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Osgoode Society names 2020 award winners

Monday, September 21, 2020 @ 2:13 PM | By John Chunn


The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History announced its award winners for 2020.

Peter Oliver Prize

According to the Osgoode society, the Peter Oliver Prize, named for the society’s first and long-serving editor-in-chief, is given for published work in Canadian legal history by a student. The 2020 winner is Jacqueline Briggs, a Ph.D. student in the Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, University of Toronto, for her article 'Exemplary Punishment: T.R.L. MacInnes, the Department of Indian Affairs, and Indigenous Executions, 1936-1952, published in the Canadian Historical Review

R. Roy McMurtry fellowship in Canadian legal history

Created on the occasion of his retirement as chief justice of Ontario, the McMurtry Fellowship honours Roy McMurtry's contributions to Canadian legal history as the founder and long-time president of the Osgoode Society. It supports a graduate or post-doctoral student working in the field of Canadian legal history.

This year the society was able to award fellowships to its first choice and to two honourable mentions. The principal winner is Jean-Christophe Bédard-Rubin, a doctoral student in the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, who is writing an intellectual history of Ä’tienne Parent, a leading Quebec constitutional thinker in the immediate pre- and post-Confederation period.

Michael Borsk and Krista Barclay are this year’s honourable mentions. Borsk is a Ph.D. student in history at Queen’s University. He is researching the history of ideas about private property and sovereignty in Ontario and Michigan in the first half of the 19th century. Barclay received her Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. She is working on inheritance law in 19th century British North America.

John T. Saywell Prize in Canadian constitutional legal history

Created to honour the memory and legacy of one of Canada’s leading political and legal historians, the Saywell Prize is awarded every other year to a book that has made a substantial and enduring contribution to Canadian constitutional history. The 2020 winner is Flawed Precedent: The St. Catherines Case and Aboriginal Title, by professor Kent McNeil of Osgoode Hall Law School. The book examines in detail the context for, and legacy of, the Privy Council decision that stood for decades as the leading statement of what Aboriginal title meant in the Canadian Constitution.