Canadian Legal History

Course number: LAW 3410

This seminar course provides students with an introduction to Canadian legal history and historical analysis. The course adopts a topical, case study approach to studying historical developments and their relationship to contemporary law. We will examine periods of significant legal change by studying how historical developments influence the form, substance, and interpretation of “the law”. We will also examine the role of British and American influences on Canadian developments.  This approach to the study of history is intended to help students hone their skills in critical thinking and analysis. It is also intended to facilitate greater understanding of Canadian law in the 21st century, by shedding light on key drivers and mechanisms of legal changes in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The course is taught primarily through in-class discussions, which require all students to actively participate in every class. To facilitate engaging in-class discussions, students are asked to refrain from using laptops and cell phones in class. Other teaching and learning strategies will include an in-class “time travelling” activity, watching a documentary film, and a museum field trip.

Evaluation: The primary mode of evaluation will be a research paper on a topic approved by the instructor. This paper counts as one of the upper-year research papers required by the JD degree.

INSTRUCTOR: Virginia Torrie

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