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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.

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).

Canada Council

During the 1980's Prof. Schabas held appointments to committees of the Canada Council: Advisory Arts Panel and Music and Opera Advisory Committee, 1981-1984; and from 1988 to 1993, the Music and Opera Advisory Committee. Included in this subseries are correspondence, copies of reports such as the "Festival Concert Society, Les Jeunesses musicales du Canada and the National Youth Orchestra" (1989), and Arts Grants jury.

Administrative files

Sub-series pertains to Dr. Farrar’s administrative responsibilities at the New Jersey State Hospital and includes correspondence and reports.

Clinical files

Sub-series consists of clinical records created by Dr. Farrar as a physician at New Jersey State Asylum such as patient files and correspondence.

Textual records

This series documents Dr. Farrar’s work with the Canadian Federal Department of Soldier’s Civil Re-establishment. In 1916, Dr. Farrar joined the Canadian army. Initially posted to a hospital unit in Kingston, Ontario, he was transferred to Ottawa for duty in the Military Hospitals Commission. Dr. Farrar would eventually become Chief Psychiatrist in the Federal Department of Soldier’s Civil Re-establishment. In this capacity, he treated invalided soldiers suffering from psychiatric illnesses including shell shock. Though primarily based in Ottawa during the war, Dr. Farrar also worked out of the military hospital in Cobourg, Ontario, a photograph of which can be found in /003P(11). Records in this series consist of professional correspondence, reports, patient files, plans for a military hospital. There are also lantern slides depicting hospitals and asylums throughout North America in the early 1900s. It is believed that Dr. Farrar may have collected and used these images in his capacity as Chief Psychiatrist to put forth a proposal for a new military hospital.

Johns Hopkins

Sub-series pertains Dr. Farrar’s student activities at the Faculty of Medicine of John Hopkins University , 1898-1900. Records include lecture notes, exams, a certificate and alumni notices.

German academic life

Subseries consists of records relating to Dr. Franklin’s early academic life (as Ursula Maria Martius) when she was studying experimental physics at the Technical University of Berlin. Records include academic correspondence, drafts of her PhD thesis, “Die Anregung von Leuchtstoffen mit Gammastrahlen und Röntgenstrahlen verschiedener Wellenlänge” (1948), as well as the academic work of some of her colleagues, including Immanuel Broser, Hartmut Kallmann and R. Warminsky.

RCMP files

In 2013, a researcher studying the Voice of Women requested the RCMP files of many of the women involved in the group, including Dr. Franklin. Redacted copies of the files were supplied by Library and Archives Canada and subsequently shared with Dr. Franklin. Subseries consists of 5 PDF files (577 pages) documenting the extensive file the RCMP kept on Dr. Franklin from 1949-1984. It is presumed that more recent records were withheld for privacy reasons.

Publishing Group meetings

Sub-series consists of agendas, minutes, reports (including budgets and other financial statements), proposals, and other material prepared for meetings of the Publishing Group from 1990 to 2006. Records for the year 2000 do not exist. After the corporation's structural reorganization in 1990, the members of the corporation elected approximately 10 people from within the membership to form the Publishing Group, which met with the editor of the Catholic New Times about ten times per year to oversee all aspects of the production of the newspaper.

Documents describing the spirit, the structure and the format of retreats

Sub-series consists of documents regarding the organisational structure of the Faith and Sharing Federation, the spirit of the Faith and Sharing movement and a guide describing the format of the Faith and Sharing retreats. The majority of the documents are in two sets of the documents, one written in French and the other in English. Only a French copy of the 2010 Faith and Sharing Organization Structure was provided at the time of donation.

Photocopies of archival material from Wilfred Watson fonds

Sub-series consists of photocopied archival material from the Wilfred Watson fonds at the University of Alberta. It was accumulated by Flahiff in the course of writing of "Always Someone to Kill the Doves: A Life of Sheila Watson", published by NeWest Press, in 2005. The material consists predominantly of correspondence between Marshall McLuhan and Wilfred Watson and Marshall McLuhan and Sheila Watson. The material copied ranges in date from 1959-1979, predominately 1962-1979.

Local elections

Consists of files relating to local elections, especially the political arena in the Region of Peel and Mississauga where Dr. Morton lived and taught.

CD Howe project

Records relating to work for C.D. Howe on employment, employment cost resources, unemployment, productivity, and the interdependence of wages and prices in Canada and the U.S.

Hydro case

In 1985-1986 Wilson provided advice on the financial impact of Ontario Hydro’s plans for Southwestern Ontario, as submitted for environmental assessment. In 1990-1991, Wilson provided advice on the impact of the current federal sales tax system on Ontario Hydro’s input costs

Industry Canada

Records relating to work for Industry Canada on the market value of cellular telephony, personal communications services (PCS) and enhanced specialized mobile radio licenses (ESMR).

Metro case

Wilson’s support of Metro Toronto’s application to the CRTC to review recent and proposed increases in Local Channel Rates by Bell Canada.

Retail council

Report prepared for the Retail Council of Canada, relating to reducing Federal EI payroll taxes.

Samson Cree case

Records relating to Wilson’s advice to the Samson Cree of Alberta, relating to their opposition to the Canadian government’s handling of their trust moneys from oil revenues, and possible breach of Treaty No. 6 (Chief Victor Buffalo et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen et al.)

Unitel case

Various work relating to competition in telecommunications, including competition in long distance services and price positioning.

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