Subseries 3 - Law Reform

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Reference code

UTA 1294-B1998-0006-1-5-3

Title

Law Reform

Date(s)

  • 1967-1985 (Creation)

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0.62 m of textual records

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In 1968, I received a Canada Council grant to undertake a project on the machinery of law reform (file 2). My plan was to write a comprehensive book on the various techniques for changing the law, from parliament and judicial lawmaking to the new Law Commissions that were emerging in the English-speaking world. In 1969, I gave a lecture sponsored by the Centre of Criminology on the machinery of criminal law reform, which was excerpted and commented upon in the Globe (files 5-8).

In 1969, for nine months, I explored the subject abroad: a few weeks in New Zealand, a month in Australia, and the rest of the time in England (files 9-13). I spent considerable time in London with the Law Commission (file 12) and other bodies. For most of that time, I was in the law library in Cambridge collecting materials and working out ideas for the book. Over the years, I wrote innumerable draft outlines for the book (file 15-19).

When I returned to Canada I was invited to present some of my ideas to the Department of Justice, which, as set out in the boxes on my work for the federal government, helped to influence the setting up of the federal Law Reform Commission.

I continued to work on the book, but in 1971 I was appointed to the Law Reform Commission of Canada, which made it difficult to devote much time to the project. When I returned to Toronto as dean in 1972 I continued to do work in the area, but concentrated on publishing specific papers on areas that interested me, that I thought would later form the foundation for the book. I did a paper, published in the University of Toronto Law Journal in 1974, on prospective and retrospective judicial lawmaking (file 35). Another paper was published in a festschrift edited by Peter Glazebrook for Glanville Williams in 1978 on pressure groups (files 36-40). As set out in the boxes on access to the law, I also published a book on the form of the law.

Throughout the 1970s, I did rough drafts of many areas of law (files 22-34) which I shared with my students in the seminar that I gave on law reform (see the boxes on teaching). Boxes of law reform materials were set out for their and my use (file 14). I also did considerable work on a paper, which was never completed, involving the House of Lords case of DPP v. Smith, which was the first subject dealt with by the English Law Commission (file 41).

When I concluded my term as dean in June, 1979, I went to Israel for the fall and to England for the spring. I was determined to come to grips with the great amount of material that I had collected and to publish a book on law reform. While in Israel I taught a course on law reform at the Hebrew University while working at Tel Aviv University (we lived in Netanya) (file 42). I commenced worked on the subject of codification (file 42)
which was to form a chapter of the book, but as described in the box of materials on R. S. Wright’s code, I spent most of my time in England researching and writing the article on Wright’s code.

When I returned to Toronto I wanted to find some way of completing the project. I decided to do a book of essays on law reform (files 46-49) and submitted a manuscript to the U of T Press (file 48). The book didn’t hang together, however, and eventually I withdrew it from the Press and published it with Carswells (files 51-60) in a different format under the title, A Century of Criminal Justice: Perspectives on the Development of Canadian Law, basing the main title on the paper that I did for the Royal Society for its Centenary celebration in 1982 (see boxes on other professional activities). I added articles that I had published in the last few years, plus an additional unpublished paper on the constitution and the criminal law. The book was published in 1984 and received good reviews. It did not, however, purport to be a book on law reform, although many of the essays dealt with aspects of the subject. It was simply a book on various essays on criminal justice. That ended my long involvement in attempting to publish a book on law reform. Still, I have never left my interest in the area. Indeed, today (January 20, 1998) I gave a talk at a workshop at the law school on commissions and committees, discussing the Somalia and Krever inquiries, and in preparation reread my very rough draft on the subject from the mid 1970s.

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B1998-0006/032-/035

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