In the fall of 1961, under the auspices of the Programme in Criminal Studies of the Osgoode Hall Law School (consisting of Desmond Morton and myself), I started to explore the possibility of doing an empirical study of the bail system in Canada. Hans Mohr of the Clarke Institute had been sitting in on my criminology seminar and had been encouraging me to do empirical work. Caleb Foote, then at the University of Pennsylvania, had conducted such studies in the United States and I invited him to give us advice on how best to conduct such a study (file 2). The files contain extensive correspondence with others who had knowledge of the area (files 2 to 9), including the Vera Foundation in New York (file 4) and statisticians with the then Dominion Bureau of Statistics (file 9), now Statistics Canada.
I hadn’t realised how difficult and time-consuming it was to do empirical work. The bail project had, however, captivated my interest and, when I decided to return to Cambridge to complete my doctorate in January 1963 (see the Double Jeopardy files), I took all my bail files with me and tried to switch my thesis topic from double jeopardy to bail. Glanville Williams discouraged me from doing so, and I therefore had two major projects hanging over my head for several years.
The planning for the project took place in the second term of 1962 (file 8) and over the summer of 1962 I had a horde of summer research assistants helping me collect data from the courts, the police, and other sources. We took all the criminal cases that arose in the Toronto Magistrates’ Courts over a six month period--about 6,000 cases (see the preface to the book). An even larger group of law students helped me code the data, which was eventually transferred to punched cards, which produced quantitative data which we could then analyse (files 11 and 12). When I returned to Canada from England in the summer of 1963, I put double jeopardy on hold and started writing up the material on bail. I completed the writing of a draft of the manuscript in the fall of 1964 and submitted it to the University of Toronto Press.
The manuscript was submitted to the Press in December 1964 and the book appeared in June 1965 (file 16). Osgoode Hall Law School had supported the work and it seemed fair to have it appear before I moved to the U of T Law School in July 1965. The speed of publication was particularly impressive because the manuscript needed a lot of editorial work (files 17 and 18, and 20 to 24).
The book was excerpted in three weekly full-page articles in the Globe and Mail in June 1965 (file 36) and was the subject of two programmes of the CBC’s Toronto File (file 35). There were a great number of editorials and news stories about the book (files 37 to 42) and there were reviews in Canada, England, and the United States (files 26 to 28).
In July, 1965 I made a presentation to Department of Justice officials in Ottawa (file 29), gave a number of talks on the book (files 31 and 32), and appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in Ottawa in 1967 (file 34). I also supported the Toronto Rotary Club’s Bail Project that started in 1965 and which developed into the Provincial Bail Program (file 33).
John Turner, the Minister of Justice, took an interest in the subject. I took part in the drafting of the Bail Reform Act, along with the principal draftsman John Scollin and others, including Turner’s executive assistant, Irwin Cotler. The files contain four drafts of the legislation, showing the various changes from draft to draft (files 43 to 47). The files also contain the various Bills that were introduced into Parliament and the Act that was eventually passed in March 1971 (files 48 to 51). There was a reaction to the Act and less liberal amendments were introduced in 1975 (files 52 and 53).