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 a wide range of Universities, Canadian and international, as well as law students and members of the profession.

In 2020-2021 the workshop will be conducted using ZOOM. Anybody interested in legal history is welcome to attend virtually. The workshop is held on alternate Wednesday evenings at 6.30 eastern time. A paper is circulated in advance of each workshop by email. If you would like to be put on the email list to receive papers and other scheduling information please contact

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop Topics 2011-2020


All sessions start at 6.30 and will be presented via ZOOM. To be placed on the email list and receive the papers and links please email

Wednesday January 13: Michael Borsk, Queen’s University: “Conveyance Between Kin: Settler States, Indigenous Nations, and the Politics of Property.”

Wednesday January 27: Taylor Starr, York University: “Internal and External Advocacy for Legal Reform: Genesis of the Ontario Family Law Act [1986].”

Wednesday February 10: Stepan Wood, University of British Columbia: ” ‘Certainly No Work of Scissors and Paste’: Reconsidering the Reception of English Statute Law in British Columbia in Light of the RSBC 1897.”

Wednesday February 24: Tyler Wentzell, University of Toronto: “The Evolution of Military Aid to the Civil Power Law in Inter-war Canada.”

Wednesday March 10: Lyndsay Campbell, University of Calgary: “The Island and the Rock: Nineteenth-Century Struggles over Parliamentary Privilege.”

Wednesday March 24: Erica Chamberlain and Rande Kostal, Western University:   “The Reinvention of Canadian Private Law, 1945-1995: 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.