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  1. Juridical encounters : Māori and the colonial courts, 1840-1852

    Dorsett, Shaunnagh
    Auckland, New Zealand : Auckland University Press, 2017.

    "From 1840 to 1852, the Crown Colony period, the British attempted to impose their own law on New Zealand. In theory Māori, as subjects of the Queen, were to be ruled by British law. But in fact, outside the small, isolated, British settlements, most Māori and many settlers lived according to tikanga. How then were Māori to be brought under British law? Influenced by the idea of exceptional laws that was circulating in the Empire, the colonial authorities set out to craft new regimes and new courts through which Māori would be encouraged to forsake tikanga and to take up the laws of the settlers. [The author] examines the shape that exceptional laws took in New Zealand, the ways they influenced institutional design and the engagement of Māori with those new institutions, particularly through the lowest courts in the land. It is in the everyday micro-encounters of Māori and the new British institutions that the beginnings of the displacement of tikanga and the imposition of British law can be seen."--From 1840 to 1852, the Crown Colony period, the British attempted to impose their own law on New Zealand. In theory Mori, as subjects of the Queen, were to be ruled by British law. But in fact, outside the small, isolated, British settlements, most Mori and many settlers lived according to tikanga . How then were Mori to be brought under British law? Influenced by the idea of exceptional laws that was circulating in the Empire, the colonial authorities set out to craft new regimes and new courts through which Mori would be encouraged to forsake tikanga and to take up the laws of the settlers. Shaunnagh Dorsett examines the shape that exceptional laws took in New Zealand, the ways they influenced institutional design and the engagement of Mori with those new institutions, particularly through the lowest courts in the land. It is in the everyday micro-encounters of Mori and the new British institutions that the beginnings of the displacement of tikanga and the imposition of British law can be seen. Juridical Encounters presents one of the first detailed studies of the interactions of an indigenous people in an Anglo-settler colony with the new British courts. By recovering Mori juridical encounters at a formative moment of New Zealand law and life, Dorsett reveals much about our law and our history.

  2. Law and politics in British colonial thought : transpositions of empire

    1st ed. - New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

    With the exhaustion of postcolonial studies, and following the historical turn in studies of European imperialism, the time is ripe for a more sharply historical consideration of the role of European legal thought in processes of colonial governance. Rather than recycling general theories of the ideological role of law in European colonization, the contributions to this volume focus on the historical interaction between law and politics in British colonial contexts in order to clarify how European legal doctrines and institutions were actually transmitted, negotiated and modified in the concrete circumstances of frontier polities.

  3. Legal histories of the British Empire : laws, engagements and legacies

    Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2014.

    "A 'new' approach to legal history in the British Empire is emerging. Rather than the traditional 'single site' approach taken by colonial legal historians, scholars are increasingly engaging in work which is pan-colonial, comparative, or which, if it is focused on a particular colony, seeks to place that site within the broader legal, political, cultural and intellectual frameworks of Empire. It focuses on the comparisons, the mobilities, the continuities and the ruptures of legal engagement across the globe. This book brings together established senior scholars with exciting newer authors from a range of disciplines, in order to present just such an approach to the law in and of Empire. Too often law is still relegated to one of a number of forces or trajectories - for example the movements of military forces and commodities that circulated and operated in Empire. This collection seeks, therefore, to investigate law's central place in the British Empire, and the role of its agents in embedding British rule and culture in colonial territories. Showcasing the richness and diversity of writing about law in Empire, it illuminates the continuities and discontinuities of law's effects in Empire and the ways in which law was a crucial element in the manifestation of Empire itself. It will be of considerable interest to legal historians, top historians of Empire, and anyone concerned with Empire's contemporary legacy."--This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the role played by law(s) in the British Empire. Using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, the authors provide in-depth analyses which shine new light on the role of law in creating the people and places of the British Empire. Ranging from the United States, through Calcutta, across Australasia to the Gold Coast, these essays seek to investigate law's central place in the British Empire, and the role of its agents in embedding British rule and culture in colonial territories. One of the first collections to provide a sustained engagement with the legal histories of the British Empire, in particular beyond the settler colonies, this work aims to encourage further scholarship and new approaches to the writing of the histories of that Empire. Legal Histories of the British Empire: Laws, Engagements and Legacies will be of value not only to legal scholars and graduate students, but of interest to all of those who want to know more about the laws in and of the British Empire.

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