Canada's Legal Pasts

Looking Foreward, Looking Back


Canada's Legal Pasts

Canada's Legal Pasts presents new essays on a range of topics and episodes in Canadian legal history, provides an introduction to legal methodologies, shows researchers new to the field how to locate and use a variety of sources, and includes a combined bibliography arranged to demonstrate best practices in gathering and listing primary sources. It is an essential welcome for scholars who wish to learn about Canada's legal pasts—and why we study them.

Telling new stories—about a fishing vessel that became the subject of an extraordinarily long diplomatic dispute, young Northwest Mounted Police constables subject to an odd mixture of police discipline and criminal procedure, and more—this book presents the vibrant evolution of Canada's legal tradition. Explorations of primary sources, including provincial archival records that suggest how Quebec courts have been used in interfamilial conflict, newspaper records that disclose the details of bigamy cases, and penitentiary records that reveal the details of the lives and legal entanglements of Canada's most marginalized people, show the many different ways of researching and understanding legal history.

This is Canadian legal history as you've never seen it before. Canada's Legal Pasts dives into new topics in Canada's fascinating history and presents practical approaches to legal scholarship, bringing together established and emerging scholars in collection essential for researchers at all levels.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Half Title Page 2
Full Title Page 4
Copyright Page 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
FOREWORD - A Student’s Take on Canada’s Legal Pasts 10
INTRODUCTION | Canada’s Legal Pasts: Looking Forward, Looking Back 12
1 | Family Defamation in the Quebec Civil Courts: The View from the Archives 22
2 | Writing Penitentiary History 42
3 | Analyzing Bigamy Cases without Going to the Archives: It is Possible 48
4 | Trial Pamphlets and Newspaper Accounts 56
5 | The Last Voyage of the Frederick Gerring, Jr. 62
6 | The Text Book Edition of James Kent’s Commentaries Used in Canada v. Gerring 94
7 | Empire’s Law: Archives and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council 114
8 | Practising Law in the “Lawyerless” Colony of New France 126
9 | Poursuivre son mari en justice : femmes mariées et coutume de Paris devant la Cour du banc du roi de Montréal (1795-1830) 160
10 | Getting Their Man: The NWMP as Accused in the Territorial Criminal Court in the Canadian North-West,1876–1903 190
11 | Sex Discrimination in Canadian Law: From Equal Citizenship to Human Rights Law 252
12 | Legal-Historical Writing for the Canadian Prairies: Past, Present, Future 282
Bibliography 308
Secondary Source Bibliography 330
Contributors 354
Index 358
Back Cover 370