Peter Hogg’s Rise to Prominence

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Through the years Peter Hogg has managed to transcend legal academia and become regarded as the scholar on constitutional law in Canada.

Hogg’s devotion to constitutional law began when he was asked to teach a law course on the constitution in the 1970s. He knew almost nothing about constitutional law and found the current leading textbook by Bora Laskin to be dense and inaccessible, so he wrote his own book. With time, Hogg’s book became the authoritative text on constitutional law. It is currently the most cited textbook by the Supreme Court of Canada.

But why him?

Hogg’s rise to prominence is a product of his time. He started writing in a period of enormous change, where the hot topic was the Constitution. From the 1970s to the 1990s, constitutional politics dominated the news. It was a time of great disruption: the Night of Long Knives; the introduction of the Charter; the repatriation of the Constitution; and the Quebec Succession Reference.

The historical significance of the Constitution elevated him and his work from obscurity to prominence. And to quote a Just Magazine article on him “A rock-star legal scholar was born”.

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