Vehicular deaths and the law

A new book, A Lesser Species of Homicide: Death, Drivers and the Law, by ANZLHS member Dr Kerry King has just been released. Published by UWAP, the book investigates how and why deaths on the road have been treated as a species apart under Australian law. In the first study of its kind in the world, King examines how parliaments, prosecutors, police and the courts have responded to deaths occasioned by the use of motor vehicles from the mid-twentieth century to the present, including the extent to which the community and judiciary have been prepared to label driving conduct culpable. She explores how our weddedness to the residual notion of ‘accident’, to speed, drink-driving, risk, masculinity and the broader driving culture, have intersected with the tenets of intention, negligence, dangerousness and carelessness to affect judgments about drivers’ conduct. Drawing on hundreds of cases, King carefully traces the construction of offences and case law while observing key emerging themes, including approaches to multiple fatalities, outcomes in cases involving vulnerable road users, the difficulties with prosecuting intoxicated drivers and, most importantly, trends in charging standards and sentencing.

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Peter Gonville Stein Book Award – American Society for Legal History

The Peter Gonville Stein Book Award is awarded annually for the best book in non-US legal history written in English. This award is designed to recognize and encourage the further growth of fine work in legal history that focuses on all regions outside the United States, as well as global and international history. To be eligible, a book must be published during the previous calendar year. Announced at the annual meeting of the ASLH, this honor includes a citation on the contributions of the work to the broader field of legal history. A book may only be considered for the Stein Award, the Reid Award, or the Cromwell Book Prize. It may not be nominated for more than one of these three prizes.

The Stein Award is named in memory of Peter Gonville Stein, BA, LLB (Cantab); PhD (Aberdeen); QC; FBA; Honorary Fellow, ASLH, and eminent scholar of Roman law at the University of Cambridge, and made possible by a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.

Last year, Khaled Fahmy won the award for In Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt,and Rohit De received honorable mention for A People’s Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic.

For the 2020 prize, the Stein Award Committee will accept nominations of any book (not including textbooks, critical editions, and collections of essays) that bears a copyright date of 2019 as it appears in the printed version of the book. Translations into English may be nominated, provided they are published within two years of the publication date of the original version.

Nominations for the Stein Award (including self-nominations) should be submitted by March 16, 2020. Please send an e-mail to the Committee at and include: (1) a curriculum vitae of the author (including the author’s e-mail address); and (2) the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number of the contact person at the press who will provide the committee with two copies of the book. This person will be contacted shortly after the deadline. If a title is short-listed, five additional copies will be requested from the publisher.

Please contact the committee chair, Matthew C. Mirow, with any questions at

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ANZLHS 2020 Conference – Save the Date

The CFP for the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society conferences will be released soon. However, for those of you already eager to add a save the date to your calendar, the dates to hold in reserve are 9-12 December 2020. The 39th annual conference of the ANZLHS will this year be held at The University of Auckland. We look forward to seeing you there! See link to flyer below for more details.

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Reminder to register for our 2019 conference

Registrations are open for this year’s conference, Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices in Melbourne.  Online registration is available here

You will also find a draft of the exciting conference program here.   

In other news, Hart Publishing are offering ANZLHS members a 20% discount on Free Hands and Minds a new book on Australian legal scholars Geoffrey Sawer, Peter Brett and Alice Erh-Soon Tay.  Another good reason to renew your annual membership. Details are on our News page.  

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Some important deadlines

Postgraduate students wishing to attend this year’s conference, and especially those who have had a paper accepted, can apply for a Kercher Scholarship to assist with costs. Please note that the deadline for applications is 31 August. Further information is available on the Prizes and Scholarships page and on this year’s conference website.

Nominations for this year’s prize in legal history close on 18 September 2019. Details about eligibility and how to nominate are available on the Prizes and Scholarships page here.

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Conference 2019

Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices

Information about this year’s annual conference, the society’s 38th, including key note speakers, draft program and information about the society’s Kercher scholarships for postgraduate students is available here.

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Student Research Colloquium: American Society for Legal History, Nov 2019

The American Society for Legal History will host a Student Research Colloquium (SRC) on Wednesday, Nov. 20, and Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, immediately preceding the ASLH’s annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.  The SRC annually enables eight Ph.D. students and law students to discuss their in-progress dissertations and articles with distinguished ASLH-affiliated scholars. .  The ASLH will provide at least partial and, in most cases, total reimbursement for travel, hotel, and conference-registration costs.

ASLH-SRC CFP 2019, including how to apply. This is a great opportunity for graduate students. The application deadline is July 15, 2019.  More information is available.

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