Monday, November 19, 2018

Brewer Prize to Stahl

We've learned that the American Society of Church History has awarded the 2018 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize (for outstanding scholarship in church history by a first-time author) to recent guest blogger Ronit Stahl (University of California, Berkeley) for Enlisting Faith: How The Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2017). 

Congratulations to Professor Stahl!

Berger-Howe Legal History Fellowship

[We have the following announcement.]

Harvard Law School invites applications for the Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellowship for the academic year 2019-2020.  Eligible applicants include those who have a first law degree, who have completed the required coursework for a doctorate, or who have recently been awarded a doctoral degree. A J.D. is preferred, but not required.  The purpose of the fellowship is to enable the fellow to complete a major piece of writing in the field of legal history, broadly defined. There are no limitations as to geographical area or time period.

Fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time on their own research. They also help coordinate the Harvard Law School Legal History Colloquium, which meets four or five times each semester. Fellows are invited to present their own work at the colloquium. Fellows will be required to be in residence at the law school during the academic year (September through May).

Applicants for the fellowship for 2019-2020 should submit their applications and supporting materials electronically to Professor Bruce H. Mann (

Applications should outline briefly the fellow’s proposed project (no more than five typewritten pages) and include a writing sample and a curriculum vitae that gives the applicant’s educational background, publications, works in progress, and other relevant experience, accompanied by official transcripts of all academic work done at the graduate level. The applicant should arrange for two academic references to be submitted electronically. The transcripts may be sent by regular mail to Professor Mann at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019, and announcement of the award will be made by March 15, 2019.  The fellow selected will be awarded a stipend of $38,000.

Vause on debt and dishonor in France

Erika Vause, St. John's University, has published In the Red and in the Black: Debt, Dishonor, and the Law in France between Revolutions with the University of Virginia Press. From the publisher: 
"The most dishonorable act that can dishonor a man." Such is Félix Grandet’s unsparing view of bankruptcy, adding that even a highway robber—who at least "risks his own life in attacking you"—is worthier of respect. Indeed, the France of Balzac’s day was an unforgiving place for borrowers. Each year, thousands of debtors found themselves arrested for commercial debts. Those who wished to escape debt imprisonment through bankruptcy sacrificed their honor—losing, among other rights and privileges, the ability to vote, to serve on a jury, or even to enter the stock market.
Arguing that French Revolutionary and Napoleonic legislation created a conception of commercial identity that tied together the debtor’s social, moral, and physical person, In the Red and in the Black examines the history of debt imprisonment and bankruptcy as a means of understanding the changing logic of commercial debt. Following the practical application of these laws throughout the early nineteenth century, Erika Vause traces how financial failure and fraud became legally disentangled. The idea of personhood established in the Revolution’s aftermath unraveled over the course of the century owing to a growing penal ideology that stressed the state’s virtual monopoly over incarceration and to investors’ desire to insure their financial risks. This meticulously researched study offers a novel conceptualization of how central "the economic" was to new understandings of self, state, and the market. Telling a story deeply resonant in our own age of ambivalence about the innocence of failures by financial institutions and large-scale speculators, Vause reveals how legal personalization and depersonalization of debt was essential for unleashing the latent forces of capitalism itself.
Praise for the book:

 "A ground-breaking study exemplary in every way." - Maura O’Connor

"In this impeccably researched and vigorously argued book, Erika Vause offers nuanced and original accounts of the concepts of debt and bankruptcy among merchants, moralists, and novelists that shed new light on the political divides and affinities that shaped France's trajectory from the Directory through the Revolution." - Clare Crowston

Further information is available here.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

MacMillan Delivers Marshall-Wythe Lecture

Catharine MacMillan, King’s College London, delivered the Marshall-Wythe Lecture in Legal History at the William & Mary Law School on November 6.  It was entitled “Personal Networks and the Transference of Legal Ideas: the Trans-Atlantic Career of Judah P. Benjamin” and followed a workshop the preceding day on “A Political Exile's Odyssey: The Strange Life of Judah P. Benjamin.”  More.

Legal History RA Sought

[Here's an ad for an RA job that landed in our email inbox.]  Historian Amy Speckart, PhD, seeks support in legal history research and analysis for a Historic Resource Study (HRS) of Thomas Stone National Historic Site in Charles County, Maryland. The 328-acre property, also known as Haberdeventure, was a home of lawyer and planter Thomas Stone (1743–1787), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Supplementing an existing Historic Resource Study (1988), the current project pays particular attention to the subjects of agriculture, family, labor, and Stone’s legal career between 1765 and 1787 with the goal of placing extant cultural resources at the park in historical and geographical context. Primary source collection is anticipated to last through early 2019, with delivery of a final product in 2020.  [More.]

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekend Roundup

  • The Library of Congress recently announced the launch of the Foreign Law Web Archive, with a collection period commencing June 20, 2016.
  • Lots out this week for the the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, including this and this on South Asian soldiers' experiences in the trenches, Anya Jabour's Nursing Clio article on an American Red Cross nurse named Mary Curry, and our blogger Mitra Sharafi's piece on the longer history of poison as a weapon. From a few years ago, here is an NEH interview with Chad L. Williams on African-American soldiers in WWI. 
  • Congratulations to Deborah Hamer (William & Mary History), for winning an honorable mention for Best Article from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. The article: “Marriage and the Construction of Colonial Order: Jurisdiction, Gender and Class in Seventeenth-century Dutch Batavia,” Gender & History 29, no. 3 (2017): 622-640.
  • Michael A. Livingston (Rutgers Law School) has posted The Other F-Word: Fascism, The “Rule of Law,” and the Trump Era, a review essay on several books “that have suggested parallels between 1930s-style fascism and present day politics, especially that of the Trump Administration,” including some of our summer reading (Timothy Snyder’s Road to Unfreedom and Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die).  His verdict: “these parallels are generally unconvincing.”
  • In the New York Times: an op-ed by Gregory Downs (UC Davis) and Kate Masur (Northwestern) on "How To Remember Reconstruction" (and why Congress should pass the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act).
  • Update: John Fabian Witt on "Lincoln's Code" via YaleNews.

Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Spitz on Colonialism and Humanity on Vancouver Island

Laura Spitz, University of New Mexico School of Law, has posted More or Less Human: Colonialism, Common Law, and the Social Construction of Humanity on Vancouver Island, 1849-1864:
Focusing on the colony of Vancouver Island in the mid-nineteenth century and the colonization efforts of James Douglas, this paper seeks to make three separate but related points about the meaning and relevance of being “human” in that place, at that time. First, practices of humanization and dehumanization were used in the construction of a consequential set of legal categories, including alien, Indian, corporation, white and citizen. In some sense, this period marked the beginning of colonial legal ‘sorting’ or ‘ordering’ in the region. Many of the most visible categorical contests surfaced through or in connection to contests about land and citizenship, but there was another story there, too: a much more basic story about who counted as fully human in the nascent colony. Second, notwithstanding colonial/settler practices of dehumanizing Indigenous people in the process of colonization, James Douglas believed that they were in fact human, and this was evident in his land policies and practices, including treaty-making. While Douglas is sometimes valorized for having recognized Aboriginal title in unceded land, however, the underlying assumption that Indigenous people were in fact human does not reveal a robust and nuanced view of humanity, nor was it especially progressive except in contrast to the even more discriminatory views of others. Rather, it was fundamentally liberal in the sense that it recognized that Indigenous people could be legal persons, capable of holding and exercising rights in property. Conceived thus, human being was a status which entitled the status-holder to something like membership in humankind; and humanity was essentially the totality of human beings. Finally, this conception of what it meant to be human would likely not have made sense in the context of Coast Salish justice systems and other traditions. Being human was not so much a status to which legal rights attached, as a largely relational way of being in the world, and even then, potentially transitional or temporary, and invariably subordinate to more powerful, nonhuman forces. In that view, humanity was not so much the totality of human beings, or at least not just that, but something one expressed towards others, both human and nonhuman. Ultimately, this disconnect between Douglas’s and Coast Salish understandings not only complicated treaty-making, it had lasting impact on the evolution of laws in the territory we now call British Columbia.

Sourcebooks on the Holocaust

A multi-volume publication, The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 is being published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg. The books are a production of the German Federal Archives, the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin, and the Chair of Modern History at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, in collaboration with Yad Vashem.
From the publisher:
This source edition on the persecution and murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany presents in a total of 16 volumes a thematically comprehensive selection of documents on the Holocaust. The work illustrates the contemporary contexts, dynamics, and intermediate stages of the political and social process that led to this unprecedented mass crime. It can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and all those who are interested in addressing the Holocaust. The edition comprises authentic testimony by persecutors, victims, and onlookers. These testimonies are furnished with academic annotations and the vast majority of them are published here for the first time in English.
The editorial board includes: Susanne Heim, Ulrich Herbert, Michael Hollmann, Horst Möller, Dieter Pohl, Sybille Steinbacher, Simone Walther-von Jena, and Andreas Wirsching. The international advisory board for the English edition consists of: Nomi Halpern, Elizabeth Harvey, Dan Michman, and Alan E. Steinweis. The coordinator of the English-language edition is Caroline Pearce, with assistance from Dorothy Mas.

Further information is available here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Schmidt on Originalism and the Fourteenth Amendment

Christopher W. Schmidt, Chicago-Kent College of Law and American Bar Foundation, has posted Originalism and Congressional Power to Enforce the Fourteenth Amendment which appears in the Washington and Lee Law Review Online 74 (2018): 33:
In this Essay I argue that originalism conflicts with the Supreme Court’s current jurisprudence defining the scope of Congress’ power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the standard established in Boerne v. Flores, the Court limits congressional power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to statutory remedies premised on judicially defined interpretations of Fourteenth Amendment rights. A commitment to originalism as a method of judicial constitutional interpretation challenges the premise of judicial interpretive supremacy in Section 5 jurisprudence in two ways. First, as a matter of history, an originalist reading of Section 5 provides support for broad judicial deference to congressional constitutional interpretive authority. Second, even if one accepts originalism as the best way for courts to interpret the Constitution, this assumption does not necessarily apply to nonjudicial actors when they are fulfilling their own constitutional responsibilities—such as members of Congress acting to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. Placing judicial originalism into the foreground of our discussion of Section 5 jurisprudence thus offers additional support for a broader reading of the congressional enforcement power than exists today under Boerne.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog, where my colleague Lawrence Solum writes that the paper includes “no discussion of the original public meaning of the text of Section 5.”

His comment provides an occasion to report that "original public meaning" took some hard knocks during the panel on "Originalism and History" at the just concluded annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History.   (See p. 33 of the program.)   Jonathan Gienapp, Stanford History, presented a paper drawing upon his Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding EraBernadette Meyler, Stanford Law, addressed the Confrontation Clause with a paper based on research in early American court records (and especially a homicide in New Jersey). In place of Saul Cornell, who could not attend, Logan Sawyer, Georgia Law, presented "Method and Dialog in History and Originalism," which contrasted the cordial exchanges of legal historians with an earlier generation of originalists (e.g., Willard Hurst and Raoul Berger) with those of today.

On such matters, be on the lookout for Law and History Review 37:3 (2019), a special issue on “Legal History and Originalism: Rethinking the Special Relationship."

Zhang Wins SSHA Presidents Book Award

Via a Yale Law School press release, we have word that the Social Science History Association has awarded the Presidents Book Award to Yale Law professor (and former LHB guest blogger) Taisu Zhang:
Zhang’s book, The Laws and Economics of Confucianism: Kinship and Property in Preindustrial China and England (Cambridge University Press) offers a novel argument as to why Chinese and English pre-industrial economic development went down different paths. Zhang argues that this social differences in Late Imperial and Republican China versus the more “individualist” society of early modern England had major consequences for property institutions and agricultural production. 
The 2018 SSHA Presidents Book Award is awarded annually to a first work by an early-career scholar and comes with a $1000 prize.
Read on here. Congratulations to Professor Zhang!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Brady Wins AALS Scholarly Papers Award

Via a University of Virginia School of Law press release, we have the following news:
Professor Maureen “Molly” Brady of the University of Virginia School of Law has been named co-winner of the 2019 Scholarly Papers Competition sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools. 
Her paper, “The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds,” forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, explores the social and legal context surrounding earlier metes and bounds systems and the important role that nonstandardized property can play in stimulating growth. Metes and bounds is a method of describing land or real estate that uses physical features of the local geography, along with directions and distances, to define and describe boundaries.
Read on here. Congratulations to Professor Brady!

Kornbluh & Mink on Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective (Nov. 2018), by Felicia Kornbluh (University of Vermont) and Gwendolyn Mink (Independent Scholar). A description from the Press:
In Ensuring Poverty, Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink assess the gendered history of welfare reform. They foreground arguments advanced by feminists for a welfare policy that would respect single mothers' rights while advancing their opportunities and assuring economic security for their families. Kornbluh and Mink consider welfare policy in the broad intersectional context of gender, race, poverty, and inequality. They argue that the subject of welfare reform always has been single mothers, the animus always has been race, and the currency always has been inequality. Yet public conversations about poverty and welfare, even today, rarely acknowledge the nexus between racialized gender inequality and the economic vulnerability of single-mother families.
Since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) by a Republican Congress and the Clinton administration, the gendered dimensions of antipoverty policy have receded from debate. Mink and Kornbluh explore the narrowing of discussion that has occurred in recent decades and the path charted by social justice feminists in the 1990s and early 2000s, a course rejected by policy makers. They advocate a return to the social justice approach built on the equality of mothers, especially mothers of color, in policies aimed at poor families.
A few blurbs:
"Placing feminist analysis front and center in the ongoing public debate about welfare policy, Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink offer a much-needed corrective to the standard historical narrative about welfare reform that normalizes the most gendered and retrograde provisions of the welfare 'ending' Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act."—Alice O'Connor 
"Ensuring Poverty is an important and overdue assessment of welfare reform's impact on women. Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink not only revive feminist criticism of the system's failure to value women's care work but also use new data to explain why welfare reform remains a critical aspect of politics today."—Dorothy Roberts
More information is available here. If you order from the Penn Press website, you can receive a 20 percent discount using this promo code: PJ55.

2018 Stein Award to Bishara for Sea of Debt

[We have the following announcement from the 2018 Annual Meeting of the ASLH.]

A Sea of DebtThe 2018 Stein Book Award winner is Fahad A. Bishara, University of Virginia, for A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Fahad A. Bishara’s Sea of Debt is an ambitious and imaginatively conceived study that shows how law was a crucial force in tying together actors across the western Indian Ocean. Bishara follows Islamic law and its paperwork as they circulated between the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa. We learn how merchants from South Asia engaged with Islamic legal norms and institutions, and how all of this shifted as the British imperial presence intensified from the 1860s. Sea of Debt’s use of Arabic sources is particularly impressive, and sets the book apart from much work on the British imperial world. Illuminating the intersection of law and capitalism from Muscat to Mombasa (with a special focus on Zanzibar), Sea of Debt reveals how local actors—including is, jurists, traders, moneylenders, clerks, lawyers, and judges—shaped transoceanic commercial practices across the trade in dates, cloves, ivory and slaves through legal norms and networks.

Honorable mention went to Tom Lambert (Osborn Fellow in Medieval History, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University) for Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The members of the 2018 Stein Book Award committee were: Michael Grossberg (Indiana University Bloomington), Jisoo Kim (The George Washington University), Kristin Mann (Emory University), Jessica Marglin (University of Southern California), Matthew C. Mirow (Florida International University), Daniel Lord Smail (Harvard University), and David V. Williams (University of Auckland), with Mitra Sharafi (University of Wisconsin-Madison), chair. Special thanks also go to Jennifer Hanrahan (University of Wisconsin Law School).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ASLH Preyer Awards to Eatmon, Manners

A highlight of the ASLH annual meeting is the naming of the new Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars. About the award:
Named after the late Kathryn T. Preyer, a distinguished historian of the law of early America known for her generosity to early career legal historians, the program of Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars is designed to help legal historians at the beginning of their careers. At the annual meeting of the Society two early career legal historians designated Kathryn T. Preyer Scholars will present what would normally be their first papers to the Society.
This year's awardees are Myisha S. Eatmon (Northwestern University), for her paper "'Righting Public Wrongs:' Black Use of Private Law in Search of Legal Recourse for White-On-Black Violence," and Jane Manners (New-York Historical Society) for "'Storehouse of the Industry of the Nation': Fire and Federalism in the Age of Jackson." 

Members of the the 2018 Preyer Memorial Committee were Jed Shugerman (Chair) (Fordham University); Rabia Belt (Stanford University); Anne Fleming (Georgetown University); Will Smiley (Reed College); Laura Kalman (University of California, Santa Barbara); and Gautham Rao (ex officio) (Editor, Law & History Review) (American University).

Kastenberg on Nixon's Attempt to Impeach Douglas

Justice Douglas en famille, 1939 (LC)
Joshua Kastenberg, University of New Mexico School of Law, has posted Safeguarding Judicial Integrity During the Trump Presidency: Richard Nixon's Attempt to Impeach Justice William O. Douglas and the Use of National Security as a Case Study, Campbell Law Review 40 (2018): 113-71:
In April 1970, Congressman Gerald Ford called for the impeachment of Justice William O. Douglas. Although Douglas had been accused by anticivil rights Southern Democrats of unprofessional conduct in his association with a political foundation as well as his four marriages, Ford reasoned that, in addition to the past allegations, Justice Douglas had become a threat to national security. Within two weeks of Ford's allegations, United States military forces invaded Cambodia without the express consent of Congress. Nixon's involvement in Ford's attempts to have Justice Douglas impeached give rise to the possibility that, in addition to trying to reshape the judiciary and further architect the "Southern Strategy" by bringing conservative Southern Democrats into the Republican Party, the impeachment would serve as a means to divert attention away from the Cambodian invasion. Ford's irresponsible conduct in this matter (and Justice Douglas's overall conduct) have never been historically addressed and, as a result, did not leave to future political leaders and judges a means by which to gauge behavior that can undermine the independence of the judicial branch. This Article is intended to provide a historical model of accountability.

ASLH Election Results

At this year's annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History, President Sally Gordon announced the election results.

The incoming members of the Board of Directors are: Binyamin Blum (University of California, Hastings College of Law); Rohit De (Yale University); Catherine Fisk (University of California, Berkeley); Katrina Jagodinsky (University of Nebraska); and Laurie Wood (Florida State University).

The new members of the Nominating Committee are Annette Gordon-Reed (Harvard University) and Serena Mayeri (University of Pennsylvania).

Congratulations to all, and thank you for your service. You can view the composition of the full Board and Nominating Committee here.

Advance Articles from AJLH

Have you signed up for Advance Alerts for the American Journal of Legal History?  Articles appearing on-line since November 8 are:

Law Evolves: The Uses of Primitive Law in Anglo-American Concepts of Modern Law, 1861-1961, by Coel Kirkby

Farewell Downton Abbey, Adieu Primogeniture and Entail: Britain’s Brief Encounter with Forced Heirship, by Lloyd Bonfield

Italian judges and judicial practice in Libya: a legal experiment in multinormativity, by Alessia Maria Di Stefano
The Jury Speaks: Jury Riders in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, by Mark Coen and Niamh Howlin

Monday, November 12, 2018

CFP: White Slavery in Transnational and International Context

[We have the following call for papers.]

White Slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880-1950.  June 21, 2019, University of Warwick (UK).  Keynote: Brian Donovan ((University of Kansas)

This is a call for abstracts for paper, poster and creative presentations for a one day interdisciplinary conference on white slavery, as trafficking in women was historically called. The conference seeks to question how white slavery manifested in transnational and international contexts but welcomes papers on any localities.

We welcome papers exploring different aspects of white slavery from nationalism to visual representations, and their impact on anti-white slavery legislation. The conference seeks to investigate white slavery and its legacies from conceptual, legal, popular culture perspectives. It also seeks to place it in relation to wider themes of nationalism, race, gender, and labour, and question how white slavery relates to critiques of modernity.

We invite paper and poster presentations from range of disciplines that explore how white slavery manifested in these different contexts, in different localities, during the years 1880- 1950. The conference is particularly interested in exploring white slavery through the following themes:

* Race, nationality and nationalism
* Regulation / criminalisation of white slavery in domestic and international sphere
* Rhetoric of slavery and neo-abolitionism
* Age, innocence and purity
* Agency, autonomy and free will
* Gender; trafficking in boys / men
* Migration and gendered labour
* Critique of modernity
* White slavery in popular culture / media

We also welcome creative responses to the subject, and in particular poster presentations that engage the audience and foster debate on the conference themes. PG students at any stage of their studies are particularly encouraged to submit proposals for posters or other visual presentations. Poster presentations must be printed in advance of the conference and be size A1, either portrait or landscape (H: 84.1cm x W: 59.4cm); and you have to present in person. Poster session participants populate boards with pictures, data, graphs, diagrams, narrative text, and more - and will informally discuss their presentations with conference attendees during an assigned session.

Please send 300-word abstract for papers and 200-word abstracts for posters with a short bio to the organisers. Deadline is 31 January 2019. PG bursaries may be available.

Dr Catherine Armstrong (Loughborough University)  and Dr Laura Lammasniemi (University of Warwick)

O'Donnell's "Basic Bibliography" of Islam & Jurisprudence

Patrick S. O’Donnell, bibliographer extraordinaire, has posted Islam & Jurisprudence (or, ‘Islamic Law’): A Basic Bibliography.  As he explains over on Ratio Juris:
I have completed my latest bibliography, on Islam and Jurisprudence, available here. The introduction:

This compilation, like most of my bibliographies, has two constraints: books, in English. I trust the inference will not be made that this implies the best works are only in English, as it merely reflects the limits of my knowledge and research. “Jurisprudence” in this case can refer to Islamic philosophy and/or theory of law, as well as historical and existing legal systems in those countries in which Islam is (i) a state-sanctioned religion, (ii) predominant as a religious orientation in the society, (iii) or has a significant impact on the country’s legal system in one way or another. I have used the phrase “Islam and Jurisprudence” for the title to reflect the fact that it is a perilous endeavor to conclusively identify, except perhaps philosophically or theologically (and even then, there are inherent problems), Islamic law as such (i.e., in any kind of absolutist or ‘pure’ sense) in legal systems on the ground, as we say, even if we rightly derive warrant for this appellation from both emic and etic reasons. This list does not aspire to be exhaustive, although I hope it is at least representative of the depth and breadth of the available literature. I welcome suggestions for titles I may have inadvertently missed.

Krishnan on the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts

Jayanth K. Krishnan, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, has posted The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts: A Retrospective (Motivate Publishing House, 2018):
Can Western-based, English-speaking, common law commercial courts operate successfully in an environment that are not their own—such as in the Middle East? This question is not a simple thought experiment but rather the reality that has occurred since the mid-2000s in the Emirate of Dubai. This monograph recounts the history of how the ‘Dubai International Financial Centre Courts’ emerged. Drawing on extensive interviews with key stakeholders involved in the process, along with rich original documents as well as all of the Courts’ judgments, this narrative offers important lessons for those seeking to understand more fully the complex interplay of how law, legal institutions and legal and political actors operate in today’s globalised world.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Book Review Roundup

At the Marginalia Review of Books is a review of The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700, edited by Lorna Hutson.

Martha S. Jones' Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America is reviewed in the Boston Review.

In a Los Angeles Review of Books review essay, Robert L. Tsai reviews Kathleen Belew's Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (along with Angela Nagle's Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right and Amy Chua's Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations).

Also at LARB is a review of Nathaniel Frank's Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America.

David W. Blight's Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is reviewed in December's issue of The Atlantic.

At NPR is a review of Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till by Elliott Gorn.

Jane Sherron De Hart's Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life is reviewed in The Washington Post.

At Public Books is a review of Ekklesia: Three Inquiries in Church and State by Paul Christopher Johnson, Pamela E. Klassen, and Winifred Fallers Sullivan.  Also at Public Books is a review of Reeve Vanneman and Lynn Weber Cannon's newly-reissued The American Perception of Class.

Michelle Perrot's The Bedroom: An Intimate History is reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement.

In The New York Times is a review of Behold, America: The Entangled History of "America First" and "the American Dream" by Sarah Churchwell.

Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro's The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World is reviewed in The Nation.

At Books and Ideas is a review of Alden H. Young's Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development, and State Formation.

Ramachandra Guha's Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World 1914-1948 is reviewed in the New Statesman.

In the London Review of Books (and behind a paywall) is a review of political theorist Melinda Cooper's Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism.

Finally, Sam Rosenfeld's The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era is reviewed in The Nation.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rosenmüller on New Spain and New Galicia

Christoph Rosenmüller, Middle Tennessee State University, has posted Two Kingdoms in a Multi-Tiered Empire: New Spain and New Galicia in the Mid-Eighteenth Century:
This article casts light on the structure of the Spanish empire by focusing on the relations between two American kingdoms, New Spain and New Galicia. New Spain comprised the heartland of colonial Mexico, and New Galicia lay to its northwest. New Spain enjoyed significant status and to a degree controlled New Galicia and other dependent realms. By the mid-eighteenth century, the viceroy of New Spain sent inspectors, appointed treasury officials, and even wrested the mining camp of Bolaños from New Galicia. Yet New Galicia insisted on its autonomy. Its president resisted the viceregal interventions and finally succeeded in recovering jurisdiction over Bolaños. The relationship between the two North American kingdoms therefore differed from that between other constituent regions of the empire. The kingdom of Quito, for example, was fully subordinate to the Peruvian viceroy in Lima. The empire can therefore be described as multi-tiered and not exclusively characterized by the hegemony of Madrid/Castile over its overseas possessions. Instead, the empire consisted of uneven and overlapping ties between a group of core kingdoms and their dependent territories, and their relations changed over time.

Reid on Testamentary Freedom and Family Protection in Scotland

Kenneth Reid, University of Edinburgh School of Law, has posted Testamentary Freedom and Family Protection in Scotland:
In a sense, testators in Scotland are free to do as they please, for a will is not challengeable on the ground of having failed to provide for children, or a spouse, or some other relative. Yet, regardless of what a will says or does not say, a child or spouse of the deceased is entitled to a fixed share of the deceased’s estate. Since 1964 this has been confined to the deceased’s movable estate and there is no claim in respect of immovable property. Where a deceased is survived by both spouse and children, the movable estate is divided into three – one-third for the spouse, one-third to be shared among the children, and one-third to be disposed of in accordance with the will. Where only a spouse, or only children, survive, the division is into two equal parts and not three. These ‘legal rights’ of the children and surviving spouse are personal rights against the executor of the deceased and are satisfied by payment in money.

This paper considers the history of legal rights in Scotland, their scope and calculation, the rules on discharge, the requirement to collate lifetime advances, and the requirement to choose between legal rights and an express bequest in the will.

Legal rights are of medieval origin, and have survived various attempts to change them. In recent years, the position of children has been seen as especially controversial. On one view, children should have merely a maintenance claim from the deceased’s estate, in cases of proved need. On another view, a child’s position in the family should continue to be recognised by means of a fixed share in their late parent’s estate. In the absence of consensus on this issue, the Scottish Government has recently rejected a package of reforms proposed by the Scottish Law Commission. Uncertain as to what the future should hold, Scotland has chosen to stick with rules developed, unthinkingly, in the distant past.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lange on German International Law Scholarshgp

Felix Lange, Humboldt University of Berlin, has posted Between Systematization and Expertise for Foreign Policy: The Practice-Oriented Approach in Germany’s International Legal Scholarship (1920–1980):
German international legal scholarship has been known for its practice-oriented, doctrinal approach to international law. On the basis of archival material, this article tracks how this methodological take on international law developed in Germany between the 1920s and the 1980s. In 1924, as a reaction to the establishment of judicial institutions in the Treaty of Versailles, the German Reich founded the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Director Viktor Bruns institutionalized the practice-oriented method to advance the idea of international law as a legal order as well as to safeguard the interests of the Weimar government before the various courts. Under National Socialism, members of the Institute provided legal justifications for Hitler’s increasingly radical foreign policy. At the same time, some of them did not engage with völkisch-racist theories, but systematized the existing ius in bello. After 1945, Hermann Mosler, as director of the renamed Max Planck Institute, took the view that the practice-oriented approach was not as discredited as the more theoretical approach of völkisch international law. Furthermore, he regarded the method as a promising vehicle to support the policy of Westintegration of Konrad Adenauer. Also, he tried to promote the idea of ‘international society as a legal community’ by analysing international practice.

De on the Indian Constitution

Rohit De, Yale University, has published A People's Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic with Princeton University Press. From the publisher:
It has long been contended that the Indian Constitution of 1950, a document in English created by elite consensus, has had little influence on India’s greater population. Drawing upon the previously unexplored records of the Supreme Court of India, A People’s Constitution upends this narrative and shows how the Constitution actually transformed the daily lives of citizens in profound and lasting ways. This remarkable legal process was led by individuals on the margins of society, and Rohit De looks at how drinkers, smugglers, petty vendors, butchers, and prostitutes—all despised minorities—shaped the constitutional culture. 
The Constitution came alive in the popular imagination so much that ordinary people attributed meaning to its existence, took recourse to it, and argued with it. Focusing on the use of constitutional remedies by citizens against new state regulations seeking to reshape the society and economy, De illustrates how laws and policies were frequently undone or renegotiated from below using the state’s own procedures. De examines four important cases that set legal precedents: a Parsi journalist’s contestation of new alcohol prohibition laws, Marwari petty traders’ challenge to the system of commodity control, Muslim butchers’ petition against cow protection laws, and sex workers’ battle to protect their right to practice prostitution. 
Exploring how the Indian Constitution of 1950 enfranchised the largest population in the world, A People’s Constitution considers the ways that ordinary citizens produced, through litigation, alternative ethical models of citizenship.
Praise for the book:

 "This book offers genuinely original insights into the transformation of India’s Constitution into a living reality of social and economic life. Its emphasis on the role of ordinary citizens, and civil society organizations, provides a fascinating perspective ignored in standard accounts focusing on the statecraft of political elites in New Delhi." - Bruce Ackerman

“The study of India’s Constitution, perhaps one of the most important documents of the twentieth century, has long been neglected. In A People’s Constitution, De shows how it generated forms of democratic behavior among the nation’s less elite subjects—an important idea, given that India is the world’s largest democracy. No other work so lucidly explains the Indian Constitution, and this informative and original book will be widely read.” - Durba Ghosh

"This wonderful book fills a critical gap in the history of India’s Constitution and is destined to be a classic. A fabulous, rich, and humorous account of how ordinary people interpreted and shaped the Constitution from below, this is truly a people’s history, placing law within everyday life. Deeply learned yet immensely readable, A People’s Constitution must be read not just by legal practitioners and scholars but by all citizens.” - Nandini Sundar

“Rich and deeply researched, this groundbreaking legal history will speak to readers in many fields and countries. De shows how ordinary citizens played a disproportionate role in giving meaning to India’s Constitution, how it became a vehicle for arguing about unresolved tensions among the many groups constituting the new nation, and why constitutionalism became such an important part of modern Indian society. I learned a great deal from this wonderful book.” - Kenneth W. Mack

Further information is available here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Scardamaglia on Lithography

Amanda Scardamaglia, Swinburne University of Technology, has posted A Legal History of Lithography, which appeared in (2017) Griffith Law Review 1-27:
Charles Troedel (1835–1906) was a master printer and lithographer and founder of the firm Troedel & Co. He was also the forgotten face behind the production of much of Australia’s earliest existing and surviving advertising material including posters, labels and other visual ephemera. These works, many of which were registered for colonial copyright and trade mark protection, provide a graphic history of nineteenth-century Australia, speaking to the prevailing state of commerce, culture, social trends and colonial norms. Inexplicably, Troedel’s role in the production of this capsule history has been overlooked. The legal dimension to this history and the relationship between lithography and intellectual property law has also been overlooked – in terms of the stylistic evolution of commercial signifiers and the legal mechanisms which served to protect these graphical expressions. This article uses Troedel’s archive of lithographs as the proxy through which to examine how lithography facilitated and shaped the production of early copyright and trade marks in Australia and more specifically, how lithography, as the technological arrangement mediating early colonial Australian society, was responsible for transforming advertising in nineteenth-century Australia, and the legal categories under which such advertising was defined.

Antislavery Constitutionalism: An ICH Seminar

[We have the following announcement.]   The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty: Antislavery Constitutionalism: