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Manitoba Law Journal releases new volume with SSHRC support

Most prolific law journal in Canada produces content with third award in a row

June 22, 2023 — 

Professors Bryan Schwartz and Darcy MacPherson, Co-Editors-in-Chief of the Manitoba Law Journal, are pleased to announce the completion of Volume 45 of Canada’s most prolific law journal with the assistance of its third grant in a row over the past ten years from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Aid to Scholarly Journals program.

The new volume features six issues that include no less than three Criminal Law special issues edited by the Robson Crim research group; the annual Underneath the Golden Boy and Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law; and the inaugural issue of the Desautels Review of Private Enterprise and the Law.

Schwartz explained that since 2010, the MLJ has established a unique place among Canadian law journals by re-focusing on being relevant to its own community within Manitoba, including Indigenous communities, students and teachers at Robson Hall, and the Manitoba legal community.

“Everything we do is within the mission of “we serve our communities,” said Schwartz. “We are innovators in the way we do that, including our research projects involving oral histories. We have shown that you can be relevant to your own society while at the same time, meet the highest scholarly standards.”

Upon first learning of the success of the journal’s third SSHRC application, Schwartz pointed to the quality of the journal. “We have a demanding editorial process,” he said. “Our material must pass two tiers of review: that of the faculty editors and external peer review. Having three successive SSHRC juries decide to give us this grant helps to confirm that the overall quality of our work is at least very good.”

Receiving a SSHRC for the third time indicates to Schwartz that the MLJ, while coming from a small law school and a small community, can still compete at a national and international level. “It suggests that theory and practice can reinforce each other in academic work, rather than being at odds,” Schwartz observed.  “We can address real-world events of interest to our own to a high standard in a way that involves a high level of critical reflection. It also shows that life of an academic community can be about colleagues supporting each other while maintaining the highest respect for genuine intellectual diversity.”

Canadian Association of Law Libraries member, Hannah Steeves, the Instruction and Reference Librarian at the Sir James Dunn Law Library at Dalhousie University in Halifax, recently published an article on “Visualizing the Landscape of Canadian Law School Journals” on, April 6, 2022 in which Steeves identified the MLJ as publishing the highest volume of articles per year. This study, Schwartz said, cements the MLJ’s reputation as the most prolific.

The MLJ aims to bring diverse and multidisciplinary perspectives to the issues it studies, drawing on authors from Manitoba, Canada and beyond. Its studies are intended to contribute to understanding and reform not only in our community, but around the world.

The MLJ has multiple dimensions, each with its own regular special issues. These include:

  • The Current Legal Landscape: developments in courts and tribunals
  • Underneath the Golden Boy: developments in legislation and on parliamentary and democratic reform
  • Criminal Law and Practice, and the social dimensions of criminal law
  • The Legal Profession, including histories of major developments and figures in Manitoba law, and the rapid evolution of legal practice
  • Indigenous Law
  • Desautel Review: developments in business and private enterprise law
  • Asper Review: developments in international and trade law

The MLJ is funded by the SSHRC grants in aid of scholarly publications, with additional support from the Legal Research Institute of the University of Manitoba, the Faculty of Law Endowment fund.

The issues of Volume 45 are now available to read on the MLJ website at

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