- 1979-1990 (Creation)
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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).