British Legal History Conference 2021: Call for Papers

The 2021 British Legal History Conference (BLHC)

Queen’s University, Belfast
7-10 July 2021

LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

Abstracts are invited for the 2021 BRITISH LEGAL HISTORY CONFERENCE which is being run jointly with the IRISH LEGAL HISTORY SOCIETY and hosted by Queen’s University Belfast.

2021 will be a significant year in the “Decade of Centenaries” in Ireland, north and south, marking both the centenary of the opening in June 1921 of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, established under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, and the centenary of the signing of articles of agreement for the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, which led to the establishment of the Irish Free State. Against this background, BLHC 2021 will take place in partnership with the ILHS in Belfast.

While the conference theme – “Law and Constitutional Change” – has been chosen in the context outlined above, this is without any intention to restrict the scope of the conference papers to Anglo-Irish history. The theme will be interpreted in all its historical breadth, examining from any historical perspective the relationship between law and law-making on the one hand and, on the other, the shaping of constitutional principles and the disruption or maintenance of constitutional balance.

Please note the following rules:

  • Abstracts must be for individual papers only, not for panels
  • Only one abstract to be submitted per person
  • Abstracts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents using the online portal on the Call for
  • Papers section of the conference website. Please do not submit by email.
  • Abstracts must not exceed 500 words
  • The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 30 August 2020
  • Queries can be emailed to BLHC-2021-info@qub.ac.uk
  • At the conference, individual oral presentations will last 15-20 minutes.

We hope to publish the programme on the conference website in October 2020. Details of plenary speakers will also appear there in due course.

Proposals from postgraduate and early career researchers are welcome.

Further information about travel to Belfast, accommodation, and so on, will be added to the conference website during 2020-2021: www.qub.ac.uk/sites/BLH-Conference-2021/

This, the second joint BLHC – ILHS conference, was proposed by Sir Anthony Hart, retired High Court judge, former president of ILHS and enthusiastic supporter of BLHCs, who died suddenly in July 2019. A poster competition is planned during the 2021 conference as a tribute to Tony. There will be two prizes, including one for the PGR/early career category. The prizes are generously funded by the Journal of Legal History and by the Irish Legal History Society. Details of the competition will be posted on the conference website.

Launch of Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921

Mary Phelan, Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921 (Four Courts Press 2019).

This book was launched by Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh of the Court of Appeal at a reception at DCU on Tuesday 21 January 2020. The event was well-attended by academics from a number of disciplines including law, history, translation studies, Irish studies and linguistics.

                 

Professor Dorothy Kenny from the DCU School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies welcomed attendees and the interdisciplinary and ground-breaking nature of the research was highlighted by Professor Patrick Geoghegan, President of the Irish Legal History Society. Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh spoke about the position of the Irish language in the State and in the courts, noting the continued relevance of a number of themes running through the book.

Dr Mary Phelan is a lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS)  at DCU. She is the chairperson of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association and her research is in the field of Translation Studies, particularly historical provision of court interpreters and contemporary provision of interpreters in courts, police stations, hospitals and other settings.

 

The book is available for purchase directly from Four Courts Press, and is supplied free of charge to all ILHS members.

Launch of Molyneux at Iveagh House

January 2019 saw the launch of Patrick Hyde Kelly’s edition of William Molyneux’s The Case of Ireland’s Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England, Stated.

Regarded as the most celebrated Irish political pamphlet published before 1801, William Molyneux’s Case of Ireland, stated (1698) was written to demonstrate that English statutes did not have force in Ireland until they had been re-enacted by the Irish parliament.

The book was launched at Iveagh House  on Friday 25 January by Professor Ian MacBride.

The book is available for purchase from Four Courts Press, and is free to members of the Society.

Calling Time at the Bar: Helena Normanton and Her Challenge to the Legal Profession

2019 marks the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which facilitated access to the legal profession for women.

Dr Judith Bourne, ambassador for the First 100 Years Project, spoke at Queen’s University Belfast on 8 March to reflect on this historic change and explore the story of Helena Normanton, the first woman to practice as a barrister in England. Normanton was the first woman to be admitted to an Inn of Court after the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and was called to the Bar in 1922. Normanton would go on to be one of two first women King’s Counsels and one of the few women to maintain a practice at the bar at this time.

Dr Bourne is a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The use of Irish law in medieval Norway

Professor Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde of the University of Bergen delivered a lecture  entitled

“The Beauty and the Beast? The use of Irish Legal Ideas and Non-Use of Irish Substantial Law in Norwegian Medieval Law.”

This lecture was organized with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in collaboration with the UCD Sutherland School of Law.

26 April 2018 at 5pm, room F103A, Newman Building, University College Dublin.

The VV Giri Lecture 2018

Dr Jyoti Atwal (Jawaharlal Nehru University) delivered the annual VV Giri Lecture at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.

“Margaret Cousins (1878-1954) in India and Ireland: Revisiting Suffragettes, National Ideals and Anti Imperialist Politics”

Years 1915-1916 hold special significance in the history of India and Ireland. Politically, the radical anti imperialist groups acquired confidence in the belief that revolution was achievable through armed uprising. Historians of anti imperialist movements (Chandra:1989; Josh:1992; Mukherjee:2005; Malley:2008) have pointed out to the international impact on the Indian freedom movement. The presence of VV Giri in Ireland and of Margaret Cousins in India during 1916 is highly significant. Their unique international experiences prepared them for an anti colonial methodology which included constitutionalism, Gandhian Satyagraha (passive resistance) and socialism. Margaret, an Irish suffragette and a founder of Irish Women’s Franchise League (1908) with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, sailed for India with her husband, James, when the suffragette activism was at its peak.

This paper seeks to explore how feminist scholars have attempted to ‘put women into history’ in Ireland (Murphy:1992; Daly:2008;Paseta:2013;Urqhart:2001) and India (Basu:1990; Forbes:1996; Kumar:1993). I will focus on the period from 1916 till 936 when Margaret and James were actively engaged in the political life of India. I seek to address three themes – one, the question of politics of collectivity; second, creation of national ideals and thirdly, issues of economic reconstruction.

Dr Jyoti Atwal is Associate Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India & Adjunct Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland (September 2017- August 2022).

She engages with issues pertaining to Indian women in the reformist, nationalist and contemporary perspectives; socio cultural and religious aspects of women’s lives in colonial and post colonial India; women’s  agenda and the nation; autobiographies of women and narratives of the personal and the political domains; politics of representations of gender relations in colonial India; dalit (low caste) women’s history.

She has recently published a book entitled Real and Imagined Widows: Gender Relations in Colonial North India, Delhi: Primus, 2016. She has recently introduced a new course on Women in Ireland: Reforms, Movements and Revolutions (1840-1930)’ for post graduate students at JNU.

Currently, Dr Atwal is researching on an Irish suffragist in colonial India – Margaret Cousins (1878-1954). She has been a Visiting Faculty at Dublin City University in 2013; Trinity College Dublin Long Room Fellow in 2012. She is a member of the executive team of the India Studies Centre Cork at University College Cork and a member of the editorial board of Women’s History Review (UK, Routledge).

Art Exhibition

‘The Trial’: a visual art exhibition which focuses on the experiences of those who have worked in the Irish penal system in the 19th and 20th centuries. It explores human rights and healthcare in the Irish criminal justice system.

UCD historians Catherine Cox and Fiachra Byrne have collaborated with men from the Bridge Project, Dublin to create this unique installation.

The exhibition ran from 18-23 April 2018 at the Old Courthouse in Kilmainham Gaol Museum.

See www.histprisonhealth.com for more details about the project.

 

Double Book Launch

The Irish Legal History Society was delighted to announce the official launch of two recent publications in January 2018: Juries in Ireland:Laypersons and Law in the Long Nineteenth Century by Dr Niamh Howlin & Guardian of the Treaty: The Privy Council Appeal and Irish Sovereignty by Dr Thomas Mohr

The books were launched at a special event at the UCD Sutherland School of Law on Tuesday 30 January 2018.  Professor Hector MacQueen of  Edinburgh Law School, delivered a lecture entitled ‘Reflections on Legal History.’

    

pictured: Dr Niamh Howlin, Dr Thomas Mohr, Professor Hector MacQueen and Ted.

Centenary of the Representation of the People Act

In February 2018 the Royal Irish Academy hosted “REPRESENTATION, GENDER AND POLITICS: PAST AND PRESENT”, an interdisciplinary conference reflecting on the centenary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 which allowed women to stand for and vote in general elections for the first time.

This conference, produced in partnership with the Houses of the Oireachtas, critically reflected upon this history whilst also celebrating the lives and experiences of women in Irish politics, past and present.

With contributions from Maria Luddy, Margaret Ward, Myles Dungan, Mari Takayanagi, Senia Paseta, Diane Urquhart, Sonja Tiernan, Mary E Daly, Catherine Martin, Frances Fitzgerald, Ivana Bacik, Fiona O’Loughlin, Alice Mary Higgins, Clare Daly, Louise O’Reilly, Jane Suiter, Yvonne Galligan, Fiona Buckley, Gail McElroy,  Sarah Childs, Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Michael Peter Kennedy.

Details available here.