Category Archives: Legal History

Chris Dent, ‘The “Reasonable Man”, his Nineteenth-century “Siblings”, and their Legacy’

Abstract: The reasonable man is the best known, but not the only, legal construct to be born into the nineteenth-century common law. This article introduces the man’s siblings – including those from the areas of trust law, criminal law, contract law, and intellectual property law (both patents and trademarks). The fact that some of these […]

Christian Burset, ‘The Rise of Modern Commercial Arbitration and the Limits of Private Ordering’

Abstract: Debates about arbitration often assume that it is or can be a purely private way to resolve disputes. This paper challenges that assumption by offering a new account of how and why truly extralegal commercial arbitration declined during the eighteenth century. It argues that the rise of the modern credit economy altered the possibilities […]

Markus Dubber, ‘Legal History As Legal Scholarship: Doctrinalism, Interdisciplinarity, and Critical Analysis of Law’

Abstract: Legal history is having a methodological moment. So is law (and, as it turns out, history as well). And not just in one country or legal system but across the common law/civil law divide. In this essay I try to capture some aspects of this methodological moment – or moments – and then to […]

James Alexander, ‘Libel and Copyright in the Satire of Peter Pindar’

Abstract: In 1802, the English Chancery Court denied the satirical poet John Wolcot (‘Peter Pindar’) injunctive relief for copyright infringement claimed against his publisher John Walker. While the original agreement between the parties was ambiguous, the ruling was more procedural rather than interpretive. As Wolcot’s verse was always scandalous and arguably libelous, Eldon ruled that […]

‘Engstrom on Class Actions (x 2)’

“David Freeman Engstrom, Stanford Law School, has posted two papers on the history of class actions. The first, forthcoming in University of Pennsylvania Law Review 165 (2017), is ‘Revolution of 1978 and the Puzzle of American Procedural Political Economy’: ‘In 1978, top DOJ officials in the Carter Administration floated a revolutionary proposal that would have […]

‘A Call for Projects and Proposals from the American Society for Legal History’

“The Projects and Proposals Committee of the American Society for Legal History exists to encourage new initiatives in the study and presentation and production of legal historical scholarship and in the communication of legal history to all its possible publics and audiences. It is the mission of the committee to find ways to bring talented […]

‘Property law and flooding’

“Continuing our trend on water, the Osgoode Society recently announced that Jason Hall has won its Peter Oliver Prize for best published student writing for his article, ‘High Freshets and Low-Lying Farms: Property Law and St John River Flooding in Colonial New Brunswick’. The abstract: ‘ Although New Brunswick was founded on private land ownership, […]

Alecia Simmonds, ‘“She Felt Strongly the Injury to Her Affections”: Breach of Promise of Marriage and the Medicalization of Heartbreak in Early Twentieth-Century Australia’

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between law, medical knowledge and romantic suffering in early twentieth-century Australia. Drawing upon a sample of breach of promise of marriage actions from 1824 to 1930, it argues that where the plaintiff’s pain was largely presumed in the nineteenth century, by the twentieth century mastering the language and performance […]

‘Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code’

“The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France’s Napoleonic Code of 1804 to today …” (more) [Michel-Adrien Sheppard, Slaw, 11 June]

‘Research Fellowships in Legal History at St Andrews’

“Four Research Fellowships in Legal History are available at the University of St Andrews to work with Professor John Hudson on the ERC Advance Grant funded project ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries’ …” (more) [Legal History Blog, 22 May]