The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History

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    Book Signing, Osgoode Society Book Launch, October 2013
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    Our collection on display, Book Launch, October 2013
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    Osgoode Society Book Launch, Convocation Hall, October 2013
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    Authors Charlotte Gray and Roy McMurtry hard at work, Book Launch 2013
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    "I shall always be gratified that I had the opportunity to create the Osgoode Society in 1979 when I was the Attorney-General for Ontario..." - R. Roy McMurtry -
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    The Osgoode Society Board in 1984. Seated from the left: Archie Campbell, Brendan O'Brien, R. Roy McMurtry, and Laura Legge (then Treasurer of the Law Society)
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    Two-time Osgoode Society author Professor Barrignton Walker at the Society's 30th Anniversary Reception, 2009
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    Marilyn MacFarlane, long time administrator of the Osgoode Society, honoured at the Society’s 30th Anniversary Dinner, 2009
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    R. Roy McMurtry, Derry Millar, then Treasurer of the Law Society, and Mrs Millar, at the reception to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Society, 2009
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    I have been a member of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History since my second year at Osgoode Hall Law School, where I was first introduced to the organization by the late Professor Graham Parker. Since then I have been enriched by this organization and its excellent and diverse legal historical publications. Overall, I find the Osgoode Society to be one of the most consistantly relevant organizations to the Canadian Legal Profession. - The Honourable Justice Michael H. Tulloch Court of Appeal for Ontario, Director of the Osgoode Society
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    One of our 2012 books: The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays.
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    One of our 2012 books: Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada.
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    One of our 2012 books: Hunger, Horses and Government Men:Criminal Law on the Aboriginal Plains.
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    One of our 2012 books: Property on Trial: Canadian Cases in Context.
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    One of our 2013 books: Memoirs and Reflections.
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    One of our 2013 books: Essays in the History of Canada Law, Volume XI: Quebec and the Canadas.
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    One of our 2013 books: Lawyers, Families, and Businesses: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens 1863-1963.
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    One of our 2013 books: The Massey Murder: A Maid, her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Nation



We invite interested members of the public, scholars and members of the legal community to join us in the exploration of Canada’s legal history. In the past year we have completely restructured our website to make it a resource for anybody interested in Canadian legal history. You will find here not only much more information than before about our publications and our authors, but also news of our other activities and some new features. In the coming months we will also be launching the section on Legal History Resources.

To join the Osgoode Society click here

To access the Osgoode Society blog click here

To listen to Osgoode Society President R. Roy McMurtry speak on the Osgoode Society and much else click here.

2015 Publications

News & Upcoming Events

Recent Publications

  • Security, Dissent and the Limits of Toleration in War and Peace: Canadian State Trials Volume IV, 1914-1939, edited by Barry Wright, Eric Tucker and Susan Binnie
  • “Honorary Protestants”: The Jewish School Question in Montreal, 1867-1997 by David Fraser
  • Law and Life at Red River: The General Quarterly Court of Assiniboia 1844-1872, by Dale Gibson

Notable Dates

  • February 2015 – Osgoode  Society Membership Renewal material will be available


  • November 2014 - Osgoode Society Associate Editor Professor Philip Girard gave the plenary address at the annual conference of the American Society for Legal History, in Denver. Professor Girard’s address was entitled: "Disorienting:  Towards a Legal History of North America".
  • October 2014 - The 2014 Toronto Book Award has been awarded to Charlotte Gray, for The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country, published by the Osgoode Society in 2013. We congratulate Charlotte.
  • February 2014 - The latest edition of the Law and History Review, Volume 32, No 1, the leading journal in the field, contains an article by Ed Cavanagh, a graduate student at the University of Ottawa and co-winner of the Osgoode Society’s McMurtry Fellowship for 2103-2014. It is entitled: “Possession and Dispossession in Corporate New France, 1600–1663: Debunking a “Juridical History” and Revisiting Terra Nullius.” We are delighted that once again the McMurtry Fellowship is being used to such good effect.
  • News Archive

Forthcoming Conferences



Osgoode Society
Osgoode Hall, Toronto
Ontario, M5H 2N6, Canada

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T: + 416.947.3321
F: + 416.947.3447