R. Blake Brown is a Professor in the Department of History at Saint Mary’s University, and an Adjunct Professor at the Schulich School of Law. Professor Brown researches and teaches in the areas of modern Canadian history, legal history and the history of Atlantic Canada.
Professor Brown has been the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair and Visiting Scholar in History at Vanderbilt University, a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow at Saint Mary’s University, a Visiting Junior Fellow at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, 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. Prior to joining the Department of History at Saint Mary’s University in 2007, he taught part-time at Dalhousie Law School.
His most recent Osgoode Society book was A History of Law in Canada: Volume 1, Beginnings to 1866 (2018), with Philip Girard and Jim Phillips. With Girard and Phillips, he is working on Volume 2, from Confederation to the present. It will be published in 2022
See also https://smu.ca/academics/departments/history-blake-brown.html for a complete list of Dr. Brown’s publications. Professor Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History Books
A History of Law in Canada Volume I: Beginnings to 1866 (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2018). (with Philip Girard and Jim Phillips).
Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada (Toronto: The Osgoode and University of Toronto Press, 2012).
A Trying Question: The Jury in Nineteenth-Century Canada (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2009), 335 pp.
Chapters in Osgoode Society Books
‘ “Possession of arms among these men … might lead to serious consequences”: Regulating Firearms in the Canadas, 1760-1867’ in Blaine Baker, Donald Fyson, eds. Essays in the History of Canadian Law, Volume XI: Quebec and the Canadas (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2013) pp. 503 – 537.
‘ ‘Possession of arms among these men might lead to serious consequences’: Regulating Firearms in the Canadas, 1760-1867’ in G. Blaine Baker, and Donald Fyson, eds., Essays in the History of Canadian Law Volume XI: The Canadas (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2013).
‘Capitalist ‘justice’ as peddled by the ‘Noble Lords’’: Toronto Electric Commissioners v. Snider et al’ in Eric Tucker, and Judge Fudge, eds., Work on Trial: Cases in Context (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and Irwin Law, 2010), pp. 15 – 42 (with Jennifer J. Llewellyn).
‘ ‘Stars and Shamrocks will be Sown:’ The Fenian State Trials, 1866-67’ in Barry Wright, and Susan Binnie, eds., Canadian State Trials, Volume III: Political Trials and Security Measures, 1840-1914 (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2009), pp. 35 – 84.
‘ ‘To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine’: The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Labour Relations Board, 1947-1965’ in Philip Girard, Jim Phillips, and Barry Cahill, eds., The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2004), pp. 449 – 489.
‘A Collective Biography of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, 1900-2000’ in Philip Girard, Jim Phillips, and Barry Cahill, eds., The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 1754-2004: From Imperial Bastion to Provincial Oracle (Toronto: The Osgoode Society and University of Toronto Press, 2004), pp. 204 – 242 (with Susan S. Jones).
Other Legal History Publications
“‘A more disgraceful case it has seldom fallen to our lot to comment upon:’ Medical Malpractice in Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick,” Acadiensis, 47:2 (2018), pp.5-25.
“Canada’s First Malpractice Crisis: Medical Negligence in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 54:3 (2017), pp.777-803.
“Firearm ‘Rights’ in Canada: Law and History in the Debates over Gun Control,” Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 32:1 (2017), pp.97-116.
“‘Have you any recollection of what occurred at all?’: Davis v. Colchester County Hospital and the Medical Negligence in Interwar Canada,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association n.s., 26:1 (2015), pp.131-162. (with Magen Hudak).
“The harshness and injustice of the common law rule … has frequently been commented upon”: Debating Contributory Negligence in Canada, 1900-1950,” in Dalhousie Law Journal, 36:1 (2013), pp.137-169 (with Noelle Yhard).
“‘Every boy ought to learn to shoot and to obey orders’: Guns, Boys, and the Law in Canada from the late Nineteenth Century to the Great War,” Canadian Historical Review, 93:2 (2012), pp.196-226
‘ ‘Pistol Fever’: Regulating Revolvers in Late-Nineteenth-Century Canada’ Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol 20, 2009, pp. 107 – 138.
‘One Version of History: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Use of History in the Quebec Secession Reference’ in Penny Bryden, and Dimitry Anastakis, eds., Framing Federalism for the Twenty-First Century: Historical Essays in Honour of John T. Saywell (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), pp. 15 – 50.
‘ ‘That privilege of having Grand jurymen from our towns’: Grand Juries, Municipal Reform, and Responsible Government in Nova Scotia’ Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vol 10, 2007, pp. 47 – 71.
‘Storms, Roads, and Harvest Time: Criticisms of Jury Service in Pre-Confederation Nova Scotia’ Acadiensis, Vol 36, 2006, pp. 93 – 111.
‘ ‘Three Cheers for Lord Denman’: The Irish, Reformers and Jury Packing in Nova Scotia, 1833-1845’ Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol 16, 2005, pp. 139 – 167.
‘A Taxonomy of Methodological Approaches in Recent Canadian Legal History’ Acadiensis, Vol 34, 2005, pp. 145 – 155.
‘ ‘A Delusion, A Mockery, and a Snare’: Challenges to the Array and Jury Selection in England and Ireland, 1800-1850’ Canadian Journal of History, Vol 39, 2004, pp. 1 – 26.
‘The Highest Legal Ability in the Nation: Langdell on Wall Street, 1855-1870’ Law & Social Inquiry, Vol 29, 2004, pp. 39 – 104 (with Bruce A. Kimball).
‘The Supreme Court of Canada and Judicial Legitimacy: The Rise and Fall of Chief Justice Lyman Poore Duff’ McGill Law Journal, Vol 47, 2002, pp. 559 – 591.
‘When Holmes Borrowed From Langdell: The Public Policy and ‘Ultra-legal’ Formalism of Northern Securities, 1904’ American Journal of Legal History, Vol 45, 2001, pp. 278 – 321 (with Bruce A. Kimball).
‘Cecil A. Wright and the Foundations of Canadian Tort Law Scholarship’ Saskatchewan Law Review, Vol 64, 2001, pp. 169 – 217.
‘Realism, Federalism, and Statutory Interpretation during the 1930s: The Significance of Home Oil Distributors v. A.G. (B.C.)’ University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, Vol 59, 2001, pp. 1 – 23.
‘Challenges for Cause, Stand-Asides, and Peremptory Challenges in the Nineteenth Century’ Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol 38, 2000, pp. 453 – 494.
‘The Canadian Legal Realists and Administrative Law Scholarship, 1930-1941’ Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies, Vol 9, 2000, pp. 36 – 72.