Day: October 29, 2015

The Elephant in Parliament: The Magna Carta in 1628 & 1642 (Throwback Thursday)

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magnacarta1By Ken Fox

(Part 3 of a series | Part 1  | Part 2)

“Every member of the House being a counsellor, should have three properties of the elephant: first, that he hath no gall; secondly, that he is inflexible and cannot bow; thirdly, that he is of a most ripe and perfect memory.”

As an exhausted toddler exhibits a burst of energy before bedtime, so did the English Crown kick up a mighty fuss in the last days of its ultimate prerogative, its pre-eminence above the law of the land. That last burst of energy was named Charles I – but first let’s, in broad strokes, fill in the three intervening centuries.

The reign of Edward I (1272 – 1306) brought many new laws and institutions, including Parliament, which placed checks upon the king’s power. Under his grandson, Edward III (1327 – 1377) the charter received new interpretations called the “Six Statutes” that facilitated the break-down of the feudal system.

The Great Famine (1315 – 1317) and the Black Death (1348 – 1349) catastrophically reduced the population and created labour shortages and rising wages, which disempowered the landed estates. In 1381 there was a Peasants’ Revolt, which was suppressed, but not without permanent damage to the psyche of the ruling classes. In 1354 the scope of the Charter was expanded to include “all men” (rather than “free men”), and in 1400 it was expanded again to include “ladies of great estate.”

Movable type was invented around 1450, the textiles industry expanded, as did manufacturing in general, and property laws were altered to facilitate, and sometimes inhibit, the growing industry and the rising mercantile class. Serfs, empowered by the high demand for labour, left their feudal masters and moved to villages, or acquired their own land and became peasant farmers. The new arrangements stoked innovation’s fires, and the new mercantile economy created social mobility, and new classes of people with new ideas.    Read the rest of this entry »

Civil Appeals in Saskatchewan – New Release!

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CASpostcardp1By Kelly Laycock

Our publishing department at the Law Society Library has been in overdrive this year, working hard to bring to you Civil Appeals in Saskatchewan, The Court of Appeal Rules & Act Annotated, a brand-new title created in coordination with the Court of Appeal. Former Justice Stuart J. Cameron has authored this annotated guide to help practitioners navigate the sometimes complicated civil rules and legislation of the highest level of Saskatchewan court.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the November Release of this highly anticipated resource!

The history of this endeavor is one that has seen many incarnations, as an early draft from notes and ponderings of a former Justice, to the fully realized, nearly 400-page annotation of both the rules and legislation it has eventually become. Not to mention the many people that have been involved at one point or another over its evolution these past six years. Justice Cameron explains:

At the suggestion of then Chief Justice Klebuc in the fall of 2009, the Court of Appeal undertook to compile an annotated version of The Court of Appeal Rules based on a draft prepared several years earlier by the Honorable Calvin Tallis, a distinguished former member of the court. The court undertook to do so in conjunction with the Law Society of Saskatchewan, and with the support of the Saskatchewan Law Foundation. I agreed to head up the project with the assistance of a group of law librarians familiar with the annotation of The Queen’s Bench Rules.

As so often happens in life, “way leads on to way” and what began as a relatively modest project eventually became a rather more ambitious one. At the suggestion along the way of Mr Justice Richards (as he then was), the court decided, with the backing of both the Law Society and the Law Foundation, to expand the scope of the project to include not only an annotated version of The Court of Appeal Rules but also an annotated version of The Court of Appeal Act, 2000.

The importance of this new guide has been extolled by Chief Justice Robert Richards in the Foreword to this first edition:

Stuart Cameron’s annotation is helpfully cast as a guide to practice in relation to the civil side of the court’s mandate. It is written and organized with care, clarity and thoroughness. The research has been exhaustive. At many points, by way of a practice tip, the reader will also gain the benefit of my former colleague’s considerable appellate experience. This annotation fills a major gap in the tool kit available to lawyers and will doubtlessly become an important starting point for counsel in the analysis of practice and procedure problems involving the Court of Appeal.

This important resource is available for order now! And just in time for Christmas!