Date of Award


Degree Type





Dr. Bruce Welling


Most modem Canadian corporate law statutes are similar to their United States’ counterparts, and dissimilar to statutes regulating the English economy. That notwithstanding - despite observations that United States’ authorities played an important role in decisions of early Canadian courts - English authorities are routinely cited by present day Canadian courts when dealing with Canadian corporations. My purpose through this thesis was to explore that phenomenon.

I began by establishing the efficacy of the observation that United States’ authorities were important to early Canadian courts. To that end I contrasted the favorable reception of United States’ authorities reflected by the early decisions of the Maritime courts with the less favorable reception reflected by those o f the Upper Canada courts.

To attempt to explain that contrast I explored the individuals that populated each of the respective benches and their historical context. I found that while United Empire Loyalists with strong ties to British America populated the Maritime benches, citizens of the British Realm with no affiliation to the Revolutionary War dominated the Upper Canada bench. Based on these findings I have proposed that the collective backgrounds of the respective benches influenced their reception of United States’ authorities.



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