Call for nominations for the 2020 Annual Prize in Legal History

Nominations for this year’s prize in Legal History are open and will close on 18 September 2020. Ideally nominations should be emailed to the president and include an electronic copy of the work. Please note the conditions of the award below. The president’s email address is:

The purpose of the Prize is to acknowledge and advance work in the field of legal history in relation to Australasia.

Congratulations to Isabella Alexander,  whose article ,  ‘Cartography, Empire and Copyright Law in Colonial Australia’, published in law&history 5. 1 (2018) is the 2019 winner.

The judges commented :

‘Alexander’s ‘s article [is] intellectually stimulating in the manner in which it explores the function of copyright laws as a technology of empire, giving validity to the kind of map-making that underpinned imperial claims to territory and notions of property rights.  A great strength of the piece is the way the article crosses between intellectual history and legal history to make an argument about how mapping and copyright law enabled land to be allocated and commodified.  The judges were also struck by the range  and diversity of primary and secondary sources on which Alexander has drawn  and the expertise with which the source material is deployed.’

Past Winners: 

2018Shaunnagh Dorsett, Juridical Encounters: Maori and the Colonial Courts 1840-1852 (Auckland University Press, 2017)

2017: Mark Finnane & Andy Kaladelfos ‘Race and Justice in and Australian Court: Prosecuting Homicide in Western Australia 1830-1954’. Australian Historical Studies, 47, 2016

2016: Libby Connors for Warrior: A legendary leader’s dramatic life and violent death on the colonial frontier (Allen & Unwin, 2015)

2015: No award.

2014: Amelia Thorpe for ‘Participation in planning: Lessons from the green bans’ (2013) 30 Environmental and Planning Law Journal 93

Conditions of the Award:

The Award

  1. The Executive of the ANZLHS will award the prize to the author or authors whose published book, chapter, essay, or article has, in the judgment of the ANZLHS Executive, made the most significant contribution to the field of legal history in relation to Australasia since the award of the last prize.


  1. In order to be eligible authors must be a current member of the ANZLHS.
  2. Eligible authors includes those who write in the field of legal history in Australasia (broadly defined). In any cases of uncertainty as to eligibility, the decision of the Executive of the ANZLHS as to whether a work qualifies for the award is final.
  3. In order to be eligible, the award must bear a publication date of the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which the award is to be made. For example, if the award is made in 2017, the publication must bear the date 2016.

 Administration and Adjudication

  1. Nominations can be made by anyone. Nominations must be in writing. Nominations must be sent to both the current President and the current Secretary of the ANZLHS. Their email addresses can be found on the Society’s webpage.
  2. The award will be judged by the current Executive of the ANZLHS. For these purposes the Executive comprises the President, Vice-President, Australian Treasurer, New Zealand Treasurer, Immediate Past President, Secretary and the Editor of Law&History.
  3. The Executive may delegate any tasks with relation to this award to other persons.
  4. The Executive decision will be made by a majority vote and will not be open to review.
  5. Where a member of the Executive has been nominated for the award, that member will abstain from voting on the award and will not be present when the Executive is considering the nominations.
  6. The submission of nominations should be received no later than September. The award will be announced at the AGM in December. Nominations should be sent to the president, preferably by email.
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Historical Criminology Symposium CFP

The Australian and New Zealand Historical Criminology Network has issued a call for papers for their upcoming symposium. The symposium will be conducted via Zoom.

The purpose of this symposium will be to get a chance to see the breadth of
historical criminology work currently underway in (or about) Australia and New
Zealand by people in all career stages (including Honours, HDR, and ECR), and in all
research capacities (for example, independent scholars, archivists, or staff at higher
education institutions). The network welcomes people from across different professional disciplines.

The symposium will run over two 3-hour sessions on two days: 19 and 20 November 2020.

Session one on November 19th will run between 9am-12pm AEST and the second session on November 20th will run from 6pm-9pm AEST.

As part of this symposium you can choose whether you would like to present a 5-
minute “flash paper” or a standard 15-minute paper (or both). Please indicate in your submission if you wish to give a 5-minute presentation or a
15-minute paper.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 September 2020.

If you are interested in presenting at this symposium on any aspect of your historical criminology research, then please submit a 150-word abstract and short bio to

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POSTPONEMENT OF British Legal History Conference (BHLC) 2021

As a result of continuing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in particular in relation to international travel, the organisers of the British Legal History Conference 2021 have decided to postpone the conference to 6-9 July 2022.  This decision has been taken in consultation with the BLHC Continuation Committee.

The theme for BLHC 2022 is unchanged: Law and Constitutional Change and, as originally planned, the conference will be organised in association with the Irish Legal History Society.

A fresh call for papers will be made on 15 March, 2021. 

Registration will open in February 2022.

The conference website will shortly be updated: the amended web address is expected to be

To preserve the usual biennial pattern of BLHCs, arrangements will be made by the BLHC Continuation Committee for the conference following the Queen’s, Belfast event to be held in 2024.

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Revised Call for Papers

39th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society, Auckland, 9-12 December2020

“One Empire, Many Colonies, Similar or Different Histories?”

Abstracts are invited from scholars bringing historical perspectives 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.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, travel restrictions and university funding deficits, we now also seek expressions of interest from those who may wish to present a paper to a dual format conference or virtual-only conference if either possibility turns out to be feasible.

All abstracts must be submitted to Karen Fairweather: by 31 July 2020

More information is available on our conference page.

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Graduate Student Survey from American Society of Legal History

The American Society of Legal History regards graduate students as an important part of our legal history community.  We are proud of our efforts to date to make the ASLH a hospitable home for early-stage scholars.  But we want to do better. 

Among other things, we want to enhance the presence of international graduate students in the organization.  Accordingly, we are gathering information that will help us to make the society an even more inclusive place for early-stage legal historians. 

If you are a graduate student or a historically minded law student, please click this link to take a short survey in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, as you choose.  We appreciate your time and hope to see you at the annual meeting in Chicago!

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Student Research Colloquium in Chicago, November 11-12

The American Society of Legal History invites graduate students to apply to the Student Research Colloquium (SRC), currently scheduled (fingers crossed) for Nov. 11-12, in Chicago, Illinois, immediately prior to the ASLH annual meeting there. 

At this pre-conference, funded workshop, eight graduate students will discuss their in-progress research projects with each other and with distinguished legal historians.  Target applicants include early-post-coursework Ph.D. students and historically minded law students. 

To apply, electronically submit the following four items to John Wertheimer at: a CV; a cover letter describing, among other things, how many years remain in your course of graduate study; a two-page, single-spaced Research Statement that begins with a title and describes the in-progress project that you propose to present to the colloquium; and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, sent separately from the other materials. 

The application deadline is June 15, 2020.  For more information, click this link

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Policing Colonial Brisbane

In June, UQP will be releasing a new book, To Preserve and Protect: Policing Colonial Brisbane, by Anastasia Dukova.

To Preserve and Protect exposes political power abuse, corruption, mismanagement, professional burnout and gendered justice, issues which continue to challenge police forces.

Through exploring their personal stories, Dukova highlights how biography and history are inextricably linked and reveals the differences between metropolitan aspirations and colonial reality. A flyer about the book can be downloaded below.

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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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