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University of Toronto Press - Spring/Summer 2020

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    9781487530587 Electronic book text, PDF, $120 CAD 9781487530594 Electronic book text, EPUB, $120 CAD 9781487504632 Hardback, $120 CAD
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A History of Law in Canada, Volume One
Beginnings to 1866
By (author): Philip Girard By (author): Jim Phillips By (author): R. Blake Brown
9781487547462 Paperback, Trade English Higher Education LAW / Legal History May 17, 2019
$62.00 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 2 in | 1220 gr 928 pages University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Walter Owen Book Prize awarded by The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research 2019, Short-listed 2019 CLSA Book Prize awarded by the Canadian Law and Society Association 2019, Short-listed

A History of Law in Canada is the first of two volumes. Volume One begins at a time just prior to European contact and continues to the 1860s, while Volume Two will start with Confederation and end at approximately 2000. The history of law includes substantive law, legal institutions, legal actors, and legal culture. The authors assume that since 1500 there have been three legal systems in Canada – the Indigenous, the French, and the English. At all times, these systems have co-existed and interacted, with the relative power and influence of each being more or less dominant in different periods.

The history of law cannot be treated in isolation, and this book examines law as a dynamic process, shaped by and affecting other histories over the long term. The law guided and was guided by economic developments, was influenced and moulded by the nature and trajectory of political ideas and institutions, and variously exacerbated or mediated intercultural exchange and conflict. These themes are apparent in this examination, and through most areas of law including land settlement and tenure, and family, commercial, constitutional, and criminal law.

Philip Girard is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

Jim Phillips is a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Toronto.

R. Blake Brown is a professor in the Department of History and Atlantic Canada Studies at Saint Mary’s University.

‘As is appropriate in a pioneering work of descriptive history, the authors deliberately avoid seeking broad theoretical explanations of trends in legal development in Canadian history and instead relate the evolution of law and the growth of legal institutions to the broader political, economic, social, cultural, and moral contexts that inspired debate around issues of legal change.’

- John McLaren, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

A History of Law in Canada is an ambitious study that skilfully brings together the legal history of regions, of peoples, and, indeed, of both western European and Indigenous civilizations. The legal histories of Acadia, Newfoundland, and other regions are treated with "sérieux" and are integrated with the legal history of central Canada in a fascinating, original fashion.’

- Brian Young, James McGill Professor of Canadian History, emeritus, McGill University

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