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.
Book Sale – December 11-31, 2020
Selected books are on sale for $10 ($5 for members) if picking up from Osgoode Hall or $13 ($8 for members) if shipping is required. You’ll find purchase links on the individual book pages.
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.
By Lori Chambers, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Lakehead University, published by the University of Toronto Press. Professor Chambers’ book traces the history of adoption law in Ontario from 1921, when the first Adoption Act was passed, to the present. She details the origins and passage of that legislation and then examines a series… Read more »
A Thirty Years War: The Failed Public/Private Partnership that Spurred the Creation of the Toronto Transit Commission, 1891-1921
by Ian Kyer, Independent Historian. Published by Irwin Law. The thirty year franchise granted by the City of Toronto to the privately owned Toronto Railway Company in 1891 brought the City a modern electric streetcar system. But the city and its private sector transit provider never learned to work together. Their relationship was marred… Read more »
by Robert J. Sharpe, Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2011. Robert Sharpe is one of the Osgoode Society’s most prolific authors, and his latest offering is a compelling account of a late nineteenth century murder case in Picton, Ontario. This very thoroughly researched and engagingly… Read more »
by R. Blake Brown, Professor of History, St Mary’s University. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2009. The jury has long been a central institution of both the trial process in particular and of the ideology of the common law in general, a body exemplifying the distinctiveness of our legal tradition. In this first book-length… Read more »
edited by Jim Phillips, Professor of Law, University of Toronto, R.Roy McMurtry, President of the Osgoode Society, and John Saywell, Professor of History Emeritus, York University. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2008. This collection of Canadian legal history essays honours Professor Peter Oliver, who led the Osgoode Society as editor-in-chief from its establishment… Read more »
edited by Hamar Foster, Professor of Law, University of Victoria, Andrew Buck, Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University, Queensland, and Ben Berger, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School. Published with the University of British Columbia Press, 2008. In recent years Canadian legal historians have shown an increasing interest in imperial themes and the comparative legal… Read more »
by Lori Chambers, Professor, Department of History and Women’s Studies, Lakehead University. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2007. This book is a study of the operation of the Children of Unmarried Parents Act, in the courts and, principally, through the agency responsible for administering the Act, the Childrens’ Aid Society. It explores the experiences… Read more »
by Martin Friedland, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2007. Professor Martin Friedland has been involved in many areas of legal research and law reform in his career, and the Osgoode Society is very pleased to be able to publish his account of that involvement, especially as… Read more »
edited by G.Blaine Baker, Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, and Jim Phillips, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 2006. Frank Scott, Bora Laskin, W.P.M. Kennedy, John Wills and Edward Blake are among the better known figures whose thinking and writing about law are featured in this collection…. Read more »
by John Honsberger. Published with Dundurn Press, 2004. Published to celebrate our 25th anniversary John Honsberger, a Toronto lawyer, editor and author, has produced a richly illustrated book with more than 50 coloured and 150 black and white photographs, describes the fascinating history of one of Canada’s most historic public buildings. The Hall, intended to be… Read more »