by Philip Girard, Professor of Law, History & Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, 2005. Published with the University of Toronto Press.
In any account of Canadian law in the 20th century, Bora Laskin looms large. This biography explores in vivid detail the life and times of a restless man on a mission. In his first career, as a human rights activist, university professor and labour arbitrator, Bora Laskin used the law to make Canada a better place for workers, racial and ethnic minorities, and the disadvantaged. Then, in what he called his ‘accidental career’ as a judge on the Ontario Court of Appeal and later chief justice of Canada, he embarked on a quest to make the judiciary more responsive to modern Canadian expectations of justice and fundamental rights. In the struggles of a man who fought anti-Semitism, corporate capital, omnipotent university boards, the Law Society of Upper Canada and his judicial colleagues, Philip Girard chronicles the emergence of modern Canada.