James Muir, BA (Hons) (University of Manitoba), MPhil (University of Waikato, NZ), MA and PhD (York University)

Vice-Dean, Faculty of Law - Admin

Pronouns: he, him, his


Vice-Dean, Faculty of Law - Admin
(780) 492-5538
489 Law Centre
8820 - 111 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



Dr. James Muir joined the Faculty of Law in 2006. He teaches Legal History in the Faculty and in the Department of History & Classics.

Dr. Muir's research interest is in Canadian legal history. His most recent book is a study of civil law in practice in eighteenth century Halifax. He has published on class and reception of law, procedure at the first session of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 1755, the development of personal injury, tort and contract in nineteenth-century Nova Scotia and legal historiography. 


  • Legal History
  • Labour & Employment Law
  • Socio-legal Studies & Research Methods
  • Legal Methodologies & Pedagogies


LAW 496 - Legal History

An examination of law and legal institutions from a historical perspective designed to explore continuity and change in common, statute, and constitutional law. Every year, the course will consist of a limited number of seminar offerings whose focus will be on the historical development of law, legal processes, and institutions.

Browse more courses taught by James Muir

Scholarly Activities

Research - On-going research and writing projects

Law and Community in the Maritimes

I am currently working on social history of law research on Nova Scotia at the end of the eighteenth century and Prince Edward Island in the century before 1873. I am using quantitative and qualitative historical methods to do this study. I am particularly interested in the ways communities, defined by place, ethnicity, gender, status, class, and religion came into contact with the law.

Teaching the Constitution in Games

Along with Prof. Peter Carver (Faculty of Law), I have developed two games based on confederation and patriation. Having taught the games several times at the University of Alberta, I am preparing them now for publication and broader dissemination.

Documenting Law

In this project I am considering the ways law is portrayed in documentary films. The project, in its infancy, is built at the intersection of legal studies, film studies and cultural history. Unlike my other research, this project is not limited to, or even particularly, Canadian in focus.

Other - Public History

I work with the Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) in collecting and sharing the history of working people in Alberta. ALHI has produced books, films, booklets, posters, and conferences for the general public, shares its large oral history collection, and has engaged in public and union education projects around the province and beyond. 

Featured Publications

James Muir

2016 January;

Eric Tucker, James Muir, Bruce Ziff

2012 January;

James Muir

Working People in Alberta: A History. 2012 January;

James Muir

Histoire sociale/Social history. 49 (98):1-25