by Dale Brawn, Professor, Department of Law & Justice, Laurentian University. Published wth the University of Toronto Press, 2006.
This study of the Manitoba judiciary is the first complete biographical history of a provincial bench. The relative youth of Manitoba and the small size of its legal profession makes possible an exceptionally detailed investigation of the background of those appointed to the province’s highest trial court – the Court of Queen’s Bench. This book shows the close connections in the early days between the Ontario bar and the judges of the new province, and highlights the political nature of the judicial appointment process, especially in the period prior to 1950. But it also suggests that in addition to politics and legal ability, many lawyers became judges because they more than others had made themselves known in the communities in which they practised. These biographies of the first thirty-three men appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench highlight the extent to which the members of the legal elite shared remarkably similar views and ways of thinking. The collective biography approach also allows a remarkably intimate look at personalities ranging from prime ministers to senior government officials to members of the practising bar.