Osgoode Society Books
Our books are listed here chronologically by date of publication. Use the Search function to the right to find a particular book, or author.
MEMBERS’ BOOK 2020
Our members’ book for 2020 is Doodem and Council Fire: Anishinabe Governance through Alliance, by Heidi Bohaker, Associate Professor of History, University of Toronto and published by the University of Toronto Press. While Canada’s constitution protects Indigenous treaty rights, Canadians know much less about the legal traditions of Indigenous nations and the ways in which these different traditions informed treaties made between Indigenous peoples and the Crown. This volume is a ground-breaking exploration of one Indigenous legal tradition. In it, the author explains how a uniquely Anishinaabe category of kinship, the doodem, structured governance and law as practiced in formal councils (referred to metaphorically as fires) through the practice of alliance formation. Such alliances created relationships of interdependence, which were renewed through the exchange of gifts in council. The records of early Canadian treaties, Bohaker argues, are to be found in the records of gifts exchanged to create these alliances between council fires; the Anishinaabe treated the French, and later the British, as if their governments were council fires also. In return, colonial officials adhered to Indigenous law when they entered into treaties. Bohaker weaves together a voluminous amount of research from both Anishinaabe and European sources, including archival documents and material culture from institutions in Canada, Britain and France, to describe the continuities and changes in Anishinaabe governance and law until settler colonial law (the Indian Act) replaced traditional governance with elected band councils.
OPTIONAL EXTRA 2020
In 2020 we are also publishing The Death Penalty and Sex Murder in Canadian History, by Professor Carolyn Strange of the Australian National University in Canberra. This major study of the operation of the death penalty focusses on the disposition by executive review of all cases between Confederation and the abolition of the death penalty in which the offender not only committed murder but did so at the same time as he (or she) also committed a serious sexual offence. Professor Strange is able to show that such offenders fared much less well in the commutation process than other people convicted of murder and sentenced to death. As importantly, she divides the overall narrative into six periods, showing that within each period political, administrative and public consideration of the cases were conducted against a background of other concerns, ranging from the ‘danger’ of immigrants to the rise of psychiatric concern with such offenders to the abolition movement of the 1960s.
edited by Judy Fudge, Lansdowne Professor of Law, University of Victoria, and Eric Tucker, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School. Published with Irwin Law, 2010. The world of work, so important to individuals’ economic well-being and to their sense of self, has been fundamentally shaped by law, both collective bargaining law and individual employment law…. Read more »
edited by Barry Wright, Department of Law, Carleton University, and Dr. Susan Binnie. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2009. This third volume of the Osgoode Society’s Canadian State Trials series covers the period from the 1840s to the First World War. It examines a range of political trials as traditionally defined, including those arising… Read more »
by Judy Fudge, Landsdowne Professor of Law, University of Victoria and Eric Tucker, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Published with Oxford University Press, 2001. There is now a large volume of literature on Canadian labour history. In this literature, there has been no lack of attention paid to numerous issues involving the legal rights… Read more »
by Laurel Sefton Macdowell, Professor of History, University of Toronto. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2001. J.L. Cohen, one of the first specialists in labour law and an architect of the Canadian industrial relations system, was a formidable advocate in the 1930s and 1940s on behalf of working people. Cohen is best described as… Read more »
by Constance Backhouse, Professor of Law, University of Ottawa. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1999. Colour-Coded has been translated into French and published in Quebec as De La Couleur des Lois: White supremacy had a tenacious hold on the historical roots of the Canadian legal system. Backhouse presents convincing case studies to illustrate how… Read more »
edited by F. Murray Greenwood, Emeritus Professor of History, University of British Columbia and Barry Wright, Professor, Department of Law, Carleton University. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1996. State trials reveal much about a nation’s insecurities and shed light on important themes in political, constitutional, and legal history. In Canada, perceived and real threats… Read more »
edited by Hamar Foster and John Mclaren, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1995. This sixth volume in the distinguished series on the history of Canadian law turns to the central theme in the history of British Columbia and the Yukon – law and order. In the early days of… Read more »