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On 5 and 6 May 2016, Osgoode Hall Law School and the York University History Department sponsored a symposium entitled “Law/Authority/History: A Tribute to Douglas Hay” to mark the recent retirement of Professor Douglas Hay. The call for papers circulated to legal historians in Canada and elsewhere, and a particular attempt was made to contact Professor Hay’s former graduate students. Twenty papers were presented at the symposium, of which eight appear in this issue of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

It seemed self-evidently appropriate to us to recognize this milestone in Douglas Hay’s career, in his home town, and at the University where he has served with such distinction as a faculty member for some thirty-five years. Douglas Hay received his Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1969 and then pursued his doctorate at the University of Warwick under the iconic historian of law and society E.P. Thompson. After seven years as a faculty member in the history department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Douglas Hay spent a year as a visiting professor of Canadian Studies at Yale before being hired at York in 1981. Cross-appointed in law and history, Hay’s appointment at Osgoode was unusual, as Canadian law faculties did not at the time normally appoint candidates without a law degree. After a two-year stint back at Warwick from 1982-1984, Hay returned to Osgoode permanently, where he has been a mainstay of legal history teaching and research.

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