The Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop group is an informal evening seminar that meets on alternate Wednesdays between September and April to discuss a wide variety of topics in legal history, Canadian and international. Participants are graduate students and faculty in law and history from U of T, York, McMaster and other institutions, as well as law students and members of the profession.

Anybody interested in legal history is welcome to attend. If you would like to be put on our list to receive the papers and other notifications by e-mail, please notify

The workshop is held on Wednesday evenings, at 6.30, at the University of Toronto Law School, rooms and locations to be determined and posted here.

Canadian Legal History Workshops 2011-2019



Winter Term 2020

All sessions start at 6.30. All sessions in Betty Ho Classroom, Flavelle House, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

Wednesday January 15: Lara Tessaro, University of Kent: ‘Cosmetically Constitutional: A Legal Form for Material Substance, 1932-195?”.

Wednesday January 29: Coel Kirkby, University of Sydney: ‘Out of Africa: Decolonization and the Rebirth of British Jurisprudence’

Wednesday February 12: Joan Sangster, Trent University: ‘The Right to Criticize: Labour Relations Law and the Silencing of Feminist Labour Activists’

Wednesday February 26: Kris Kinsinger, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘To Entrench or Not to Entrench? Canadian Constitutionalism and the Bill of Rights Debate’

Wednesday March 11: Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School: ‘Improper Intimacies and Patriarchal Relations in Canada’s North-West Territories: Methodological, Ethical, and Interpretative Challenges in the Nineteenth-Century Criminal Court Records.’

Wednesday March 25: Elizabeth Koester, University of Toronto: ‘Eugenics in the Ontario Legislature: Dr. Forbes Godfrey and his Private Member’s Bills, 1910 to 1921.’

Wednesday April 1: Erika Chamberlain and Rande Kostal, Western University: ‘The Reinvention of Canadian Private Law, 1970-1995: Jordan House as case study”









Professor Lori Chambers, Lakehead University

Canadian legal history has emerged as a cutting-edge field within the study of Canada's past, and Canadian legal historians are also celebrated participants in international debates about the historical role of law as both a mechanism of control and a source of social challenge. The Osgoode Society for Legal History has been essential in the national and international success of Canadian legal history and historians. The Osgoode Society not only publishes a wide range of books, but also supports students and research and facilitates communication between legal historians. The legal history workshop is a very important part of that communication. Legal historians outside of Canada frequently comment on the Osgoode Society, and its work in Canada, with considerable (and justifiable) envy. The importance of the Osgoode Society cannot be overstated.