Eric Adams

An award-winning teacher and scholar, Eric M. Adams is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta. Prior to obtaining his doctorate he practiced civil litigation at a downtown Toronto law firm. A recipient of both the Tevie Miller Teaching Award and the Provost’s Award for Early Achievement of Excellence in Teaching, Professor Adams has published widely in the fields of constitutional law, legal history, labour and employment law, and legal education. He recently edited the Alberta Law Review's special issue, The Future of Law School. His legal history work includes historical studies of the classic cases, Roncarelli v Duplessis and Christie v York. In 2014, he received the Scholarly Paper Award from the Canadian Association of Law Teachers for his history of Canadian and American legal education in the mid-twentieth century. Professor Adams is currently leading the legal historical research team of Landscapes of Injustice, a large SSHRC-funded inter-disciplinary research project investigating the dispossession of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Blaine Baker

Professor Baker has taught administrative law, legal history, and contract law. His research focuses on intellectual history and history of the legal professions. He has won publishing awards from the American society for Legal History and the Canadian Historical Association, and has held visiting appointments at the University of Chicago, Osgoode Hall, and University of Toronto law schools. Professor Baker has served as Associate Dean (Academic) and as Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) of the Faculty of Law, and has thrice been awarded McGill teaching excellence prizes.

John Beattie

John Beattie was born in England in 1932 and emigrated to the US in 1949.  He studied at the University of San Francisco (B.S, 1954), the University of California, Berkeley (M.A., 1956), and Cambridge University, PhD, 1961).   He joined the History Department at the University of Toronto in 1961 and retired in 1997.  His major publications include The English Court in the Reign of George I (Cambridge, 1967), Crime and the Courts in England, 1660-1800 (Princeton and Oxford, 1986), Policing and Punishment in London, 1660-1750; urban crime and the limits of terror (Oxford, 2001), and The First English Detectives: the Bow Street Runners and the Policing of London, 1750-1840 (Oxford, 2012).

Blake Brown

Blake Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Saint Mary’s University, and is cross-appointed to the Atlantic Canada Studies program.  He holds a PhD in history from Dalhousie University, a MA in history from York University, and a BA in history from Acadia University.  In addition, he completed a law degree and a MA in criminology at the University of Toronto prior to undertaking his PhD. Professor Brown has been the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair and Visiting Scholar in History at Vanderbilt University, a Visiting Fellow at the University of Victoria in Wellington, a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow at Saint Mary’s University, a Fellow at the J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin, and a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. Professor Brown’s principal research and teaching interests are modern Canadian history, legal history, and the history of Atlantic Canada.  His articles have appeared in various journals, including the Canadian Historical Review, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Journal of History, Acadiensis, the McGill Law Journal, the American Journal of Legal History, and the Journal of Law & Social Inquiry.  He is the author of A Trying Question: The Jury in Nineteenth-Century Canada (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2009) and Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2012).  Professor Brown is currently writing two books: a history of medical malpractice law in Canada, and a history of Canadian law with Dr. Philip Girard of Osgoode Hall Law School and Dr. Jim Phillips of the University of Toronto.

Patrick Connor

Dr. Patrick J. Connor, is a recent graduate from the doctoral programme in history at York University. Patrick's area of research is crime, punishment and the pardoning process in Upper Canada.

Tracey Dowdeswell

Coming Soon

Jennine Hurl-Eamon

Jennine Hurl-Eamon is Professor of History at Trent University.  She is the author of three books: Gender and Petty Violence in London, 1680-1720; Women’s Roles in Eighteenth-Century Europe; and Marriage and the British Army in the Long Eighteenth Century: The Girl I Left Behind Me.  The latter was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.  She has also written more than a dozen articles academic journals and edited collections.  She is the recipient of several SSHRC research fellowships and was a Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall College at the University of Cambridge in 2011.

Christopher Frank

Christopher Frank is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Manitoba.  He is the President of the Western Conference of British Studies.  He is the author of Workers, Unions and Payment in Kind:  The Fight for Real Wages in Britain, 1820-1986 (Routledge, Forthcoming) and Master and Servant Law: Chartists, Trade Unions, Radical Lawyers and the Magistracy, 1840-1865 (Ashgate, 2010).  He has published articles in the Journal of British Studies, Labour History Review, and Historical Studies in Industrial Relations.

Philip Girard

Philip Girard joined the faculty of Osgoode Hall Law School on July 1, 2013. He had previously visited Osgoode as the James Lewtas Visiting Professor in 1993-94 and 2011-12. Professor Girard is one of Canada’s most distinguished and pre-eminent legal academics and legal historians. In 2011, he was made an honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History, the first Canadian to be so recognized.

Prior to joining Osgoode, he was University Research Professor, and Professor of Law, History & Canadian Studies at Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. At Dalhousie, he served as the Law School’s Acting Dean, 1991-93, and Associate Dean (Graduate Studies and Research), 2002-06. In 2010-11, he was Visiting Scholar, Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto. He enjoys a richly deserved reputation for collegial and professional service, the list of which is almost as long as his publications. Recently, he has served as Chair, Law, Criminology & Socio-legal Studies Adjudication Committee, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2008-11. He has also served as President, Canadian Association of Law Teachers, 2003-04.

Douglas Harris

Douglas Harris is the Nathan T. Nemetz Chair in Legal History at the University of British Columbia, Allard School of Law. Douglas joined the Allard School of Law in 2001 and served as Associate Dean Graduate Studies & Research from 2008-2013. He currently teaches in the areas of property law and legal history, and his research focuses on the history of the regulation of the Aboriginal fisheries in British Columbia and on the nature of property ownership within condominium. His earlier published work includes studies of Aboriginal rights to fish in Canada and analysis of systems for registering interests in land. Whether in the classroom or in print, Harris’s work is animated by a desire to understand and explain some of the salient legal issues in the city, province, and country that he calls home.

Sarah Hamill

Sarah Hamill is the Osgoode Catalyst Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year. Hamill has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Glasgow, a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Law from the University of Alberta. Her research interests include legal history and property law. Her work has appeared in the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, the McGill Law Journal, the UBC Law Review, and the Law and History Review.

Randa Helfield

Randa Helfield is an independent researcher who taught at the University of Montreal specializing in nineteenth-century British Literature. She earned her B.A. in English at McGill University in 1985, and her Ph.D. at Cornell in 1994. She is also a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and has published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis is a second year PhD student at York University. Her doctoral research is on the life and career of Edward James Jarvis, Chief Justice of PEI from 1828 to 1852.

Lisa Kerr

Dr. Lisa Kerr, JD (UBC), LLM, JSD (New York University) is Assistant Professor at Queen's University, Faculty of Law, where she teaches courses on criminal law, sentencing and prison law. Lisa has worked as staff lawyer at Prisoners’ Legal Services, Canada’s only dedicated legal aid office for prisoners. During her doctoral studies, Lisa was named a Trudeau Scholar. She volunteers with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in efforts to reform administrative segregation in Canadian prisons and with Pivot Legal Society on a campaign to decriminalize sex work.

Elizabeth Koester

Elizabeth Koester, a former practising lawyer, is now a PhD student at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the intersections of eugenics, medicine and law in Ontario at the turn of the twentieth century. She is examining archival records related to provincial Royal Commissions, legislation passed and rejected, and court cases, all of which considered issues of interest to eugenicists around the world, including the care of so-called “feeble-minded” individuals, marriage restrictions, sterilization, birth control and abortion.

Karen Macfarlane

Dr. Macfarlane received her PhD from York University in 2008 for Minority Justice: ethnic minorities and criminal justice in eighteenth-century London, with Doug Hay serving as her supervisor.  Her research explores the lives of those on the margins of British society.  Her major fields of study are Early Modern British legal and social history.  She won the Nathalie Des Rosiers Audacity of Imagination Award from the Law Commission of Canada.  This funded a paper comparing criminal courtroom interpretation in eighteenth-century London and twenty-first-century Toronto.  Her article in Immigrants & Minorities addresses how English criminal courts began to allow Jewish, Scottish, Muslim, Hindu, and Chinese witnesses to swear oaths according to their own cultural practices and how this affected perceptions of their credibility as witnesses.  She uses the criminal law to understand the lives and experiences of religious, racial, and national minority groups in London. 

Dr. Macfarlane is working on a monograph about how the criminal courts accommodated or ignored the special needs of Jews, Blacks, Gypsies, Indians, Asians, Scots, Irish, Welsh, and aliens in eighteenth-century London.  She argues that England dealt with issues of multiculturalism more than a century and a half before traditional accounts of the problems of diversity, policing, and crime begin.  My study sheds new light on the history of adversarialism and the impact of lawyers on the criminal trial, the nature of policing, the function of interpreters, the significance of oaths, and the role of the jury.  Part of this project formed the basis of an article entitled, ‘The Jewish Policemen of Eighteenth-Century London’, which was awarded the 2011 essay prize by the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.  

Yael Machtinger

Yael Machtinger has an Honours BA and MA, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Socio-Legal Studies, at York University. Her Master’s Thesis is titled, 'Sounds of Silence: A Socio-Legal Exploration of Siruv Get and Iggun in Toronto'. Yael has been awarded the Ontario Graduate Scholarship twice, and most recently, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship. Yael’s Doctoral Dissertation focusing on religion and law, explores Jewish divorce (get) refusal in Toronto, New York and Montreal. Using both interviews and archival sources, Yael is contributing to the women’s historiography of marriage as well as examining the overlapping legal norms of Jewish and civil laws relying on socio-legal literatures dealing with religion, identity and culture, as well as gender and storytelling. Applying social theory, religious feminism and legal pluralism, Yael’s thesis examines narratives of being “chained” to a marriage. Yael was a Graduate Research Assistant, working on Modern Slavery and Forced Marriage projects with Annie Bunting and a Teaching Assistant at York University in the Law and Society Program, nominated for the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Yael sat on the Socio-Legal Studies Admissions Committee, Hearing Committees for Graduate Studies Appeals and Academic Honesty, and most recently, on a Tenure Track Hiring Committee in the Law and Society Program. She is currently Treasurer of the Socio-Legal Studies Graduate Student’s Association and is a member of the Canadian Law and Society Association. She has presented papers at numerous academic conferences and panels. Most recently, she participated in the ‘Aguna Summit’ at New York University School of Law’s Tikvah Centre for Law and Jewish Civilization, an ‘expert’ summit on Jewish divorce refusal and possible civil and religious legal remedies with keynote speakers: Alan Dershowitz, Israel’s Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish.

Fergus McDonnell

Fergus McDonnell is a commercial lawyer with Fasken Martineau with a focus on construction and infrastructure projects and procurement, including for the construction and mining industries. His experience includes:

  • Construction contracts for commercial, industrial and institutional projects, including EPC, EPCM, and Design-Build agreements
  • Procurement processes
  • Support on construction claims and disputes

Prior to joining Fasken Martineau, Fergus held positions with a leading global energy company and a Canadian diamond mining company.

James Muir

His most recent major project is a study of civil law in Halifax Nova Scotia, in the years immediately following its founding in 1749. Tracing debtor-creditor, commercial, divorce, employment, and vice-admiralty law, he analyses who sued whom, why and what their litigation tells us about how law, economy and community develop. Some of this work has appeared in article form, and his book will appear in 2015. Since arriving at the University of Alberta he has also become very involved with the Alberta Labour History Institute, taking part in organising and putting on line a variety of interviews with and films about current and retired Albertan workers. This also led him out of the eighteenth century to writing on Albertan working class life in the 1940s and 1950s for our book Working People in Alberta. Simultaneously, he wrote a short biography of Douglas Campbell, premier of Manitoba from 1948-1958, for a history of Manitoba. He has also written and presented on teaching legal history. An early article in the Australian journal Legal History (2006, 10:1-2) discussed the continuing relevance of Albionís Fatal Tree (1975) in the classroom. More recently he has designed with his colleague Peter Carver a course on Canadian Constitutional history that is taught through the students playing role-playing-type games. Along with colleagues Bruce Ziff and Eric Tucker, he also edited a collection of case histories that trace stories in Canadian property law. In general, he is interested in the intersection of law, work and economy in both the colonial and modern eras. His two current projects grow out of this interest and are related to his teaching and his work with ALHI. Prof. Carver and James Muir are currently working to translate their game course materials into a textbook that can be readily used by instructors in law, history, political science and elsewhere. James is also embarking on a project on the history of employment and labour law in Alberta and Canada more broadly.

Karen Pearlston

Karen Pearlston has taught at the Faculty of Law, University of New Brunswick since 2001. She completed her PhD dissertation At the Limits of Coverture: Judicial Imagination and Women’s Agency in the English Common Law at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2008, under the supervision of Douglas Hay. Her research and teaching interests include English and Canadian legal history, history of women, gender, and the family, family law, tort law, feminist theory, reproductive justice, and gender and sexuality studies. Recent publications include “Male Violence, Marital Unity, and the History of the Interspousal Tort Immunity” (2015) 36 Journal of Legal History 260-298 and co-editing the updated edition of a national family law casebook (Mary Jane Mossman, Natasha Bakht, Vanessa Gruben, Karen Pearlston, eds, Families and the Law: Cases and Commentary, 2nd ed., Captus Press, 2015). She is currently pursuing the legal history of divorce in 20th-century Canada with a focus on the treatment of lesbians and gay men under the Divorce Act, 1968. Karen worked in a shelter for homeless and abused women and their children prior to attending law school and has a long history of social justice activism which informs her teaching and research.

Jim Phillips

Jim Phillips is Professor of Law, History and Criminology at the University of Toronto, and editor-in-chief of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He was formerly law clerk to Madam Justice Bertha Wilson at the Supreme Court of Canada, and in 2013 won the Mundell Medal for ‘a distinguished contribution to law and letters.’ He has co-edited four volumes of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History’s Essays in the History of Canadian Law and, with Philip Girard, a volume on the history of Canada’s oldest surviving superior common law court -  The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle . He has published over 50 articles and book chapters on British imperial history and eighteenth century India, on property and charities law, US legal history, and, principally, Canadian legal history. He is also the author, with Rosemary Gartner, of Murdering Holiness: The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell (UBC Press, 2003). He is currently writing, with Philip Girard and Blake Brown, a history of law in Canada.

Carolyn Strange

She has studied and taught in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. As a specialist in legal, social and cultural history her work focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth-century. She has worked in a variety of disciplines and inter-disciplinary fields, including gender studies, law, criminology, media studies and environmental studies. Her research focuses on two clusters of issues: gender, sexuality, medicine, crime, and punishment; and place, memory and identity in modernity. Through her publications, curatorial work, as well as conferences and public symposia she aims to bridge divides in scholarly communities and to reach out to the wider public. Her latest ARC Discovery Project Grant, awarded in November 2014, is an interdisciplinary team project that connects history with criminology, psychology and contemporary law enforcement. Through quantitative and qualitative methodologies it will interrogate the historical drivers of public perceptions of sex crime, as well as shifting policy responses to sexual offending, from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century in Australia and Canada. In 2011 she convened a public conference on 'Honour Killing across Culture and Time', which was the ANU Gender Institute's 'Signature Event' of 2011 (see http://history.cass.anu.edu.au/honourkillingconf). In 2009 she convened a symposium, hosted at the National Museum of Australia (see http://www.nma.gov.au/violent_ends/). In 2005 she convened the multi-disciplinary conference, 'Pain and Death: Politics, Aesthetics, Legalities', one outcome of which was a special issue of Humanities Researchhttp://epress.anu.edu.au/hrj/2007_02/html/frames.php. In 2012 she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Arts, Education and Creative Media at Murdoch University, Perth.

Jordan Stranger-Ross

Jordan Stranger-Ross is currently the director of Landscapes of Injustice, a 7-year multi-sector grant to research and tell the history of the forced sale of Japanese-Canadian-owned property during the Second World War. Her research and teaching focus on immigration, race, and inequality in twentieth century North America, with an emphasis on urban politics and experience. Her first book, Staying Italian: Urban Change and Ethnic Life in Postwar Toronto and Philadelphia, emphasizes the malleability of North American ethnic and religious communities after the Second World War. Italians in North America “did” ethnicity in ways that reflected the cities they inhabited. She also served as the editor (with Franca Iacovetta) of a two part special issue in the Urban History Review entitled, "Encounters, Contests, and Communities: New Histories of Race and Ethnicity in the Canadian City." Since 2010, she has been the chair of the urban studies committee at the University of Victoria. Comprised of faculty members in departments across the university, the committee organizes and hosts The City Talks, a distinguished lecture series that brings international scholars to Victoria for public scholarly talks. She teaches courses and supervises graduate work relating to these themes in the history of the United States and Canada.

Eric Tucker

Professor Eric Tucker has been teaching at Osgoode Hall Law School since 1981 and served as Graduate Program Director from 1998 to 2001. He has published extensively in the fields of occupational health and safety regulation and labour law. Professor Tucker has been involved in law reform initiatives through his participation on the board of Injured Workers’ Consultants, a community legal clinic, and as a member of the steering committee of the Bancroft Institute, a grassroots organization that aims to promote research responsive to workers’ needs. He has co-authored a study of the legal definition of employment for the Law Commission of Canda and a study of reproductive hazards in the workplace for the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. His published work includes Self-Employed Workers Organize: Law, Policy and Unions (with Cynthia Cranford, Judy Fudge, and Leah Vosko) (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005); Labour Before the Law: Workers’ Collective Action and the Canadian State, 1900-1948 (with Judy Fudge) (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2001); and Administering Danger in the Workplace: The Law and Politics of Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in Ontario, 1850-1914 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990).  He also edited Working Disasters: The Politics of Recognition and Response (New York: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., 2006).

William C. Wicken

William Wicken is a professor of history at York University in Toronto. He has published various articles, reports and chapters covering the areas of Native & Colonial North American history, with a focus on government policies towards Aboriginal people in Eastern and Central Canada (Ontario/Quebec). Dr. Wicken has been qualified as an expert in 16 constitutional trials, mostly in Atlantic Canada, and including R. v. Donald Marshall Jr (SCC 1999), R. v. Josh Bernard (SCC 2005), and Daniels v. Canada, which is currently before the Federal Court of Appeals. He testified in July 2013 in the Darren Paul case. He is the author of The Colonization of Mi’kmaw Memory and History, 1794-1928: The King v. Gabriel Sylliboy which in 2013 won the Canadian Historical Association’s Sir John A. Macdonald for the best book published in 2012 on Canadian History. This book was also awarded a Governor General’s award for Scholarly Achievement. Professor Wicken is also the author of Mi’kmaq Treaties on Trial: History, Land and Donald Marshall Junior (2002), and co-author of The Conquest of Acadia, 1710: An Interpretive and Contextual History (2004).