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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ANZLHS has created a $1000 prize to honour the memory and continue the work of Tracey Banivanua-Mar.  The award will be for the best article published in the society’s journal law&history over the previous 2 calendar years and that engages theoretically with the themes of race and colonialism.

For terms and conditions see our prizes and scholarships page.

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Announcing the Sir Francis Forbes Society for Legal History prize

Congratulations to Jon Piccini, University of Queensland, who has been awarded the 2017 Sir Francis Forbes Prize for Australian legal history for a paper delivered at our Christchurch conference last December. Jon’s paper, ‘“A new government with new policies and new attitudes”: The human rights ‘breakthrough’ in 1970s Australia’ was praised by the judges as engagingly presented, ‘It provides a comprehensive literature survey of human rights thinking in Australia over several decades. Significantly it resonates with current human rights debates – indigenous rights and the sovereign state – with respect to Indigenous recognition in a way that makes it a worthy recipient of the prize.’

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Preliminary call for papers for 2018 conference

After the success of our 2017 conference in Christchurch comes an early call for papers for Wollongong in 2018.

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


In 2018 the conference will be held adjacent to the Conference of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand (LSAANZ), which will run from 12-15 December, also in Wollongong. Our conferences will feature a joint keynote address from:


Professor Renisa Mawani, University of British Columbia


Further keynotes and plenary speakers TBA.


In the context of the humanitarian crisis on Manus Island, recent developments around marriage equality, Brexit, renewed US immigration restrictions, and the assertion of Indigenous sovereignty embodied in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, we invite submissions that reflect on the variety of ways that legal regimes have historically produced exclusion, confinement and dispossession. We particularly encourage papers that explore citizenship and sovereignty – and the changing legal contexts that have shaped these concepts over time.


Paper proposals might consider the following themes:


  • Indigenous sovereignty and treaties
  • Marriage, intimacy and intimate lives
  • Citizenship and the production of difference
  • Biopolitics
  • Slavery and Trafficking
  • Borders/Border crossings/Colonial (im)mobilities
  • Imprisonment/confinement/carceral spaces



We are calling for proposals of both individual papers (20mins) and panels of either 3 or 4 speakers. Individual paper proposal should include an abstract of not more than 300 words and a 100-word biographical statement for each speaker. For panels, please also include a title and brief rationale for panels as a whole. Please send proposals to cass-admin@uow.edu.au by 20 July 2018.




Conference Convenors:

Jane Carey, Julia Martinez and Sharon Crozier-de Rosa


Hosted by the Colonial and Settler Studies Centre, University of Wollongong


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2017 Prize for legal history

As announced at our AGM in Christchurch, the judges commended the original approach and high quality of all submissions.  Their final decision was to award the prize to:

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

Congratulations to Mark and Andy for a work which was praised as

elegantly conceived, clearly argued and supported with graphical presentation of data, the authors make a significant contribution to the understanding of the administration of criminal justice in Western Australia spanning over 100 years from early settlement.

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Vol 4:2 law&history

Volume 2 for 2017 of law&history has been published. This is our first special issue – on Gender, Intimacy and Colonial Violence. It features some fantastic historians – Lyndall Ryan, Penelope Edmonds, Angela Wanhalla, Anna Johnston, Amanda Nettelbeck and Victoria Haskins, as well as the usual book reviews. There is also a wonderful piece by Julie Evans, remembering and celebrating the life and work of Tracey Banivanua Mar. The contents page is under the ‘Journal’ tab. It will be available via Heinonline and Informit as usual.

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Notice of AGM

The Annual General Meeting, including elections for the executive committee of the Society, will be held at the 2nd floor lounge of the Business and Law Building, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 5.15pm 14 December

Nominations will be called for at the meeting.


  1. Attendance and apologies
  2. Minutes of the 2016 meeting and of the May 2017 AGM.
  3. President’s report: Includes Forbes Society Prize winner
  4. Treasurers’ reports
  • Australian accounts for financial year to 30 June 2017.
  • New Zealand accounts for financial year to 30 June 2017.
  • Business arising: incorporation
  • Signatories for the NZ accounts
  1. ANZLHS prize announcement 
  2. Upcoming conferences: 2018 joint conference (Wollongong), 2019 (Melbourne); offer for 2020.
  3. Report from editor of law&history journal
  4. Election of the executive and of advisory committee: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Australian Treasurer, New Zealand Treasurer, Editor of law&history; advisory committee
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