Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Legal Histories of the British Empire Conference

Law, Spaces, Cultures & Empire: Engagements & Legacies is the name of the first Legal Histories of the British Empire Conference, sponsored by National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and the University of Victoria's Faculty of Law and Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, which will be held 5-7 July, 2012 Singapore.  We have previously posted a call for papers.  The program is now closed; no more proposals will be accepted; but registration is now open on the conference website.  The program will be posted shortly.

The conference’s organizers explain:
In recent decades there has been an impressive growth of research and writing on the legal history of various former British colonies. These include settler colonies, such as those that became Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, and multi-cultural territories such as those in the Caribbean, Southern and South East Asia and Africa. The result is a developing body of scholarship on a variety of legal historical topics, embodying cultural, institutional, substantive, procedural, theoretical and biographical themes, that provides a strong basis for comparative scholarship within the Empire, and so, imperial legal histories....
The Conference is designed with three purposes in mind:
  1. As a vehicle for a wide ranging sample of current scholarship on imperial and colonial legal history - cultural, institutional, social, biographical, doctrinal, and theoretical. The Conference will bring together scholars at various stages in their careers who are working in the fields of imperial and comparative colonial legal history, to share the work that is already underway, and to encourage those with an incipient interest in these fields and others to join in scholarly endeavour and expand the field.
  2. To produce a scholarly publication in the form of a book of essays developed from papers selected from amongst those delivered at the conference. The book will be published through a major university press, and will represent an original and innovative contribution to scholarship.
  3. To create a permanent network of scholars in the field of imperial and comparative colonial legal history that will ensure a lasting interest in this field, provide the basis for further collaboration in the future and constitute a platform for links with scholars examining the legal dimensions of imperial and colonial rule by states other than Great Britain. This will be the enduring legacy of the Conference.
I'm told that the keynote speaker is Professor Catherine Hall of University College London and the plenary speaker is the Honorable Justice Andrew Phang of the Singapore Court of Appeal.  A "Blue Ribbon Panel" consists of Professor Martin Wiener (Rice University), Professor John Weaver (McMaster University) and Professor Bridget Brereton (University of the West Indies).