A History of Law in Canada is the first of two volumes. Volume One begins at a time just prior to European contact and continues to the 1860s, while Volume Two will start with Confederation and end at approximately 2000. The history of law includes substantive law, legal institutions, legal actors, and legal culture. The authors assume that since 1500 there have been three legal systems in Canada – the Indigenous, the French, and the English. At all times, these systems have co-existed and interacted, with the relative power and influence of each being more or less dominant in different periods.
The history of law cannot be treated in isolation, and this book examines law as a dynamic process, shaped by and affecting other histories over the long term. The law guided and was guided by economic developments, was influenced and moulded by the nature and trajectory of political ideas and institutions, and variously exacerbated or mediated intercultural exchange and conflict. These themes are apparent in this examination, and through most areas of law including land settlement and tenure, and family, commercial, constitutional, and criminal law.
About the authors
Philip Girard is University Research Professor and Professor of Law, History and Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, where he is based at the Schulich School of Law. He has published widely on Canadian and comparative legal history. His biography Bora Laskin: Bringing Law to Life (Osgoode Society, 2005) received the Chalmers Award for the best book published in Ontario history in that year, while his Lawyers and Legal Culture in British North America: Beamish Murdoch of Halifax (Osgoode Society, 2011) received the Clio Atlantic award from the Canadian Historical Association in 2012. He is the associate editor of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.
Jim Phillips is Professor of Law, History and Criminology at the University of Toronto, and editor-in-chief of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He has co-edited four volumes of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History’s Essays in the History of Canadian Law and, with Philip Girard, a volume on the history of Canada’s oldest surviving superior common law court, The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle (Osgoode Society, 2004). He has published over fifty articles and book chapters on British imperial history and 18th-century India, on property and charities law, US legal history, and, principally, Canadian legal history. He is also the author, with Rosemary Gartner, of Murdering Holiness: The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell (University of British Columbia Press, 2003).
R. Blake Brown is a professor in the Department of History and Atlantic Canada Studies at Saint Mary’s University.
- Short-listed, 2019 CLSA Book Prize awarded by the Canadian Law and Society Association
- Short-listed, Walter Owen Book Prize awarded by The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research
Other titles by Philip Girard
Other titles by Jim Phillips
A History of Law in Canada, Volume One
Beginnings to 1866
Law, Life, and Government at Red River, Volume 1
Settlement and Governance, 1812-1872
Law, Life, and Government at Red River, Volume 2
General Quarterly Court of Assiniboia, Annotated Records, 1844-1872
Property on Trial
Canadian Cases in Context
A History of Canadian Legal Thought
The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, 1754-2004
From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle
The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell
Between State and Market
Essay on Charities Law and Policy in Canada
Essays in the History of Canadian Law
Quebec and the Canadas