This study of the Manitoba judiciary is not only the first biographical history to examine an entire provincial bench, it is also one of the first studies to offer an internal view of the political nature of the judicial appointment process. Dale Brawn has penned the biographies of the first thirty-three men appointed to Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench. The relative youth of Manitoba as a province and the small size of its legal profession makes possible an exceptionally detailed investigation of the background of those appointed to the province's highest trial court.
The biographical data that Brawn has collected for this book highlights the extent to which judicial candidates underwent a socialization process designed to produce a legal elite whose members shared remarkably similar views and ways of thinking. In addition, these biographies suggest that until at least 1950, seats on provincial benches were rewards for political services rendered. Many lawyers became judges not because of their legal ability, but because they had made themselves known in the communities in which they practiced. This fascinating study offers an intimate look at personalities ranging from prime ministers to members of the bench and both senior levels of government.