Monday, April 4, 2016

Two by Hickford on New Zealand Legal History

Mark Hickford, Victoria University of Wellington, has posted two articles on the legal and constitutional history of New Zealand.  The first is Strands from the Afterlife of Confiscation: Property Rights, Constitutional Histories and the Political Incorporation of Māori, 1910s-1940s, from Raupatu: The Confiscation of Maori Land, ed. Richard Hill and Richard Boast (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2009):
This essay seeks to reveal the internal conversations in which the New Zealand Crown messily, and often inconclusively mulled over its own conduct and concept of sovereignty spanning the mid 19th to early 20th centuries, and the effect these diverging internal perspectives had on the varied internal and external histories of the crowns patterns of engagement with Māori. Providing a start toward reconsidering the competitive autonomy approach, the author proposes giving an internal history of the Crown, attempting to destabilise the mono-willed constitutional façade, and reveal the complex conduct concerned with crafting Crown legitimacy, sovereignty and autonomy.
The second is  Looking Back in Anxiety: Reflecting on Colonial New Zealand's Historical-Political Constitution and Laws’ Histories in the Mid-Nineteenth Century, New Zealand Journal of History 48 (2014): 1-29, 2014:
This essay addresses a concept of political as opposed to legal constitutionalism in New Zealand, including how such a concept might assist legal-historical analysis. It does so with reference to what the author has characterized as historical-political constitutionalism, focused upon expanding and diversifying areas of contestability and dissent in and through politics as opposed to relying on case- by-case legalism. In examining constitutionalism in this manner, this article foregrounds the ongoing political contestation that shaped and defined governmental power across various layers and interconnections of activity and thought, not only local or provincial but also trans-oceanic.

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