Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Making Legal History": Papers from the Nineteenth British Legal History Conference

Recently published by Cambridge University Press is Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, edited by Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings, both of the University of Exeter.

From Musson and Stebbings’s introduction:
On a balmy summer evening in July 2009, delegates from over twenty countries met over a glass of Pimm’s in the arboretum of the University of Exeter, an event heralding the opening of the Nineteenth British Legal History Conference – three days devoted to intellectual exploration of the Making of Legal History.  The approaches to and methodology of the writing of legal history was for the first time the subject of a major conference with lawyers and historians from common law jurisdictions of the world joining with their civil law compatriots to address the fundamental mechanics of their trade.  A stimulating programme of some seventy presentations transcending period and subject specificity – some addressing the theme by means of a case-study, others espousing a particular approach – revealed the diversity and breadth of individual scholars’ approaches to legal historiography.  Its Catholic nature was underlined by the delegates attending: members of the legal profession, independent scholars, university teachers, archivists, librarians, doctoral students – representatives of every facet of the world of legal history research.
This volume reflects something of the eclecticism of the conference.
Here are the contents:

Foreword: reflections on 'doing' legal history.  Sir John Baker

1.    Editing law reports and doing legal history: compatible or incompatible projects.  Paul Brand
2.    The indispensability of manuscript case notes to eighteenth-century barristers and judges.  James Oldham
3.    Judging the judges: the reputations of nineteenth century judges and their sources.  Patrick Polden
4.    Benefits and barriers: the making of Victorian legal history.  Chantal Stebbings
5.    The historical turn in late nineteenth-century American legal thought.  David M. Rabban
6.    The methodological debates in German speaking Europe (1960–1990).  Marcel Senn
7.    Exploring the minds of lawyers: the duty of the legal historian to write the books of non-written law.  Dirk Heirbaut
8.    Comparative legal history: a methodology.  David Ibbetson
9.    'They put to the torture all the ancient monuments': reflections on making eighteenth-century Irish legal history.  Sean Donlan
10.    The politics of historiography and the taxonomies of the colonial past: law, history and the tribes.  Paul McHugh
11.    Lay legal history.  Wilf Prest
12.    Antiquarianism and legal history.  Michael Stuckey
13.    Re-examining King John and Magna Carta: reflections on reasons, methodology and methods.  Jane Frecknall-Hughes
14.    Visual sources: mirror of justice or 'through a glass darkly'?  Anthony Musson
15.     Sanctity, superstition and the death of Sarah Jacob.  Richard Ireland.