Private Security and the Modern State

Members may be interested in a new edited collection – Private Security and the Modern State: Historical and Comparative Perspectives – published last month by Routledge. The book features case studies from the US, UK, France, Belgium and Germany, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and includes contributions from criminologists, historians and socio-legal scholars. Topics covered include plural policing, security governance, vigilantism, self-defence, informal justice, detective work, surveillance, political policing, war, paramilitarism and intelligence. Full details available here:

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Legal History of Epidemics Sources

The David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History at Tel Aviv University has put together a web page with links to sources – primary and secondary – on the legal history of epidemics, their consequences, and responses to them.

You can view the list here. If you have suggestions for other sources you would like to see added to the list, you can contact the Foundation’s Director, David Schorr at

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Legal History of Epidemics

The David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History at Tel Aviv University is putting together a web page with links to sources – primary and secondary – on the legal history of epidemics, their consequences, and responses to them.

Please send any sources and resources to David Schorr at

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New book – Law in War

A new book by ANZLHS member Associate Professor Catherine Bond, titled Law in War: Freedom and restriction in Australia during the Great War, was released by NewSouth Publishing on 1 April. The book examines the legal experiences of a range of individuals living in Australia during the First World War, including those who wrote the law, those who enforced the law and those who were imprisoned under the law, among others. Law in War reveals the injustice and discrimination perpetuated by Australia’s wartime regime, done in the name of victory in war.

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Event this coming Friday

Online Seminar- “Collectors and Collections of Chinese Art and Antiquities: Problems with Gifts, Trusts and Legacies” by Prof. Steven Gallagher in the CUHK LAW Greater China Legal History Seminar Series: 3 April 2020, 12.30-2pm (local Hong Kong time): CPD accreditation pending:  Free to Register here by 5 pm, 2 April 2020 to attend the seminar.

This seminar discusses the issues in forming and passing on collections, in particular of Chinese art and antiquities. The seminar will consider the problems that collectors face with regard to authenticity, provenance and title in acquiring art and antiquities for their collection. The seminar will then discuss the issues that arise when a collection has been formed- should the collector keep it, sell it, destroy it or pass it on? The seminar explores the issues that may arise for donees of collections of art and antiquities, particularly to public institutions, museums and galleries. These may be offered important works and collections subject to restrictions they may eventually wish to avoid or even find repugnant and possibly illegal. The seminar considers the law which may affect collecting and disposing of collections, and some well-known and less well known cases involving fakes, theft, looting, trafficking, family disputes, disreputable dealers, collectors, donors, auctioneers, academics, museum founders, museum officials, and deluded collectors.

About the speaker:

Prof. Steven Gallagher, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Faculty of Law, CUHK

CPD credits are available upon application and subject to accreditation by the Law Society of Hong Kong (currently pending).

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Open letter to Australian governments on COVID-19 and the criminal justice system

Lorana Bartels and Thalia Anthony have written an open letter, downloadable below, on the impact of Coronavirus on the criminal justice system.

If you would like to add your name, please do so at Open letter signatories by 12 pm Friday 20 March. Please also feel free to send this to your contacts to sign.

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ANZLHS 2020 Call for papers

39th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society

Auckland, 9th-12th December 2020

Abstracts are invited from scholars bringing historical perspective on law who wish to gather at The University of Auckland and AUT University – there to listen to and discuss papers and panels on aspects of law in history. The 2020 theme invites a comparative lens on British imperial and colonial histories. Other papers with an historical perspective on law might include work that positions law in a specific temporal frame; deals with histories of law, lawmaking, and legal ideas; or has a focus on legal institutions and their personnel. Proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers are welcome.

Individual paper proposals for a 20 minute presentation must include an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a biographical statement (no more than 100 words).

Panel proposals by 3 or 4 speakers should include the above, plus a panel title and brief rationale for the panel as a whole (no more than 300 words).

All abstracts must be submitted to Karen Fairweather: by 15th July 2020. A flyer with more details can be downloaded below.

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PhD opportunity in Legal History/Intellectual Property Law/Art History

An exciting new PhD opportunity is available at the University of Technology Sydney. A scholarship ($28,594 per annum for 3 years) is available for a PhD candidate interested in Intellectual Property Law, Legal History, Art History, Digital Humanities or any combination of the above. The candidate will be part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Team working on the project Hacking Copyright in the 21st Century: Art, Law, History & Technology. The team will be investigating the tensions that underlie the legal treatment of visual works of art. It will generate software and scholarship that trace the relationship between technology and visual copyright from the 18th century to contemporary regulation of the dissemination of digital image data via digital publishing platforms.

Within the context of the project, doctoral research may investigate topics such as:

• How does copyright law influence the creation of art and the artist as a legal subject?

• How has the digital age transformed traditional relationships between creators of art, collecting institutions and the public?

• Developing software to investigate historical circulation and re-use of imagery in a digital humanities context

Further information can be found here.

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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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