the Canadian Law School (Quebec Room)
Chair: Jim Phillips, University of Toronto,
Canadian Panelists:
        Angela Fernandez, University of Toronto, "Casebooks Canonizing the Common Law
Eric Adams, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, "Border Crossings and the Birth of Modern Legal Education"
David Sandomierski, University of Toronto, "Fuller and the Canadians"

Saturday. Session V. 8:30-10:15AM
Extradition and the Formation of Transnational Criminal Law Regimes
in the 19th Century (1789-1914)
Canadian panelist:
Bradley Miller, University of British Columbia/Vancouver, "The Low Law of Nations: Police Abductions in Northern North America, 1819-1914"

Note that: 

The deadline to Pre-Register for the 2016 ASLH Annual Meeting was October 3, 2016. If you missed the deadline, you will be able to register on-site. Registration will open at 2:00pm on October 27, 2016 in the Ballroom Lobby of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
The on-site meeting registration fee will be substantially discounted for ASLH members.  If you are not yet a member or have let your membership lapse, please join or renew your ASLH membership before registering for the annual meeting.  You can join or renew your ASLH membership here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New from the Osgoode Society and UTP: Miller, Borderline Crimes: Fugitive Criminals and the Challenge of the Border, 1819-1914

The last of the Osgoode Society's three publications for 2016 is now in print.

Borderline Crime: Fugitive Criminals and the Challenge of the Border, 1819-1914 by Bradley Miller of the University of British Columbia, published by the Society in conjunction with the U of T Press, is one of two "member's books" for this year. (The other is Lori Chambers' A History of Adoption Law in Ontario, 1921-2015, about which I posted a few weeks ago.)

Here's what the Osgoode Society has to say about Borderline Crimes:
This is the first comprehensive history of cross-border Canadian-American interactions in relation to fugitive criminals, escaped slaves, and refugees. Miller examines the complexity of those interactions, which involved formal legal regimes governed by treaties as well as informal and extra-legal phenomena such as abductions and ground-level ‘customary’ co-operation between low-level officials. All of this is set against the background of a developing international law and evolving ideas about extradition in other parts of the British empire.

Monday, October 17, 2016

New from Osgoode Society and UTP: Muir, Law, Debt and Merchant Power: The Civil Courts of Eighteenth Century Halifax

New from the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and the U of T Press.

James Muir of the University of Alberta has just published Law Debt and Merchant Power: The Civil Courts of Eighteenth Century Halifax.

Here's what the Osgoode Society website has to say:

law-debtThis is a path-breaking study of the every day work of civil law and civil courts. It examines the type of litigation pursued (mostly debt), how the courts worked, and how the economy operated in a society with very little cash and in which credit was the lifeblood of commerce. Muir employs both quantitative and qualitative analyses of all extant case files and explains how eighteenth-century court procedure worked. He situates his study against the society and economy of Halifax, analyzing who sued who and why and how the legal system fit into patterns of economic relations and activity.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Conference announcement: Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonized

A save-the-date from Shaunnagh Dorsett:

Following on (finally!) from the Legal Histories of the British Empire conference in Singapore  in 2012, we are pleased to announce Legal History and Empires: Perspectives from the Colonized, jointly sponsored by  the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of the West Indies,  Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, 11-13 July 2018. A website and CFP will be announced in the new year. Its a way off, but as we know July is always busy, so here is a heads up! Save the Date!
For preliminary inquires please contact Shaunnagh Dorsett ( or Asya Ostroukh (

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CLSA fall bulletin seeks your socio-legal publication and research news

CLSA bulletin editor David DesBaillets is seeking submissions for the announcements section of the Fall Bulletin (#57) If you have any recent or forthcoming publications in the area of socio-legal research please send him the details. Also welcome are awards of research grants/prizes, conference announcements/calls for papers, job postings, and similar.  The Bulletin is a great way to inform other socio-legal scholars of your recent research.
David is also seeking submissions for the CLSA in the News section, so if your research has recently been featured in the media, let him know and where possible send a link so that he can include it in the Bulletin.
Please email your announcements to with the subject line "Bulletin."

(Nota bene: Please also send any specifically legal history news to me for inclusion in this blog: