Legal transplants at the SLSA 2019
The annual Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference (SLSA) was held earlier in April at the University of Leeds. Three members of the research group ‘Legal Transfer in the Common Law Word’ attended the conference. Victoria Barnes, Justine Collins and Emily Whewell joined the stream on ‘Empire, Colonialism and Law’. There were many papers in this stream which drew upon legal history to discuss colonial origins, path dependency and issues in contemporary law. The group, led by Raza Saeed from Warwick University, is developing its own network and webpage where research and teaching resources can be found. It is available through www.lectern.global.
As part of this stream, Justine Collins presented a paper called ‘An Examination of the Transplantation & Use of English Policing Laws and Martial Law within the British West Indies Societies 1650-1700s’. She argued that much of the property law of the British West Indies was based upon concepts found in English law. Justine showed how these laws forged in the Caribbean were later spread out across the Atlantic world and in particular transferred to the colonies in America. Her paper was well attended and she received a number of insightful questions on problems of sources, the ways to incorporate the voices of litigants and slaves and the differing and sometimes biased interpretations of the law.