Membership of the Society is open to anyone. Our Society includes members of the judiciary, practising lawyers, academic lawyers, historians, students and members of the general public.
The Irish Legal History Society examines, explores and engages with all issues relating to legal history on this island, from earliest times to the present day. Founded in 1988, the Society holds two Discourses annually, as well as publishing scholarly works on a range of legal history subjects. On this website you can see our range of publications, you can find out about our recent and future events, as well as information about joining.
The American Society for Legal History was founded in 1956 to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching in the broad field of legal history. Although based in the United States, its purview and membership are international in scope. The Society sponsors a quarterly journal, the Law and History Review, and a book series, Studies in Legal History, both of which are published for the Society by Cambridge University Press.
The ASLH annual conference takes place in Washington, DC from 29 October –1 Nov. The 2016 conference will be in Toronto.
For general information about the Society visit http://aslh.net/ or write to:
Professor Sally Hadden
Secretary, American Society for Legal History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
Fax: (269) 387-4651
A number of members of the Society including the President attended the British Legal History Conference at Reading in July 2015. The theme of the conference was Law: Challenges to Authority and the Recognition of Rights. The Society provided some of the seed capital for the conference along with the Selden Society and the Legal History Society of Wales. There were a significant number of delegates from the United States and Canada along with a group from Australia.
From Ireland, six members of the ILHS presented papers:-
Dr Donal Coffey, University of Surrey: A reconsideration of the Imperial Conference of 1926 and conference on the operation of dominion legislation 1929
Dr Kevin Costello, UCD: Mandamus and parish politics 1620-1800
Dr Coleman Dennehy, UCD and UCL: Assize Justice in restoration Clonmel
Dr Conor Hanley, NUI Galway: Judgement by one’s peers? Radical and trade unionist views of jury trial in Victorian Britain
Dr Niamh Howlin, UCD: Challenging authority: criminal justice responses in Ireland
Dr Andrew Lyall: Granville Sharp’s MS Cases on Slavery
The conference included a visit to the site of the sealing of Magna Carta where the event is commemorated by an imposing memorial erected by the American Bar Association. This was followed by a paper entitled Magna Carta- the beginning of the Myth delivered Sir John Baker QC, Downing Prof of Laws (Emeritus) at Cambridge, aboard the Queen of the Thames as it cruised the river by the meadow at Runnymede. Sir John is a gold medallist of the ILHS and has been a member of the Society since its inception. It was a most enjoyable afternoon completed with an English cream tea.
Over 70 papers were delivered in a series of sessions over the four days and great credit goes to Professor Catherine Macmillan and her team from the University of Reading for the flawless organisation of the four days. One feature of the conference was a session at which twelve Ph.D. candidates presented papers on Criminal Justice in Empire, Anglican Ecclesiastical law, Law Religion and Excluded Groups and Processes, Rights and Colonies.
Professor Rebecca Probert of the School of Law at Warwick delivered a fascinating address to a plenary session entitled Victorian Bigamists – Challenging authority or claiming rights?
The next conference will be held at University College London in July 2017. The exact date of that conference remains to be fixed and a call for papers will be made in due course.
PARNELL SUMMER SCHOOL, 9–13 August 2015
The theme of the 2015 Parnell Summer School is ‘The French Connection – Ireland and France’. It will be an opportunity to reflect on parallels between France and Ireland, and to celebrate the close associations – cultural, intellectual and political – between our two countries.
These associations, grounded in our shared love of liberty and finding expression today in our common membership of the European Community, stretch back through the United Irishmen to the Wild Geese and beyond. They include giants of Irish literature like Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and also the Irish participation in iconic battles of both the Napoleonic wars and the First World War. This is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo; and the victor of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, was an Irishman. Parnell and his mother’s family had many connections with Paris.
The Charlie Hebdo massacre in January adds a certain poignancy to the choice of theme this year. There has been a lot of interest in Ireland in the fallout from that tragic event, and the Summer School will host a panel discussion on the issues that it raises.
The 2015 Parnell Summer School will be held, as usual, in the beautiful setting of the Avondale demesne, Parnell’s ancestral home, and the speakers include leading authorities from Ireland, Britain, France and America. All are welcome to attend, and there is a limited number of scholarships available for students who wish to attend.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9th
6:30: Official opening
17:00: Keynote Address
Professor Wesley Hutchinson, Professor of Irish Studies, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris-3 – Irish studies in France: connections, go-betweens and networks
19:30: Informal social evening at the Woodenbridge Hotel
MONDAY, AUGUST 10th
10:00: Lecture: Dr Patrick Claffey, Department of Religions and Theology, Trinity College Dublin – Laïcité: value or ideology
11:30: Lecture: Dr Patrick Geoghegan, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin – Waterloo: a battle of 'giants'
14:15: Panel Discussion: Charlie Hebdo and free speech
- Brian Trench, School of Communications, Dublin City University
- Dr Neville Cox, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin
- Felix M. Larkin, Academic Director, Parnell Summer School
19:30: French Wine Tasting: The Irish Wine Geese – yesterday and today, Katrina McEvoy, O’Brien’s Fine Wines, Ballybrack, Woodenbridge Hotel
TUESDAY, AUGUST 11th
10:00: Lecture: Professor James H. Murphy, English Department, DePaul University, Chicago – From Waterloo to war movies, via Tolstoy’s Irish inspiration
11:30: Lecture: Professor Hugh Gough, Department of History, University College Dublin - The guillotine and capital punishment in France, 1792-1981
14:15: Guided Bus Tour: Aghavannagh, Parnell's hunting lodge & later John Redmond's home
20:30: Informal social evening at the Woodenbridge Hotel
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12th
10:00: Parnell Lecture: Frank Callanan SC – Contesting patriotisms: Conor Cruise O’Brien, France and Parnell
11:30: Lecture: Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid, Department of History, University of Sheffield – Un regard particulier: Sean MacBride, France and Ireland
14:15: Lecture: Dr Declan Downey, Department of History, University College Dublin – Francophone Cosmopolitans at Continental Courts, 1700-1900: les émigrés irlandais et ceux qui sont retournés
20:00: Gala dinner, Woodenbridge Hotel
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13th
10:00: Lectures: Liam Murphy – Alsace: a proud region between France and Germany and Canon J. Anthony Gaughan – The Irish Embassy in Paris: in praise of women
11:30: Lecture: Oliver O’Hanlon, Department of French, University College Cork – 'French letters' in Irish newspapers and periodicals: the epistolatory form and the Franco-Irish relationship
14.15: Lecture: Dr Sylvie Kleinman, Department of History, Trinity College, Dublin – Surviving Centenaries in Republican Culture: Musings on Franco-American Memory and Commemoration
For further information and bookings, please contact the Secretary of the Parnell Society: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily rate for attendance at the Summer School (including lunch) is €70.
Inclusive cost: €260 if paid in full before 1 August 2014, and €275 after that date. The inclusive fee covers all lectures and events, coffee and lunch (Monday to Thursday) and the Summer School Gala Dinner, but excludes accommodation.
A limited number of scholarships may be awarded to students, covering the cost of fees, accommodation in the Woodenbridge Hotel (in a shared twin room) and transportation to and from Avondale on a daily basis. Applicants should write to the Summer School Director outlining briefly why they would like to attend and enclosing a reference from their tutor or supervisor or departmental head. Contact email@example.com
There may be minor amendments to this programme. Please visit www.parnellsociety.com for the latest information
Amidst the celebrations of the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta a pause for reflection is necessary. A one-day conference at the University of Newcastle will explore how Magna Carta's legacy has been invoked in support of a range of highly contested historical and contemporary constitutional developments.
- How did a feudal bargain between an inept King John and his most powerful subjects come to vested with immense symbolism within the United Kingdom’s legal and political order?
- When the 1215 Magna Carta was quickly repudiated and the reincarnations of the instrument shorn of their more radical provisions, can it support the rule-of-law claims based upon it?
- How did imperial narratives which justified the extension of Magna Carta to colonised peoples as part of the United Kingdom's "civilising mission" come to be reimagined as "exporting British values"?
Attendance is free thanks to funding from the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal and the Society of Legal Scholars. Attendees are asked to register for the Conference by contacting Kevin Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information is available here.
The latest issue of the Journal of Legal History has just been published:
Constantin Willems, "Coke, Collusion, and Conveyances: Unearthing the Roots of Twyne's Case"
Kellen Funk, "Equity without Chancery: The Fusion of Law and Equity in the Field Code of Civil Procedure, New York 1846–76"
Jonathan Silberstein-Leib, "The Transatlantic Origins of the Business Trust"
Victoria Barnes, "Making Money: Coin, Currency and the Coming of Capitalism"
Click here for further details about this journal.
The following call for papers may be of interest to members:
Law Collecting and Law Collections, 14 and 15 April 2016 (in Edinburgh)
A conference to address the broad topic of the history of law reporting and the collecting of legal decisions, primarily in Scotland but with the development of law reporting situated in its broader British, European and comparative context. The conference is intended to consider subjects such as how the role of precedent developed, in what form were the earliest records of judicial opinions or decisions, how the form of the modern law report emerged, and related issues.
Convenor: Professor John Cairns (University of Edinburgh)
Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Sir John Baker, Professor John Ford, Professor Thomas Rüfner, and Lord Woolman. The conference will be hosted by the Scottish Council of Law Reporting with the University of Edinburgh.
Proposals for papers (proposals should not be more than 400 words in length) should be submitted to email@example.com no later than 30 September 2015.
The 2015 Autumn Discourse and AGM will take place on Friday 27 November at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). The discourse will be delivered by MR Robert Marshall, outgoing President of the Society.
Further details about the event will be published in due course. Information about PRONI can be found here.
The Society was delighted to host Professor Ian MacBride from King's College London for the 2015 Spring Discourse. Professor MacBride's paper, 'Why the history of the penal laws has still to be written' was a thought-provoking analysis of the reasons surrounding the relative dearth of scholarship surrounding the penal laws. The discourse took place at the UCD Sutherland School of Law and was well-attended by members of the Society and others.