Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bring Out Yer Legal History

Here is a news report of a conference in Wellington to highlight the finds of a recent New-Zealand-wide search for legal historical records in private hands. In 2007, Shaunnagh Dorsett, Professor Richard Boast and Geoff McLay of Victoria University's Faculty of Law and Mark Hickford and Damen Ward from the Crown Law Office received a substantial grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation "to search attics, notebooks and family records for early legal history." Professor Dorsett explains that "some of the records lay in archives and with law societies, but some was in private collections - for example, judge's notebooks, an important source of information - are often handed down to family members." The search also turned up 2500 decisions of the New Zealand Supreme Court from 1841 to the mid-1860s.