by Paul Romney. Published with the University of Toronto Press, 1986.
Mr. Attorney is a major exercise in revisionist historiography. Based on extensive research in often obscure sources, it offers an account of the office of Attorney General which reinterprets several key themes of nineteenth-century constitutional and political history. Paul Romney argues that grievances involving the Attorney General and the administration of justice were central to the rise of organized political opposition before the Rebellion of 1837 and remained important into the 1850s. Placing legal and administrative issues in their social context, Romney undertakes the first serious examination of developments of crucial importance to the administration of justice, such as the campaign for the Felons Counsel Act of 1836, the origin of the county attorney, the history of trial by jury, and the controversy over the idea of a provincial police force. Romney presents his arguments in sparkling and often combative prose.This important book has excited much controversy among historians and lawyers. Its theses increasingly command general assent.