Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Being wicked: it's not just for witches and musicals any more

It's Christmas in September. Or it feels that way.

Last Friday another new book delivered right to my doorstep.

This one even has a boffo title, which will make lawyers smile, and, it's to be hoped, pique the interest of other Canadians.

Viscount Haldane: 'The Wicked Step-father of the the Canadian Constitution' by University of Guelph professor emeritus Frederick Vaughan is one of this year's publications of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, once again in conjunction with the U of T Press.

Who was Lord Haldane? This is what the U of T press has to say:

Viscount Richard Burdon Haldane was a philosopher, lawyer, British MP, and member of the British Cabinet during the First World War. He is best known to Canadians as a judge of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Canada's highest court of appeal until 1949), in which role he was extremely influential in altering the constitutional relations between the federal parliament and the provincial legislatures.

The latter is the wicked part. How so? Well, you could ask a constitutional historian or you could read the book. I recommend the latter. It's important history and a good story, made better by the depth of analysis and biographic context Vaughan provides.
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