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Who's Afraid of Canadian Legal History?

Philip Girard

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School


University of Toronto Law Review, Vol. 57, p. 727, 2007

The ‘new legal history’ has flourished in Canada over the last three decades, ever since Andre Morel and John Brierley began their pioneering work in the history of Quebec law in the 1960s and R.C.B. Risk published his ‘Prospectus for the Study of Canadian Legal History’ in 1973. A recent survey of the field describes this body of scholarship as "striking in its diversity in substance, theoretical context and methodology, ...a far cry from the concerns of traditional English history focused primarily, as it was, on the evolution of the common law, the Royal courts, and the cast of characters who administered them and made decisions or practiced in them... [T]he focus of contemporary legal historical scholarship in Canada...extend[s] well beyond the courts and their denizens to law and legal culture in all its complexity."

Legal history in Canada is a thriving branch of ‘law and society' scholarship, one that has the power to enrich contemporary legal scholarship and legal education, to inform research in Canadian studies, and to provide a new dimension to the writing of Canadian history.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: history, Canada, legal

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Date posted: July 5, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Girard, Philip, Who's Afraid of Canadian Legal History? (2007). University of Toronto Law Review, Vol. 57, p. 727, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2101328

Contact Information

Philip Girard (Contact Author)
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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