Week 1—Sept 3rd     Introductions


Week 2—Sept. 10th   Legal & Historical Methodologies

Required Reading:

Matthew J. Festa, “Applying a Usable Past: The Uses of History in Law” (2008) 38 Seton Hall L. Rev. 479-553.

Paul McHugh, “The Politics of Historiography and the Taxonomies of the Colonial Past: Law, History and the Tribes,” in Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings, Making Legal History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 164-195.

Philip Girard and Jim Phillips, “Rethinking ‘The Nation’ in National Legal History: A Canadian Perspective” (2011) 29 Law & History Review 607-626.

Supplemental Reading:

Arthur J. Ray, “Native History on Trial: Confessions of an Expert Witness” (2003) 84 Canadian Historical Review 253-275.

John G. Reid, William C. Wicken, Stephen E. Patterson, D.G. Bell, “History, Native Issues, and the Courts: A Forum” (1998) 28 Acadiensis 3-26.


Week 3—Sept. 17th   Property & the Common Law: Feudal Origins

Required Reading:

J.H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History, 4th Edition (London: Butterworths, 2002), “Chapter 13 – Real Property: Feudal Tenure,” pp. 223-247, and “Chapter 15 – Inheritance and Estates,” pp. 259-279.

David J. Seipp, “The Concept of Property in the Early Common Law” (1994) 12 Law and History Review 29-91.

Eileen Spring, “The Heiress-at-Law: English Real Property Law from a New Point of View,” (1990) 8 Law and History Review 273-296.

Supplemental Reading:

J.H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History, 4th Edition (London: Butterworths, 2002), “Chapter 14 – Real Property: Feudalism and Uses,” 248-258, and “Chapter 16 – Real Property: Family Settlements,” pp. 280-297.

S.F.C. Milsom, Historical Foundations of the Common Law (London: Butterworths, 1981), 99-239.

Theodore F.T. Plucknett, A Concise History of the Common Law, 5th Ed. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1956), 506-623.

A.W.B Simpson, A History of the Land Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

Eileen Spring, “The Settlement of Land in Nineteenth-Century England,” (1964) 8 American Journal of Legal History 209-223.


Week 4—Sept. 24th   Property & Class I

Required Reading:

David Sugarman and G.R. Rubin, Towards a New History of Law and Material Society in England, 1750-1914 (London: Butterworths, 1984), 1-13, 23-42.

Douglas Hay, “Property, Authority and the Criminal Law,” in Hay, Peter Linebaugh, John G. Rule, E.P. Thompson, and Cal Wilson, eds. Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975), 17-63.

John H. Langbein, “Albion’s Fatal Flaws,” (1983) 98 Past and Present 96-120.

Peter Linebaugh, “(Marxist) Social History and (Conservative) Legal History: A Reply to Professor Langbein,” (1985) 60 New York University Law Review 212-243.


Week 5—Oct. 1st       “In the beginning all the world was America”

Required Reading:

John Locke, “Of Property,” Second Treatise on Government, chapter 5, reprinted in C.B. Macpherson, Property: Mainstream and Critical Positions (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), 15-27.

William Cronon, “Bounding the Land” in Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (New York: Hill and Wang, 1983), 54-81.

James Willard Hurst, “The Release of Energy” in Law and the Conditions of Freedom in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1956), 3-32.

Bruce Ziff, “The Law of Property in Animals, Newfoundland-Style,” in Property on Trial, 9-33.

Supplemental Reading:

Philip Girard, “Land Law, Liberalism, and the Agrarian Ideal: British North America, 1750-1920,” in John McLaren, AR Buck, and Nancy E. Wright, eds, Despotic Dominion: Property Rights in British Settler Societies (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005).

John C. Weaver, The Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-1900 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003).

Nicholas Blomley, “Law, Property, and the Spaces of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid” (2003) 93 Annals of the Association of American Geographers 121-141.


Week 6—Oct. 8th      The Legal Realists & Property

Required Reading:

Morton J. Horwitz, “The Progressive Transformation in the Conception of Property,” in The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960 (Oxford, 1992) 145-67.

Morris Cohen, “Property and Sovereignty” (1927) 13 Cornell L.Q. 8-30.

Stuart Banner, “People, Not Things,” in American Property: A History of How, Why and What We Own (Harvard, 2011), 94-108.


Week 7—Oct. 15th    Property & Class II

Required reading:

Eric Reiter, “Nuisance and Neighbourhood in Late Nineteenth-Century Montreal,” in Property on Trial, 35-70.

Eric Tucker, “The Malling of Property Law?: The Toronto Eaton Centre Cases, 1984-1987, and the Right to Exclude,” in Property on Trial, 303-352.

Nicholas Blomley, “Begging to Differ: Panhandling, Public Space, and Municipal Property,” in Property on Trial, 393-424.


Week 8—Oct. 22nd    Property in the Immaterial

Required reading:

C. Ian Kyer, Regina v. Stewart: Is Information Property?” in Property on Trial, 353-392.

Patricia L. Farnese, “Pirate or Prophet? Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser,” in Property on Trial, 425-454.

Stuart Banner, “Owning Life,” 238-256, and “The End of Property?” 276-291, in American Property: A History of How, Why and What We Own (Harvard, 2011).


Week 9—Oct. 29th    Public Regulation & Private Property

Required Reading:

Frank Luce and Karen Schucher, “‘The right to discrimination’: Kenneth Bell versus Carl McKay and the Ontario Human Rights Commission,” in Property on Trial, 119-158.

Eran Kaplinsky, “The Zoroastrian Temple in Toronto: A Case Study in Land Use Regulation, Canadian-Style,” in Property on Trial, 223-258.

Jim Phillips and Jeremy Martin, “Manitoba Fisheries v The Queen: The Origins of Canada’s De Facto Expropriation Doctrine,” in Property on Trial, 259-302.

Douglas C. Harris, “A Railway, a City, and the Public Regulation of Private Property: CPR v. City of Vancouver,” in Property on Trial, 455-486.


Week 10—Nov. 5th                No Class

Week 11—Nov. 12th              Student Presentations

Week 12—Nov. 19th             Student Presentations

Week 13—Nov. 26th             Student Presentations

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