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.

 

Canada - National

  • Chief Justice W.R. Jackett: By the Law of the Land

    by Richard W. Pound. Published with McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999. When Richard Pound told us he was working on a biography of Wilbur Jackett, former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada, and asked us to consider publication, we were pleased and somewhat sceptical. We had recently published Ian Bushnell’s history of the Federal Court… Read more »

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  • Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-48

    by Patrick Brode, Legal Counsel, City of Windsor. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1997. Casual Slaughters and Accidental Judgments: Canadian War Crimes Prosecutions, 1944-1948 is Patrick Brode’s third publication with The Ogoode Society and furthers his already considerable reputation for combining sound scholarship with readability. The prosecution after the Second World War of German… Read more »

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  • The Federal Court of Canada: A History, 1875-1992

    by Ian Bushnell. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1997. The Federal Court of Canada, existing from 1875 to 1971 under the name Exchequer Court of Canada, has occupied a special place in the court structure of Canada. Established principally to adjudicate legal disputes in which the Canadian government was involved, it has, since its… Read more »

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  • Policing Canada’s Century: A History of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

    by Greg Marquis. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1993. $31.50; student price $15.00. Although the RCMP is often identified as a national symbol, Canadian police history is largely the story of municipal and provincial police forces which have had little influence on popular culture but considerable impact on the lives of Canadians. Municipal police forces… Read more »

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  • Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and Law in Nineteenth-Century Canada

    by Constance Backhouse, Professor of Law, University of Ottawa. Published with Womens Press, 1991. This is the first comprehensive work in the field of Canadian women’s legal history. Author Constance Backhouse, an internationally-recognized authority on Canadian women’s legal history, has compiled here the most important of her decade’s worth of research. This highly-readable book highlights the… Read more »

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  • The Genesis of The Canadian Criminal Code of 1892

    by Desmond Brown. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1989. In 1892 the Canadian Parliament enacted the Criminal Code. Drafted in just over a year by a justice department consisting of fourteen men occupying six offices, it was the first such code to be enforced in a self-governing jurisdiction in the British empire. As such,… Read more »

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  • The Supreme Court of Canada: History of  the Institution

    By James Snell, Professor, Department of History, University of Guelph, and Frederick Vaughan, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1985. Canadians know little about the history and traditions of their highest court. In providing the first comprehensive history of the Supreme Court of Canada, James Snell and Frederick Vaughan… Read more »

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  • Duff: A Life in the Law

    by David Williams. Published with the University of British Columbia Press, 1984. Out of Print. Sir Lyman Duff is often described as Canada’s most distinguished jurist. His career encompassed forty years in high judicial office, the last eleven as Chief Justice of Canada. More than any other individual, he shaped the Supreme Court and its decisions… Read more »

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