A Tribute to Sir Anthony Hart

The Irish Legal History Society was deeply saddened to hear of the death of our friend, colleague and former President, Sir Anthony Hart.

Sir Anthony was a founder member and one of the first two Vice-Presidents of the Irish Legal History Society. He served as President from 1991 to 1994, during which period he invested much time and attention in widening the membership of the Society, not least in the United States of America. His service to the Council of the Society continued unbroken until his death. His contribution to the development of the Society was wise, unassuming, influential, and sustained.  Through his membership of the Selden Society and his regular attendance at the British Legal History Conferences, he was an enthusiastic source of encouragement to many young legal historians and won many friends for the Irish Legal History Society.

Sir Anthony Hart

Sir Anthony was awarded the Gold Medal of the Society in 2012 for his outstanding contribution to legal scholarship. The author of A History of the King’s Serjeants at Law in Ireland (2000), and A History of the Bar and Inn of Court of Northern Ireland (2013) he also published papers in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly and in two volumes in the Society’s collected discourses series.

Throughout his career, his commitment to historical research and to reconciliation was inspiring. In the days to come many tributes will be paid to him for his career as a lawyer and his legacy as a judge as well as his work chairing the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland. At this tragic time, the Society wishes  to pay its own tribute to his considerable contribution to the scholarship of legal history and its appreciation across Ireland.

BLHC 2019: St Andrews

The British Legal History Conference will be held in St Andrews, Scotland, from 10-13 July 2019. The conference theme is Comparative Legal History.The theme builds upon F.W. Maitland’s famous observation that ‘history involves comparison’, and that those who ignore every system but their own ‘hardly came in sight of the idea of legal history’.[1] The aim is to examine differences and similarities across a broad time-period to produce better approaches to the subject of legal history, combining depth of analysis with historical contextualization. Rather than comparing individual rules or searching for universal systems, the theme will take an intermediate approach the topic of comparative law, investigating patterns in legal norms, processes, and practice.

As always, there will be a strong Irish presence among both the papers and the delegates.

Registration is open until 31 May 2019. Full details about the programme and how to register are available here