Professor Philip Girard announced as co-winner of 2023 W. Wesley Pue Book Prize

Image of book cover: A history of law in Canada volume 2

Professor Philip Girard is a co-recipient of the 2023 W. Wesley Pue Book Prize, awarded annually by the Canadian Law and Society Association (CLSA) for the best book on law and society published in the previous year in English or in French.

This year’s award, announced during the CLSA’s annual meeting at Osgoode on May 27, honours A History of Law in Canada Volume Two: Law for the New Dominion, 1867-1914, co-written by Girard, Jim Phillips, a professor of law, history and criminology at the University of Toronto, and R. Blake Brown, a professor of history at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. The book was published in 2022 by the University of Toronto Press and was designated as the 2022 members’ book by the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.

“With History of Law in Canada, Volume Two, Jim Phillips, Philip Girard and R. Blake Brown have significantly contributed to law and society scholarship with a monumental book of legal history,” reads the award citation.

“Comprehensive and meticulously sourced,” it adds, “Phillips, Girard and Brown illustrate how plural legal orders – Indigenous law, common law and civil law – were impacted by the process of developing and consolidating a national legal order in Canada, and how fundamental aspects of the Canadian legal order took form between 1867 and 1914. Such a new and outstanding work in law and society is absolutely deserving of the CLSA’s W. Wesley Pue Book Prize.”

Founded in 1985, the CLSA is made up of scholars from many disciplines who are interested in the place of law in social, political, economic and cultural life. The Pue Prize, one of three main prizes awarded by the association each year, is named in memory of William Wesley Pue, a past president of the organization and a professor of legal history at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia who died in April 2019.

In 2011, Girard became the first Canadian to be made an honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History and in 2021 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2021, he was also awarded the David Walter Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing by the attorney general of Ontario. After a distinguished academic career spanning more than 40 years, he will officially retire from Osgoode in June 2023.