Friday, October 29, 2010

New legal history titles

Down last night to the annual book launch of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, the amazingly prolific little organization that has become a significant publisher of works not only in legal history narrowly defined but also on politics, crime, biography, and much else.  Last night they launched...

... a collection in labour law history edited by prolific law professor/historians Judy Fudge and Eric Tucker, Work on Trial. Judy Fudge, speaking about it, said she hoped it shows that labour law is not actually dead in the law schools, but only dormant. What's up there, I wonder.

... and a new (first) book by historian Barrington Walker of Queen's University: Race on Trial on the experience of black defendants in Ontario courts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  On a quick glance, it looks to be based on quite heroic work in the newspaper and judicial archives, very impressive.

... and historian Frederick Vaughan's life of the early 20th century British Privy Council judge Viscount Haldane "the wicked step-father of the Canadian Constitution."  Must say I have never quite got this deep moral disapproval of Privy Council judges who did not share a Macdonaldian centralist interpretation of the British North America Act -- as if they not merely wrong in their legal judgments, but actually "wicked" and perverse. But maybe Vaughan is being ironic in his sub-title -- worth reading to know. (Somehow the cover image of the book at the UTP site is not reproducing -- follow the link for more detail)...

... and my own history of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, already sufficiently blurbed here.

Among the guests was my co-blogger Mary Stokes. I was delighted by another guest who said to her in mid-conversation, "Yes, I saw that post you had on that on your blog."  I like this; we need more co-bloggers here, I think.
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