Category Archives: Legal History

‘Oxford Handbook of European Legal History’

The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History, edited by Heikki Pihlajamäki, Markus D. Dubber, and Mark Godfrey, has been published. The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History charts the landscape of contemporary research and the shift from national legal histories to comparative methods, which have profoundly affected the way we understand legal transformation at the […]

Ben Pontin, ‘A room with a view in English nuisance law: exploring modernisation hidden within the “textbook tradition”’

Abstract The paper critically examines the consensus among tort scholars that an injured view can never be actionable in nuisance. The consensus, it is argued, is based on a problematic understanding of the permanence of early modern nuisance authority, and a neglect of modernisation in the definition of actionable injury in the nineteenth century, in […]

Juanita Roche, ‘Historiography And The Law Of Property Act 1925: The Return Of Frankenstein’

Abstract This article considers how problems in legal historiography can lead to real legal problems, through a case-study of two recent judgments which appear to revolutionise the law on overreaching under section 2(1)(ii) of the Law of Property Act 1925. Their reasoning ignored plain wording in the Act, in a way foreshadowed by problems in […]

Laura Oren, ‘No-Fault Divorce Reform in the 1950s: The Lost History of the “Greatest Project” of the National Association of Women Lawyers’

“This Article is about the lost history of a campaign by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) to achieve uniform no-fault divorce law reform in the United States. In one form or another, NAWL has existed continuously since before 1911, when it began to publish the Women Lawyers Journal. From its Progressive era origins […]

Matthew Willison, ‘Were Banks Special? Contrasting Viewpoints in Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain’

Abstract In 1853 a Royal Commission was set up to investigate whether laws related to limited liability in Britain needed to be modified. As part of its evidence gathering the commission issued a questionnaire that included a number of questions on whether banks should be subject to the same liability laws as other types of […]

Foundations of the Common Law 1215-1914: Launch of the Online Library: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, 3 October 2018, 5pm

“The free access Foundations of the Common Law Library is a funded research infrastructure project co-ordinated by AustLII, which will build on the CommonLII platform the most comprehensive historical legal resource for the first 800 years of the whole common law world (1215-1914). With the collaboration of ten free access international Legal Information Institutes, including […]

‘Metes and Bounds: A Revisionist History’

Maureen E Brady, The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds, 128 Yale Law Journal (forthcoming, 2019), available at SSRN. A decade and a half ago, as a neophyte property teacher, I read Andro Linklater’s history of the surveying and distribution of land west of the Appalachian Mountains. The central animating principle in the book – […]

David Body, ‘The legacy of thalidomide’

Introduction This article examines the Thalidomide Litigation, the setting up and work of the Thalidomide Trust and the legacy of Thalidomide over nearly 50 years for personal injury lawyers. The experience of that Litigation, the eventual settlement of claims and the experience of Thalidomiders being supported over the intervening period offers a case study in […]

Sean McGinty, ‘Legal Families and the Birth, Growth and Death of a Corporate Law Rule’

Abstract This paper explores the limits of the concept of legal family in the context of corporate law, where scholarship has given it a prominent role in explaining differences in legal evolution. It does so by comparing the lifespan of a single rule which, owing to historical coincidence, Japan and Ontario both enacted in the […]

‘Conference: “Her­mann Kan­torow­icz (1877-1940): the battle for legal science” conference (University of Helsinki, 25-26 October 2018)’

“Legal historian, Mediaevalist, legal theorist, legal philosopher, comparative-international lawyer, criminal law expert, philologist, social scientist, political theorist, political activist – all labels that could be attached to Hermann Kantorowicz. Born in 1877, his first major work was published in 1906 under the pseudonym Gnaeus Flavius, the legendary plebeian who demystified Roman law and brought it […]