1st Edition

English Law, the Legal Profession, and Colonialism Histories, Parallels, and Influences

Edited By Cerian Griffiths, Łukasz Jan Korporowicz Copyright 2024

    Modern legal history is increasingly interested in exploring the development of legal systems from novel and nuanced approaches. This edited collection harnesses the lesser-researched perspectives of the impact of global and imperial factors on the development of law. It is argued that to better understand these timely discussions, we must understand the process and significance of colonisation itself. The volume brings together experts in the field of law and history to explore the ways in which law and lawyers contributed to the expansion of the British Empire, and the ways in which the Empire influenced the Metropole. The book sheds new light on the role of the law and legal actors during the pivotal centuries that saw the establishment of the Empire. Exploring such topics as Atlantic relations, the impact of British jurists upon Indian law, and the development of the law settler colonies, this collection reveals some of the lesser-known intersections between law, history, and empire. The book will be of interest to students and researchers in legal history, comparative history, equity and trusts, contract law, the legal profession, slavery, and the British Empire.


    List of contributors

    1.       Introductory Remarks


    Part 1 – Atlantic Relations


                2. The Role of Legislation in Racial Identities within the English Atlantic 1640s-1700s



                3. London’s Middle Temple and Law Students from the New World

                            (SALLY HADDEN)


    Part 2 – Indian Relations


                4. Sir James Mackintosh: the Colonial Judge

                            (ŁUKASZ JAN KORPOROWICZ)


                5. Remaking Britain in the Image of the Raj: James Fitzjames Stephen’s ‘Indian’ Correctives to Electoral Reform

                            (MATILDE CAZZOLA)


    Part 3 – Australia and South-East Asia Relations


                6. The Colonial Government Bill 1864: Towards a Code of Colonial Constitutional Law

                            (GREG TAYLOR)


    7. Outlaws in their native land: the 'incompetence' of Aboriginal witnesses in 19th Century Colonial Australia



                8. Governance Through Vagrancy Law in Hong Kong, 1841-1939

                            (CHRISTOPHER M. ROBERTS, HAZEL W.H. LEUNG)


    Part 4 – Legal Doctrines, Empire and Legacies


                9. Imagination and Colonial Challenges to English Legal Historiography

                            (RICHARD W. IRELAND)


                10. The Last Will and Testament of John Gardner Kemeys: Jamaican Mortgages and English Inheritance Disputes

                            (JULIA RUDOLPH)


                11. Winds of Change in Common Law Jurisdictions: The Concept of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the Performance of Contracts

                            (JAN HALBERDA)


                12. Conclusion: Legal History in a Global Setting: Voices from the Peripheries

                            (CERIAN GRIFFITHS, ŁUKASZ JAN KORPOROWICZ)



    Cerian Griffiths is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and Business, Northumbria University.

    Łukasz Jan Korporowicz is an Associate Professor and Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Lodz; Head of the Centre for Anglo-American Legal Tradition of the University of Lodz.