Dalhousie Law Journal


Search for Authority, judicial mind, Sir William R. Meredith, beliefs, common law, statutes


This paper is a study of the judicial mind of Sir William R. Meredith, especially his beliefs about the common law and statutes. I offer it as a tribute to John Willis, with respect for his humane and restless mind, and with gratitude for all that he taught me. I am especially grateful for so many long talks on Sundays, when I had just begun to teach and he had been acknowledged for decades to be a great teacher, and we were both worried about Monday's classes. I discovered only slowly how much I learned listening to him struggling to re-think grand questions about law, and how much his students learned on Mondays from his struggle. I don't think Meredith struggled much with grand questions, but I do think he was a humane man, and perhaps in this way he is an appropriate subject for my tribute.

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