Legal history in Australia: The development of Australian legal/historical scholarship

Lucke, Horst (2010) Legal history in Australia: The development of Australian legal/historical scholarship. Australian Bar Review, 34 1: 109-148.

Author Lucke, Horst
Title Legal history in Australia: The development of Australian legal/historical scholarship
Journal name Australian Bar Review
ISSN 0814-8589
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 34
Issue 1
Start page 109
End page 148
Total pages 40
Place of publication Chatswood, NSW, Australia
Publisher LexisNexis Butterworths
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Australian concern with legal history began in earnest in the 1920s. At first scholars focused almost exclusively upon English legal history, understandably so, for English common law was in force in the country and Australian courts followed the decisions of the House of Lords in preference to their own precedents.With few exceptions, early enthusiasts who focused on purely Australian developments failed to find book publishers. Worse still, law faculties occasionally certified that their efforts had not contributed meaningfully to the science of law.

In the 1960s Australian scholars began to see this concentration on English legal history as a regrettable neglect of the Australian story. The ensuing burst of creative activity was marked by attention being focused almost solely upon Australian developments. Although the importance of Australia’s English legal heritage has since been recognised as inseparable from the local story, interest in local legal history has not waned and has, in fact, been greatly strengthened by the growing involvement of the judiciary and the legal profession, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland.This movement is likely to grow and spread and will, it is hoped, cause Australian law to become an important part of the national ethos.

Since the 1990s, historically oriented comparative research and teaching concerning links with Commonwealth countries and with the wider world have gained in importance, and the Law and History movement has promoted interdisciplinary studies. Law schools have played an important role in all these developments, but their involvement should be greatly strengthened.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Mon, 14 May 2012, 13:48:16 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law