Essays in the History of Canadian Law
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The study of Canadian legal history has seen a remarkable growth in the past decade, nowhere more so than in Atlantic Canada. Given its early settlement and some of the liberties taken with legal procedure there - as well as some creative interpretations of English law - the region is ripe for close study in the legal history field. This new collection examines that history on 'two islands:' Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. The essays examine legal themes, developments, and disputes, and offer a framework for comparing ways of administering justice through the courts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The cases examined are particularly interesting for the light they throw on legal process and, especially, on the motives of the parties. Unlike in contemporary England and Upper Canada, the English precedents gave way to local needs as equitable regimes emerged that put family and community interests first, and treated all members of the family in ways tailored to their personal needs and circumstances. This volume, which includes a number of essays examining women's legal status and access to the courts, is a comprehensive and fascinating examination of legal history in two Canadian provinces.