Call for nominations for the 2019 Annual Prize in Legal History

Nominations for this year’s prize in Legal History are open and will close on 18 September 2019. 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 Shaunnagh Dorsett whose book Juridical Encounters: Maori and the Colonial Courts 1840-1852 (Auckland University Press, 2017) is the 2018 winner.

Here’s an excerpt from the judges’ report:

The nominations were strong, three were worthy of the prize, and it was difficult to decide on one.  Because of its originality and as a work of legal history … incredibly engaging we decided to award the prize to Juridical Encounters.

This is an important book which breaks new ground in the fields of New Zealand legal history and colonial history more broadly … This is a fascinating study of encounter from a new angle which draws on extensive quantitative data (presented in helpful tables) and written in clear and accessible prose.

Past Winners: 

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.