Newfoundland and Burma in the common law world

November 04, 2019

On Tuesday, 15 October, Donal Coffey addressed the Osgoode Society Legal History Workshop at the University of Toronto. His talk concerned Newfoundland's time as a Dominion in the early part of the 20th century, and the development of its politico-legal culture during this time.

On Thursday, 17 October, he addressed the South Asia Legal Studies workshop at the University of Wisconsin on the topic of the drafting of the Burmese Constitution in 1947. This paper tracked the transnational influences on the drafting process, in particular looking at the links between Burma and Ireland.

Both Newfoundland and Burma were part of the British Empire. Newfoundland was a Dominion, one pole in the Commonwealth legal structure, while Burma was the first country to secede from the British Empire in the 20th century, rejecting Dominion status in favour of independence outside the Empire. Both countries are interesting test cases for constitutional traditions, influences, and borrowings within the common law world.

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