Call for applications: Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History

Our sister society, the American Society for Legal History, and the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School are inviting applications for the tenth biennial Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History, to be held 9-22 June 2019 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  For more details see our News page.

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Juridical Encounters wins NZ history prize

Congratulations to our past president  Shaunnagh Dorsett (UTS) for her book Juridical Encounters: Maori and the Colonial Courts 1840-1852 (Auckland UP) and Jane McCabe (Otago) for her book Race, Tea and Colonial Settlement (Bloomsbury) who have been jointly awarded New Zealand’s prestigious Ian Wards Prize for 2018. This prize recognises an outstanding piece of published NZ historical writing that demonstrates either ‘innovative’ or ‘exemplary’ use of primary sources. It is awarded annually by the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand.

Nominations for our own society’s annual prize in legal history close Monday 24 September. See the Prizes page for details.

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Call for applications from postgraduate students for Kercher Scholarships to attend our 2018 conference.

Kercher scholarships are open to any postgraduate student currently enrolled in an Australian or New Zealand university wishing to attend the annual Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society Conference, and are awarded on the basis of merit through a process of application to the conference organisers.

For details about how to apply see the advice on the Prizes and Scholarships page.  Applications should be emailed to by Friday 31 August.

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Australian constitutional news

In Australia this past week the Garma Festival has put the Uluru Statement back in the national news.  The Statement from the Heart composed by Australia’s Indigenous communities in May 2017 had the potential to move Australia’s constitutional relations with Indigenous peoples closer to New Zealand’s treaty model.  Its dismissal by the government has caused dismay and led the Australian Historical Association [AHA] to write an open letter to the PM.  We are an affiliate of the AHA and so in the interests of our members, the letter is now available on our News page.  You can read about the process of constitutional reform that resulted in the Statement on the Referendum Council website.

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CFP British Legal History Conference 2019

The CFP  is out for the British Legal History conference. 10-13 July 2019 at St Andrews. The theme is Comparative Legal History. Abstracts (strict maximum 250 words) to by 15 September 2018. More on the conference website.


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Deadline for cfp for 2018 conference extended

37th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society

 Exclusion, Confinement, Dispossession:
Uneven Citizenship and Spaces of Sovereignty
University of Wollongong, 10-12 December 2018 

Call for papers now extended to 31 July.

Keynote Speakers 

 Professor Audra Simpson, Columbia University

 Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla, University of Otago

Joint keynote address (with LSAANZ)

Professor Renisa Mawani, University of British Columbia

Plenary Speakers:
As. Prof. Penelope Edmonds (UTas); Dr Timothy Jones (La Trobe);
Crystal McKinnon (RMIT)
For more information see the Conference page.

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Vol 5:1 law&history

The latest issue of law&history vol.5:1 (2018) has Tim Rowse considering the moral position of the colonial Native Police and legal historians illuminating issues of importance in colonial and imperial history:  the ownership of mapping knowledge (Isabella Alexander), the outlawing of witchcraft in Africa and the Caribbean (Danielle Boaz), contradictions in the policy of Aboriginal governance (Ann Hunter) , and the Australian High Court’s unprecedented deportation of Pacific Islanders on the basis of race (Peter Prince).

In an unusual form of presentation, Australian historians and legal academics acknowledge the 180th anniversary of the Myall Creek massacre in New South Wales  with Ann Curthoys leading a forum discussion on its significance and meaning as genocide with contributions from former Senior Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, criminologist Jennifer Balint and international lawyer Daniel Joyce.

Once again we are pleased to publish the winner of the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History prize for the best paper presented by an early-career researcher or postgraduate student at the annual Law and History conference. We appreciate the support of the Francis Forbes Society for this important encouragement of junior researchers.
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