Dalhousie Law Journal


legal profession, negligence, lawyers, Canadian Bar Association, Commission on Uniformity of Legislation, legislation, statutes, case law, jursiprudence, simplifying


In the early twentieth century many legal professionals damned the law of contributory negligence as complicated and unfair to plaintiffs barred from recovery, while businesspeople often complained thatjudges and juries refused to find sympathetic plaintiffs contributorily negligent. Elite Canadian lawyers, through their work in the Canadian Bar Association and the Commission on Uniformity of Legislation in Canada, proposed model contributory negligence legislation that a number of provinces subsequently adopted. Reviews of these statutes were mixed however The large body of existing case law, despite its complications, encouraged some lawyers and judges to fall back on older jurisprudence in interpreting the new acts. Legislators and law reformers responded by increasing the length and complexity of the negligence statutes, thus undermining the goal of simplifying the law.

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