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History General

Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest

The Barristers' Society and Nova Scotia's Lawyers, 1825-2005

by (author) Barry Cahill

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
Category
General
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780773558625
    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price
    $75.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780773559783
    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price
    $75.00

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Description

Formed in 1825, the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society is the second-oldest law society in common-law Canada, after the Law Society of Ontario. Yet despite its founders' ambitions, it did not become the regulator of the legal profession in Nova Scotia for nearly seventy-five years. In this institutional history of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society from its inception to the Legal Profession Act of 2005, Barry Cahill provides a chronological exploration of the profession's regulation in Nova Scotia and the critical role of the society. Based on extensive research conducted on internal documents, legislative records, and legal and general-interest periodicals and newspapers, Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest demonstrates that the inauguration of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society was the first giant step on the long road to self-regulation. Highlighting the inherent tensions between protection of professional self-interest and protection of the larger public interest, Cahill explains that while this radical innovation was opposed by both lawyers and judges, it was ultimately imposed by the Liberal government in 1899. In light of emerging models of regulation in the twenty-first century, Professional Autonomy and the Public Interest is a timely look back at the origins of professional regulatory bodies and the evolution of law affecting the legal profession in Atlantic Canada.

About the author

BARRY CAHILL is an independent historian whose work focuses on Atlantic Canada. He has written numerous historical pieces on the region's legal history and has also written extensively on religious history, with a focus on Canadian Presbyterianism. He is also a former editor of the Nova Scotia Historical Review. Cahill is also a Certified Information Access and Privacy Officer in the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department of the Government of Nova Scotia. He was formerly a Corporate Projects Analyst and Senior Archivist in the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management Department of the Government of Nova Scotia. Cahill lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Barry Cahill's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This impressive work of historical scholarship stands in the first rank of studies of the Canadian provincial bar." David G. Bell, University of New Brunswick and author of The Law Society of New Brunswick: An Historical Sketch

"This is one of only a handful of histories of Canadian law societies. Given the key role that these societies play in legal regulation and the important role that lawyers play in Canadian society, we need more studies like this." C. Ian Kyer, lawyer and author of Lawyers, Families, and Businesses: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens 1863–1963

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