The history of law and its influence on the development of modern society is the theme of a University of Queensland (UQ) conference to be held at Brisbane's Customs House next month.
Entitled 'Private Law, Public Lives,' the 30th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society (ALZLHS) will be attended by legal historians from Australia, the US, Canada and the UK.
Hosted by UQ's TC Beirne School of Law and the Faculty of Arts on the 12th and13th of December, the event will examine the social dimensions of private law in history, and its role in the creation of social values.
Honorary Professor Andrew Buck of UQ's TC Beirne School of Law said the conference programme has been designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in the sociological impact of the law as it has developed through history.
"We believe that UQ's research strength in law and history will ... provide an ideal environment for international experts to meet and examine how we might further develop the depth of knowledge in these areas, thereby enhancing the opportunities for research collaboration between UQ and other leading international institutions," said Buck.
Buck will co-host the event with UQ's executive dean of arts, Professor Nancy Wright, who has published widely on the legal status of women in England and Australia.
The conference will feature keynote addresses by Professor Rosalind Croucher, the president of the Australian Law Reform Commission, and Professor John McLaren, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Croucher, who is a respected legal historian and researcher in the areas of inheritance, women's legal rights, and religion and the law, will give an address entitled 'A Lament for the Lost Footnotes of Legal History,' at a dinner at Customs House.
McLaren, author of Dewigged, Bothered and Bewildered: British Colonial Judges on Trial, will present an address entitled 'Widening the lens from local to comparative colonial legal history: the growth of legal cultures in Australia and Canada'.
The conference will also feature a panel including Professor Constance Backhouse, professor of the University of Ottawa and president of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH); and Professor Chris Tomlins, Chancellor's Professor of Law at the University of California in Irvine.