On Thursday, October 29th, the Osgoode Society and UTP got together to celebrate the publication of four new titles: Canadian Maverick: The Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand by William Kaplan, A Trying Question: The Jury in the Nineteenth Century Canada by R. Blake Brown, Canadian State Trials, Volume III: Political Trials and Security Measures, 1840-1914 edited by Barry Wright and Susan Binnie, and The Last Day, The Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial by Robert J. Sharpe. In the stately Convocation Hall at Osgoode Hall, guests were treated to refreshments and a variety of tasty food (which I enjoyed sampling). The crowd was enthusiastic about the event (and the selection of cheeses!). The editor-in-chief of the Odgoode Society, Jim Phillips, gave a very rousing introduction to the evening, joking about the work habits of both himself and the authors he edits. Following Phillips's speech, the authors and editors of the celebrated titles spoke.
Overall the evening was a success! Books, food, drink, and humour made it quite a night in a room full of lawyers!
Canadian Maverick: The Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand by William Kaplan: In Canadian Maverick, best-selling author William Kaplan critically examines the life and times of lawyer, politician, academic, and Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand. Born to a working-class New Brunswick family, Rand would build an extraordinary career that redefined Canada’s legal landscape.
A Trying Question: The Jury in Nineteenth Century Canada by R. Blake Brown: The jury, a central institution of the trial process, exemplifies in popular perception the distinctiveness of our legal tradition. Nevertheless, juries today try only a small minority of cases. A Trying Question traces the history of the jury in Canada and links its nineteenth-century decline to the rise of the professional class.
Canadian State Trials, Volume III: Political Trials and Security Measures, 1840-1914 edited by Barry Wright and Susan Binnie: The third volume in the Canadian State Trials series examines Canadian legal responses to real or perceived threats to the safety and security of the state from 1840 to 1914, a period of extensive challenges associated with fundamental political and socio-economic change. Trials for treason and related political offences, suspensions of habeas corpus, and other public order and security-related measures, supported by new institutions such as secret policing, are studied in essays by leading scholars in the field.
The Last Day, The Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial by Robert J. Sharpe: On November 11, 1918, the last day of the Great War, the Canadian Corps, led by Sir Arthur Currie, liberated Mons after four years of German occupation. The push to Mons in the last days and weeks of the war had cost many lives. Long after the war, Currie was blamed by many for needlessly wasting those lives. When the Port Hope Evening Guide published an editorial in 1927 repeating this charge, Currie was incensed. Against the advice of his friends, he decided to sue for libel and retained W.N. Tilley, kc, the leading lawyer of the day, to plead his case.