The Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop group is an informal evening seminar that meets on alternate Wednesdays between September and April to discuss a wide variety of topics in legal history, Canadian and international. A paper is circulated in advance of each workshop by email, and after a short introduction by the author most of the time is devoted to discussion of the paper.  Participants are graduate students and faculty in law and history from a wide range of Universities, Canadian and international, as well as law students and members of the profession.

In 2023/2024 the workshop will be conducted using ZOOM, which allows people to attend from across the country and beyond. Anybody interested in legal history is welcome to attend virtually. The workshop is held at 6.30 eastern time. If you would like to be put on the email list to receive papers and other scheduling information please email

Osgoode Society Legal History Workshops 2011-2023


Wednesday, February 7 – Carolyn Strange, Australian National University: ‘Divided Decisions: R. v. Fitton (1956) in Appeal.’

Wednesday, February 14 – Dan Rueck, University of Ottawa: ‘The King v. Bonhomme, Supreme Court of Canada, 1918: The role of the Department of Indian Affairs in Kahnawà:ke’s dispossession of St. Nicholas Island.’

Wednesday, March 6  – Kiera Mitchell, University of Saskatchewan: ‘The Better Half”: Farming Women’s Labour, Marital Property Division, and Rural Activism in Murdoch v. Murdoch.’ 

Wednesday, March 20 – William Wicken, York University: ‘Implementing the 1850 Indian Protection Bill at Grand River, 1850 to 1865.’ 

Wednesday, April 3 –  Andrew Johnston, University of Victoria: ‘A Uniform Practice, in Uniform: Royal Navy Officers’ Views on the Reform of Naval Law in Mid-Nineteenth Century North America.’ 

All sessions start at 6.30 and will be presented via ZOOM. To be placed on the email list and receive the papers and links please email .


Professor Lori Chambers, Lakehead University

Canadian legal history has emerged as a cutting-edge field within the study of Canada's past, and Canadian legal historians are also celebrated participants in international debates about the historical role of law as both a mechanism of control and a source of social challenge. The Osgoode Society for Legal History has been essential in the national and international success of Canadian legal history and historians. The Osgoode Society not only publishes a wide range of books, but also supports students and research and facilitates communication between legal historians. The legal history workshop is a very important part of that communication. Legal historians outside of Canada frequently comment on the Osgoode Society, and its work in Canada, with considerable (and justifiable) envy. The importance of the Osgoode Society cannot be overstated.