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Martin Lawrence Friedland fonds Subseries
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Lipski

In the Spring of 1981, I started looking for a project that would build on my interest in Mr. Justice James Fitzjames Stephen, who had played a prominent role in the article on criminal codes that I had completed on my sabbatical in 1979-80. I knew that Stephen had been involved in a number of interesting murder cases, such as the Maybrick case. I started to play around with a plot, perhaps a fictional one, that would involve Stephen, the Maybrick murder case, and Stephen’s son, J.K. Stephen, who may have been Jack the Ripper. In the course of this speculative investigation I came across the Lipski case. (See file 10.)

I had earlier seen brief references to the Lipski case that Stephen had tried in 1887, but did not know much about it except for the fact that Lipski was a Polish Jew and was hanged for murder. I looked through the London Times microfilm of the case that took place over the summer of 1887. The case was a fascinating one and I wrote to England to see if there were records on the case. They had records and even though they were closed for 100 years they would make them available for me. I was going over to England that summer to give a paper at the Cambridge Lectures and made arrangements to view the documents at the Home Office (file 2). The papers were very extensive (files 88-93) and there was also a transcript of the two-day trial (files 94 & 95). I arranged to have the documents copied and sent to me in Canada.

I quickly concluded that the case was an excellent one to explore the frailty of the criminal process and various other issues that interested me, such as Jewish immigration to England. It would also enable me to show the danger of capital punishment. One of the files I have included in this collection contains notes that I made in the 1960s on the issue of capital punishment (file 3).

There were, of course, many documents in other libraries and archives (file 4). The Cambridge Library, for example, contained the Stephen papers -- papers that I had used in the R. S. Wright article -- which included letters that Stephen had sent to his wife in the country during the trial and which showed what was going through his mind during the trial and in the later fight for a reprieve.

John Atkinson, a law student, was my research assistant that summer and did excellent work in helping me find material putting the case in the social and economic context of the times. He also helped me the following summer in Canada as well as in London where he spent a month in various libraries (See file 8.). (John died from cancer shortly after graduating from Law School. I gave the eulogy at his funeral. It has not been easy sorting through the file containing his notes.) Another excellent research assistant was Stephen Perry, who had just graduated from the Law School and had returned to Oxford to complete his doctorate in jurisprudence. (He is now
teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.)He visited various archives for me in England in the fall of 1981 (file 9).

There was extensive correspondence with a large number of persons who had expertise in the various subjects covered in the manuscript (files 5 to 7). Some were experts on immigration to England, some on life in the East End of London, some on W. T. Stead, the journalist, who played a prominent role in the case, some on locked-door murder mysteries, and many others topics.

I have kept only a small part--perhaps about 10%--of my research files dealing with the case. Most had been culled earlier. Those kept include a number of spiral binders which show, to some extent, the chronological development of my ideas (files 10-13) and various specific files that may be of particular interest to future researchers. These include research on Jack the Ripper, locked-door mysteries, Rabbi Simeon Singer, W. T. Stead, and immigration matters (files 14-24).

There is no complete hand-written draft of the manuscript. It seems that I had my secretary type short hand-written sections after I had completed them. Some of these early drafts that I did keep are contained in various files in the collection (files 1, 25, 26, and 30).

In early drafts I gave away in the opening the fact that Lipski was hanged (see file 1). In later drafts, however, I decided that because virtually no one knew the Lipski case, I would keep back from the reader the fact that he was hanged, although I would state at the outset that he was convicted. The drama in the case would therefore turn on the issue of whether there would be a reprieve.

The book went through various typed and word-processed drafts (files 27-29, 53-56). The endnotes were done after the text was completed (files 30-38). There is considerable correspondence relating to pictures that were used in the book and for the slides that I later used in the various talks that I gave (files 57-60).

Macmillan London agreed to publish the book in December 1982 and a contract was concluded in 1983 (files 39-46). A number of other publishers had turned it down (file 50). Box 3 contains the various matters pertaining to publication such as author’s publicity sheets and catalogues. I was particularly pleased to have Macmillan London publish the book because they were Stephen’s publishers a hundred years earlier. Subsequently arrangements were made to have Macmillan Canada distribute the book in Canada at a reasonable price (file 48). The American rights were finally sold to Beaufort Books (file 49). No paperback edition was brought out (file 47). In 1995 copyright in the book reverted to the author (file 46).

A selection from the book appeared in the Canadian lawyer and in 1995 it was given the Crime Writers of Canada Award for Non-fiction for 1984 and was short-listed for the English Crime Writer’s Dagger Award for Non-fiction (files 51 and 52). I gave many talks with slides on the book, and did a number of radio interviews (Peter Gzowski and Vikki Gabereau, etc.) (See files 72 & 73.)

The book was widely reviewed in England, Canada, and the United States (files 65-69). The files contain extensive correspondence after publication (files 62-64), including correspondence with some of the reviewers (file 70) and correspondence with respect to the W. T. Stead Society.

There are a large number of files in box 45 dealing with possible movies. An Australian company, the principal of which was the murdered women’s granddaughter, took an option on the book and came fairly close to getting the financing for a movie (files 75-84). It had some of the leading character actors in England, such as John Mills and Leo McKern, lined up to play roles in the movie (file 83). A number of Canadian directors and producers, such as Pat Ferns and Beryl Fox, took an interest in the project, but nothing concrete developed. An American company also took an interest in the book, but again, nothing came of it (file 85). As I state later with respect to my other murder books, I’m still hoping!

R.S. Wright Articles

My sabbatical in 1979-80 was to be devoted to the process of law reform. While in Israel in the fall working on codification of the criminal law, I became interested in R.S. Wright and his Jamaica Code. I couldn’t discover very much about it. I wanted to add it as a footnote to what I was writing. Professor Yoram Schachar, then at the Hebrew University, urged me to go to the Public Record Office in London, where he had done work (file 4) and where I had never been. When I got to England at the end of December 1979 I went to the PRO at Kew Gardens. I spent most of the remaining part of the sabbatical working on the RS Wright story comparing his code with that of James Fitzjames Stephen (files 2-12). In the end, rather than one footnote, it had 324 footnotes (file 12). It was the first time that I told a story and I enjoyed the archival work so much that it led naturally to my later murder books.

The article, “R.S. Wright’s Model Criminal Code--a Forgotten Chapter in the History of the Criminal Law,” was published in the new Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (file 12). It is my favourite article by far. I gave a talk on it--‘Old and New Criminal Codes’--at the University of Windsor and at other law Schools (files 14 and 16). The Windsor talk was published in the Law Society of Upper Canada Gazette (file 15). In 1990, I gave a talk at the Washington meeting of the Society for the Reform of the Criminal Law on Codification in the Commonwealth, based on the Wright story, which was published in the Criminal Law Forum (files 17-19).

Access to the Law

In the summer of 1972, about the time I returned to the University of Toronto as Dean, I developed some ideas on access to the law which I had been thinking about when I was with the Law Reform Commission of Canada during the year 1971-72 .

The idea was to make the law accessible to non-lawyers who could not--then or now--penetrate the complex legal system, whether it was statutes, regulations, or cases. The scheme was to provide written material that could be digested by reasonably intelligent lay persons. It would combine federal and provincial laws. At the time the idea was to provide this information through encyclopaedias that would be available in public libraries and through intermediaries. It would also assist lawyers and legal aid clinics to find answers to problems and to be able to give material to interested clients. If the proposal were to be developed today, it would use the Internet. (See file 1).

A strong advisory committee was established, consisting of Francess Halpenny, the dean of the Faculty of Library Science, Ian Montagnes, the General Editor of the University of Toronto Press, Peter Russell, the Principal of Innis College, John Swan of the Faculty of Law, and Lyle Fairbairn, the counsel to the Ontario Law Reform Commission. (See file 2).

The Faculty of Law was heavily involved in the project because I thought it was desirable to try to get more interdisciplinary and group projects in the Faculty. (See file 3). Simcoe Hall was very supportive of the project. (File 4).

There was widespread consultation with librarians, lawyers and judges, and academics. (Files 5 to 7). Various governmental and non-governmental organisations were also consulted. (Files 8 to 13).

Various funding sources were explored. In the end, the funding was supplied by the Law Reform Commission of Canada, which took an active interest in the project. (Files 14 and 15).

Peter Jewett, a lawyer with Tory, Tory, and who had been my research assistant when he was at Law School, got a leave of absence from his firm to work on the project. He worked with his then wife, Linda Jewett, who was a librarian (she later became a lawyer). They travelled across the country discussing the concept with interested parties. (File 16).

We engaged a number of consultants to examine the present access to the law. Tony Doob of the Centre of Criminology helped us with experiments to see whether lay persons could, in fact, find their way around the present statute book. (They couldn’t.). A psychologist, Professor Paul Kolers, and an expert on linguistics, Harold Gleason, as well as experts in library science, Brian Land, Anne Schabas, Katherine Packer, and Alice Janisch, prepared papers for us. Various individuals assisted us in the preparation of models that could be examined. (File 17).

On February 8, 1974 I gave a speech on the concept to the Toronto Region Group of the Institute of Public Administration, which was excerpted in the Globe, and was widely reported in the Press. The paper was published in the Law Society of Upper Canada Gazette and Canadian Welfare. (Files 20 to 22).

In 1975, the book, Access to the Law, was published by Carswell/Methuen. Again, there was considerable interest in the concept by the press. See, in particular, the editorial by the Globe. (Files 23 and 24).

Although some progress has been made in developing the idea, the project remains unfulfilled. I had the chance of doing more on it when invited by the SSHRC in 1980 to submit a proposal on the project, but was unfortunately too involved at the time in other matters to take up their invitation. (Files 25 and 26).

The concept still makes excellent sense, particularly because of the Internet. It could be attempted by one province and the federal government to demonstrate that it could be done. In my study for the 1997 McCamus Legal Aid Review, I urged them to recommend such a scheme as part of the jurisdiction of the new Legal Services Commission. They did not do so. I also have urged people in South Africa, where there are very few lawyers, to study the scheme. The scheme remains to be tried in Canada or, indeed, in any other common-law jurisdiction.

Courts and Trials

After I was appointed dean in early 1972, I started to organise an interdisciplinary series of lectures on courts and trials (file 2). This was designed to make a statement that we were not just a professional school but were part of the University. The series was widely advertised and was given every few weeks throughout the academic year 1972-73 (files 3-4). The contributors were from a wide array of disciplines--Reg Allen in philosophy, Don Dewees in economics, Tony Doob in psychology, Jim Giffen in sociology, Charles Hanly in psychoanalysis, Ken McNaught in history, Anatol Rapoport in mathematics, and Peter Russell and Don Smiley in political science (files 5-15). Northrop Frye backed out (file 8), but later contributed to the Crime in Literature series. The series was published by the U of T Press in 1975 (files 17-22) and the book was dedicated to Bora Laskin (file 11).

Criminal Law Casebook

The first edition of my casebook, Cases and Materials on Criminal Law and Procedure, appeared for use in September 1967. That edition was published in a typed version by the University of Toronto Press. The following year they put out a typeset edition, which Francess Halpenny copy-edited over one weekend. The U of T Press put out five editions and decided that they would not produce a sixth, in part because the casebook was loosing the market and in part because they were getting out of the casebook business. A number of versions were prepared by me in house at the Law School and eventually Emond Montgomery put out the sixth edition in 1991, a seventh in 1994, and an eighth in 1997. Kent Roach joined with me as the co-editor of the Emond Montgomery editions. In general, Kent was responsible for the criminal procedure chapters and the sentencing material. I was responsible for the rest. In the sixth edition, we switched from the Truscott case as a case study to the Marshall case. The extensive correspondence relating to the various editions is included in files 18-21. Three of the editions which I had marked up while teaching, the fifth, sixth, and the seventh editions, are also included in the materials (files 10, 14, and 16).

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