ANZLHS Facebook page

The ANZLHS now has its own Facebook page. We will be using that page, in conjunction with this site, for keeping members up to date. Please search ‘Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society’ on Facebook and join us! If you have any trouble finding it, or asking to join, email

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The 36th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society will be held at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand on the 14th, 15th and 16th  of December this year.

The conference theme is: “Legal and social change – gradual evolution or punctuated equilibrium?”

This conference theme draws on evolutionary theory about how species form, and asks whether changes in the law and in the effects of particular laws on society occur through a gradual process of incremental change or through periods of relative stasis with intervening major shifts.

This Call for Papers invites submissions for both papers and panels related to any aspect of the conference theme, but would also welcome offers of papers or panels on other areas in the intersection of law and history. Please note if intending to offer a panel that ANZLHS practice is not to include a discussant in a panel.

Inquiries or submissions of papers should be accompanied by a brief abstract and biography and sent to the programme co-ordinator, Professor Jeremy Finn by 21 August 2017.  All proposals will be assessed, and successful submitters contacted as soon as possible, and definitely by the end of August.

It is a condition of presentation of a paper or participation in a panel that the contributor is a financial member of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society at the time of presentation.  Membership can be initiated or renewed at the time of registration for the conference.

Keynote speakers for the conference  include  Professors Charlotte McDonald (Victoria University of Wellington); Kjell Modeer (Lund University), and Amanda Nettelbeck (University of Adelaide) and Dr Te Maire Tau (Ngai Tahu Research Centre, University of Canterbury). 

Postgraduate students are welcomed.  The society provides the Kercher Scholarships to encourage postgraduate student attendance.

The Sir Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History Prize is also awarded from the annual conference.

Conference registration will open in early August 2017. Details will be posted on the ANZLHS website along with information as to accommodation options.

For further information about:

  • The Society, see other sections of this website.
  • Christchurch see
  • The University of Canterbury see


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Funding opportunity for postgrads and ECRs

If you are a research higher degree student or early career researcher working in the field of Australian legal history, the Francis Forbes Society is offering some funding. If you have a conference or some archives you’d just love to get to, here is an opportunity for some support.   However the deadline is only a week away.  To apply just describe your research project, what you need funding for in no more than one page and email it to the Francis Forbes Society by cob Friday 23 June 2017.  Please email the secretary Dr Simon Chapple:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CFP: Law and Empire Workshop Cambridge

We have the following CFP.

This is a general call for papers in anticipation of an intimate two-day seminar to be held at the University of Cambridge on Friday 23rd March and Saturday 24th March, 2018. This will be an advanced workshop, with drafts circulated in advance. The event will showcase a number of rare and searching attempts to identify continuities and differences across ancient, medieval, and modern legal and imperial contexts. This moves back towards Braudel while also tailing in the direction of all that heat left by David Armitage and Jo Guildi’s fiery interventions in The History Manifesto, which calls for newly ambitious historical studies to break from long-set moulds. Empire lends itself naturally to explorations of this kind using large time-frames. Not only is this due to the endurance of many empires across centuries, but this also owes to the presence (and comparability) of empires within different periods. Legal source materials are helpful for facilitating this kind of approach, whether relating to private law events or the public nature of imperium. In the right hands, legal texts, court records, official opinions, drafted constitutions and acts, along with the correspondences and commentaries relating thereto can push us to contemplate a number of bold conclusions about economics, politics, society, religiosity, and humanity in general.

Abstracts of proposals (between 200 and 500 words) will be accepted until July 31st, 2017, at PhD students and postdoctoral scholars are encouraged to include a CV with their proposal. Your proposal will be especially welcome if you anticipate to be able to share work according to the following guidelines:

  • It will extend across at least three centuries OR will otherwise offer an original reinterpretation of a more focused period with the explicit goal to allow for new studies across periodizations;
  • It will cover any period from Ancient Greece to the present day (900 BC — 2017 AD), with preference, however, shown for the period between the latter Roman Empire and the interwar period (500 AD – 1939 AD);
  • It will explore a historical topic relevant to law (broadly encompassing legal thought, legal process, public law, private law, and constitutionalism) OR empire (pertaining either to specific imperial regimes or to imperium as synonym for public authority, sovereignty, authority), with preference shown to approaches that consider BOTH;
  • It will be laid out in a thematic or chronological narrative style, or otherwise in case studies unified appropriately in conclusion.

For enquiries and submissions, please contact Dr Edward Cavanagh, at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early NSW Legislative Council papers online

A useful source for legal historians: the First Council. Via the NSW parliamentary site we can now look at papers from the First Legislative Council. According to the site it includes  ‘tabled papers, SMH newspaper reports of debates, and documents relating to the administration of the First Council (classified as “non-tabled papers”)’.

Hat Tip: History at Newcastle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AGM UTS Sydney 11 May 2017

Dear members

The society’s 2016 AGM is scheduled for 5.40pm in the Law School at University of Technology Sydney.  This is Building 5B in Room 3.18.

We strongly encourage our Sydney members and near Sydney members to attend.

UTS is conveniently situated with lots of public transport so you don’t have to deal with the Sydney peak hour.  Advice about how to get there and a campus map are available here.

A notice of constitutional amendment so we can return to our traditional practice of holding our AGMs in tandem with our annual conference, and an agenda, have been emailed to all members in the past week.

If you are a financial member and did not receive the notice please respond here or email our president,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Announcing the latest recipient of the Sir Francis Forbes prize

Congratulations to Danielle Boaz, University of North Carolina Charlotte campus, who has been awarded the 2016 Sir Francis Forbes Prize for Australian legal history for a paper delivered at our Perth conference last December. For more information on the prize and this year’s winner see the Prizes and Scholarships page.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment