Chief Justice Robson Biography Project - Invitation to Professors, Practitioners and Students to Contribute

The building which houses the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba is named in memory of the Honourable Hugh Amos Robson. He is considered to be the founder of modern legal education in Manitoba. Many of the policy issues he was involved with – as a lawyer, judge, public servant and political party leader – are still relevant and controversial. The Manitoba Law Journal is seeking contributions to a book-length study on his career. These could potentially come from academics, legal practitioners, and students.

The goal is to publish a special issue of the MLJ in the fall of 2019 in conjunction with events that mark the 100th anniversary of the General Strike and the 50th Anniversary of Robson Hall.

Co-Founder Hugh Amos Robson_Dean_26-29__ha3

Our late colleagues, Roland Penner and Norm Larsen, were inspired to write a biography of Chief Justice Robson. Roland produced a chapter-length first draft, and brought it to the Manitoba Law Journal. Shortly before he passed away, Roland agreed on a plan with the MLJ to develop the project further. The end-product of this project will have three dimensions:

  • Robson’s Biography: an overview of Chief Justice Robson's life and career, incorporating material from Roland's chapter, which is being extensively edited, annotated and expanded;
  • Chief Justice Robson in His Own Voice: a selection of Chief Justice Robson's most representative and important public writings. Many documents were found in various archives this summer by Erik Gusdal, working with the Editors-in-Chief of the MLJ. Chief Justice Robson's "own voice" materials will include his reports, speeches, articles and other topics that continue to be of great relevance and controversy in Manitoba. He had a major role in a number of controversies involving Hydro and public utilities, labour relations (including the General Strike), family & criminal law, the sex trade, alleged police misconduct and the extradition of offenders to police states;
  • Secondary Contributions: short essays by various contributors that place Robson's "own voice" material in historical and legal context.

The MLJ welcomes submissions from professors, practitioners and students on any subject relating to Robson’s life, career and judicial decisions. Essays may be short and focused, and may attempt to put the past in context, including relating it to current issues.

Students who wish to contribute may have the opportunity to obtain MLJ credits (Scholarly Publications I or II); (please see this year's course registration material)

A document containing some of the most informative and interesting of Chief Justice Robson’s primary documents has been created, as well as a detailed list of all of Chief Justice Robson’s reported written decisions. These are available to any who may be interested in contributing to this project. Please contact Erik Gusdal, cc Bryan Schwartz, to gain access to these documents and express any interest you may have in writing about them.

gusdale [at] myumanitoba.ca

bryanpschwartz [at] gmail.com