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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Electronic submission available, and deadline extension: 2016 ASLH Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

(via Joanna Grisinger)

American Society for Legal History 
2016 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

The American Society for Legal History is happy to announce a new electronic submission system for proposals for the 2016 Annual Conference in Toronto. You can access the system here.  All proposals should be submitted through this site.  Those who have already submitted via email will be contacted and asked to resubmit via the electronic submission system.  To account for any transition glitches, the deadline for submissions is extended to April 1, 2016.

The system is quite user friendly, and the materials are the same as under the old system: a short abstract for the proposal, individual abstracts for paper panels, and cvs for all presenters.   One individual (not necessarily a presenter, and likely the person submitting the proposal) will have to be designated the “organizer” of the session.   Please note that individuals may serve in more than one capacity: a chair may also be a commentator, for example, or an organizer may also be a presenter.

Thursday, March 24, 2016






May 16-18, 2017

Montréal, Québec

The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The passage of the
Constitution Act (1867) opened a new chapter in the history of the Canadian people, providing them
with a measure of self-determination that has served as a model of effective and stable government
for more than a century and a half. Although the road has not been without obstacles and some
turbulence, Canada’s progress from a loose association of provinces governed by London to a nation
that extends A Mari Usque Ad Mare — or more properly, “from sea to sea to sea,” — has served as
an inspiration to movements for democratic reform throughout the world.

This conference will bring together scholars from around Canada, the Commonwealth, and the world
to explore the origins, present state, and future prospects of the Canadian constitutional settlement.
Experts in law, history, politics, and economics will present papers on the history of the
Confederation settlement, the role of Québec, the development of human rights and the Charter,
federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, judicial review, private law in a federal system, as well as the
role of Canada in the Commonwealth.

We are currently seeking proposals for papers or full panels relating (but not limited) to the
following areas:

The Background and Origins of the Constitution Act 1867

The history of the constitutional settlement. People and events. London, Ottawa and Charlottetown.
Imperial imperatives. The Canadian People: French, English and First Nations and their reactions
or role in the process. Elites and commoners.

The Structure of Confederation

Necessary compromises. Language and culture. The Anglo-American tradition. Federalism. The
Provinces. Sections 92, 92A, 93.

Parliament Supremacy.

Prime Minister or President? The Senate. The House. The Westminster system in the Canadian context.

The Judiciary

The “Living Tree.” PrivyCouncil to Canadian Supreme Court. Judicial review. Role of the Courts
of Appeals.


Role in Confederation (1867). Independence. Civil law system and influence on English Canada.

The First Nations

The Crown and the First Nations. The duty to consult. Grassy Narrows. Tsilhqot'in Nation. Self-
government. The Indian Act.

The Charter of Rights

Bill of Rights to Charter. International Law and the Charter. The Charter and private law.
Provincial human rights codes.

Private Law in the Canadian Context

English precedent. International influences. Civil andCommonLawcross-fertilisation. Uniformity.

The Administrative State

Reasonableness, fairness and correctness. Judicial review. Dunsmuir. Baker.

Aspects of Law

Criminal. Immigration. Procedure.

Commerce and Trade

A national Canadian securities law? Commercial regulation. Companies. Securities. Fiduciary

Canada, the Commonwealth and the World

How has Canada influenced and been influenced by the world around us? “Soft power”.Diplomacy. Human rights. Peace-keepers or warriors? Old alliances and new. France and Québec.
Englishmen at home and in North America. Our American cousins.

The Future

Wither Confederation? Proposals for reform?

We seek presentations from both established and new scholars. Perspectives from Québec and the First Nations are especially welcome. Presentations may be made in both official languages.

For more information or to discuss a panel or proposal, please do not hesitate to contact:

Professor Matthew P Harrington


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Call for Applications: McMurtry Fellowship

R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History

The R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Canadian Legal History was created on the occasion of the retirement as Chief Justice of Ontario of the Hon. R. Roy McMurtry.  It honours the contribution to Canadian legal history of Roy McMurtry, Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Ontario, founder of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and for many years (and currently) the Society’s President. The fellowship was established by Chief Justice McMurtry’s friends and colleagues, and endowed by private donations and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

The fellowship is to support graduate (preferably doctoral) students or those with a recently completed doctorate, to conduct research in Canadian legal history, for one year. Scholars working on any topic in the field of Canadian legal history are eligible. Applicants should be in a graduate programme at an Ontario University or, if they have a completed doctorate, be affiliated with an Ontario University.  The fellowship may be held concurrently with other awards for graduate study. Eligibility is not limited to history and law programmes; persons in cognate disciplines such as criminology or political science may apply, provided the subject of the research they will conduct as a McMurtry fellow in Canadian legal history. The selection committee may take financial need into consideration. 

The fellowship will be awarded in June 2016, and will have a value of $16,000.  Applications will be assessed by a committee appointed by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History and consisting of Society Directors and academics. Those interested should apply by sending:

A full curriculum vitae
A statement of the research, not exceeding 1,000 words, that they would conduct as a McMurtry fellow. The statement should clearly convey the nature of the project, the research to be carried out, and the relationship, if any, between the project and previous work done by the applicant. The names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees. Please do not ask your referees to write; the Society will contact them if necessary.
For persons not currently connected with an Ontario University, an indication of how and when they intend to obtain such a connection.

Please send applications to Marilyn Macfarlane, McMurtry Fellowship Selection Committee, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, M5H 2N6, or by email to . The deadline for applications is April 30, 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

First Women Lawyers in Britain and the Empire Symposia

via Legal Scholarship Blog.
First Women Lawyers in Britain and the Empire Symposia

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 heralded women’s long awaited entry to the legal profession.  What do we actually know about that journey?  How much of that struggle has been recorded?  Where is it recorded?  The ‘First Women Lawyers in England, Wales and the Empire’ Symposia seek to unite academics and researchers in this area and explore the journey of those first women lawyers.

The first symposium was held in September 2015 and following its success the second symposium will be held on Thursday 30th June 2016 at St Mary’s University. The symposium, entitled Pioneers: Those who tried and "failed" and the quasi-lawyers, will focus on early individual struggles as well as establishing and recording the activities of the women’s movement pre 1919 and its contribution to the 1919 legislation.

Submissions are welcomed from those researching in this area, including anyone with knowledge that will place the struggle for entry to the legal profession in England and Wales in an international context.  Skype participation is welcomed and possible.

Contributions of £15 are requested to cover refreshments and lunch.  Confirmed Plenary Speakers are Prof Leslie Howsam (via Skype), Dr Cheryl Law, Dr Anne Logan

Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) by email, no later than 8th April 2016. Presentations are to last 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. Please also indicate whether you would like to attend a light supper at 6pm for an additional cost of £20.

St, Mary’s University, Waldegrave Drawing Room, June 30, 2016, 10am (registration and coffee) for 10:30am start

Please contact: Dr Judith Bourne,

Friday, March 4, 2016

Amalia Kessler to give Genest lecture on "Inventing American Exceptionalism," at Osgoode Hall Law School, March 23

Prof. Amalia Kessler of Stanford will be visiting Osgoode Hall Law School for a short stint as the Genest Fellow, March 23-24 ( Her Genest Lecture is scheduled for March 23rd at 12:30 in room 1002 on the subject of Inventing American Exceptionalism: The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture, 1800-1877, which is the title of her forthcoming book.  The talk is open to the public. For further details, please contact Prof. Philip Girard,  

Conference Announcement: From Public Interest to Private Profit: May 5-6, 2016, University of Toronto

(Via H-Canada)

The Canadian Business History Association/Association canadienne pour l'histoire des affaires (CBHA/ACHA) is proud to announce the following upcoming conference. Registration is FREE - please visit for more details.

FROM PUBLIC INTEREST TO PRIVATE PROFIT: The Changing Political and Social Legitimacy of International Business

Date:   May 5-6, 2016

L​ocation:  Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

​P​rincipal Sponsor:  Leverhulme Trust

Co-Presenters:  Centre for the Political Economies of International Commerce (PEIC), University of Kent; Business History Group, Rotman School of Management, University of Toront​o​

Cost:  Free to All Participants

Information:  Professor Chris Kobrak (, Professor Joe Martin (, Professor Will Pettigrew (

Synopsis:  This conference of historians, business historians, management scholars, and business practitioners will study the corporate entity as it has changed over the past four centuries. Corporations started their lives as social, political, as well as commercial entities. By the nineteenth century, corporations became less accountable to the societies and states and became more self-consciously economic, private, and financial organizations. Since then, many interests have attempted to reintroduce the social purpose of corporations. The conference will offer participants the opportunity to place present day corporate activity into an instructive historical context and to discuss how corporate actors in the past addressed challenges and problems parallel to those facing corporations today.

Call for Applications: Irene Ledesma Prize for PhD Research

(via H-Law)

The Coalition for Western Women's History is pleased to announce the 2016 Irene Ledesma Prize Call for Applications.  Please share this information with Ph.D. students whose research pertains to women’s and gender history in the North American West, which may include western legal history topics. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2016.
Visit the CWWH website for a direct link to the call for applications and for more information on the award: