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32nd Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference

Conference Theme ="People, Power and Place".

Tena koutou - greetings

This year for the first time the annual Australian New Zealand Law and History Society (ANZLHS) conference will be held in Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand (along with the New Zealand History Association conference).  We have put together a terrific programme of keynote speakers and associated events to hopefully entice you to visit with us at the University of Otago in late November.  We very much look forward to hosting you in Dunedin in November.

Our notable interdisciplinary Australian New Zealand Law and History Society (ANZLHS) conference will take place 25th-27th November with the theme "People, Power and Place".

Date:            25th - 27th November 2013
Venue:          University of Otago, Dunedin

Abstracts due:  31st July 2013

Scholarships available for students: see webpage for details.

Keynote speakers include:
- Professor Lauren Benton (New York University),
- Chief Judge Wilson Isaac (Maori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal),
- Professor Tony Ballantyne (University of Otago),
- Professor Jeremy Finn (University of Canterbury),
- Dr Lisa Ford (University of New South Wales),
- Dr Mark Hickford (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Crown Law Office).

In the week proceeding, the biennial New Zealand Historical Association conference is being held in Dunedin from Wednesday 20 November until Friday 22 November. This conference organizing committee is looking forward to welcoming a large and energetic group of historians, archivists and librarians, teachers, curators, and heritage professionals as well as the historically curious.

The NZHA conference has an excellent line-up of keynote speakers: Professor Elizabeth Elbourne (McGill University), author of Blood Ground:  Colonialism, Missions and the Contest for Christianity in the Cape Colony and Britain, 1799-1853; Professor Maya Jasanoff (Harvard University), the author of Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 and Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World; and Professor Henry Yu (University of British Columbia), author of Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact and Exoticism in Modern America. Associate Professor Damon Salesa (University of Auckland), whose Racial Crossings won the 2012 Ernest Scott Prize, will be the Beaglehole Memorial Lecturer for 2013. Professor Atholl Anderson, noted archaeologist and expert on the history of Ngai Tahu Whanui, will deliver the Wiremu Maihi Te Rangikaheke Memorial Lecture.

There are going to be a range of events either side of the New Zealand Historical Association conference. On Tuesday 19 November, PHANZA (Professional Historians' Association of New Zealand/Aotearoa) will hold a one-day workshop, with sessions on the theory and practice of public history in New Zealand. More details relating to this event will be posted soon. On the same day, the Religious History Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will be holding a workshop as well: those interested in participating should contact Allan Davidson at < Details of this event will be posted on this website as they are updated. On Tuesday 19 theUniversity of Otago's Centre for Research on Colonial Culture (CROCC) will also be running a workshop for postgraduate students working on empire and colonialism. Initial enquiries about that event can be directed to < All three of these workshops will be hosted by St Margaret's College on the Otago campus. On Saturday 23 November, the day after the main conference, Frances Steel of the University of Wollongong is running a workshop on New Zealand maritime history. Again we will post details of this event as they come to hand.

These details about the NZHA conference have been made available now so that participants can make their travel plans.  By the end of February, registration details for the NZHA conference will be available and a formal call for papers will be issued. But the basic timeline will be as follows: title and abstracts should be submitted by 15 May; the provisionalprogramme will be released in July; and early-bird registration will close 1 September. Conference accommodation will be available at St Margaret's College at a rate of $82.50 per night for bed and breakfast. Conference rates are also available at Allan Court Motel or 755 Regal Court.

Any queries in regard to the NZHA conference can be directed to

Any queries in regard to the ANZLHS conference can be directed to

The University of Otago Faculty of Law and Department of History & Art History look forward to hosting you in November 2013 in the special place of Dunedin - home to Aotearoa New Zealand's oldest university, the University of Otago, the stunning new Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and the much loved Hocken Collections.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Dunedin!

Nga mihi

Dr Jacinta Ruru
Associate Professor
Faculty of Law
Te Whare Wananga o Otago / University of Otago
PO Box 56
Otepoti /Dunedin
Aotearoa New Zealand

Waea / Tel: 64 3 4798833
Waea whakaahua / Fax: 64 3 4798855


Past ANZLHS Conferences

31st Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference

Conference Theme = Receiving Laws/Giving Laws


The theme of the conference orients us towards the movement, transmission and transformation of laws and their histories – across Empire, through time, in and between genres and disciplines. The receiving and giving of laws could be addressed in a broad range of ways. Some questions which might be raised by this topic include: How do laws and histories translocate? By what means (doctrinal, processual, cultural) are laws transmitted and received in new places? What transformations happen as a result of this movement? Whose histories, cultures and laws appear and disappear through these transformations? What kinds of interventions can bring about ways of transforming, perceiving and transmitting the law and its histories/cultures?

Call for Papers open

The conference is hosted by University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), 10-12 December 2012.


30th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference

Conference Theme = “Private Law, Public Lives.”


The 30th annual conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History will be held in

Brisbane, Australia, 12-13 December 2011.

The 2011 conference theme – “Private Law, Public Lives” - examines the social dimensions of private law in history. What has been the historical role of private law in the creation of core social values? How did private law in areas such as the laws of marriage, property, succession, labour or contract, for example, shape colonial and postcolonial societies? What are the wider social implications of family law as well as commercial, corporations, competition or insurance law the common law world and beyond? Proposals are invited from scholars in the fields of law, history and related disciplines.  Proposals from all jurisdictions are welcome.

Paper proposals, including paper title, abstract (300 words max.) and brief author bio, should be sent by email to the Conference committee at by 14 July 2011.

The conference is hosted by the University of Queensland, and will be held at the historic Customs House, located on the shores of the Brisbane River.

Bruce Kercher Conference Scholarships

5 Student scholarships to attend the 2011 conference- detail

Click here for more detail


29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference

Conference Theme = Owning the Past: Whose Past? Whose Present?


The use and study of the past is constantly being refashioned and reinterpreted to construct meaning in the present, imparting understandings of a common but chaotic humanity. Because everyone and no one ‘owns’ history, the ownership of historical events and the right to speak of them remains deeply contested. What are the outcomes and practical challenges surrounding the construction of historical consciousness through and about law? Whose past is told and by whom? How does law’s past influence history’s present? And is there any such thing as the orderly evolution of legal ideas? This conference invites papers on the subject of ownership in history and law, and may include contributions on any of several broad themes: the contestation of memory; the ethics of representation and remembrance; the commoditization and consumption of traumatic pasts; transcultural and transgenerational trauma; new technologies of historical documentation; testimony and bearing witness; Indigenous knowledge; identity politics; citizenship; the ethics of reproducing historical narratives; colonialism and hegemony; ‘dark’ tourism and artefacts of law; and new legal imaginings and the contest with the legal past.

This is an interdisciplinary conference and papers are invited from scholars across a broad range of disciplines, as well as chronological and geographical contexts.



13-15 December 2010, Melbourne Austrailia

Abstracts due 1 May 2010

Conference Website Click here


Under the Eye of the Law: Mobile Peoples in the Pacific

Call for Papers
Under the Eye of the Law: Mobile Peoples in the Pacific
Symposium: University of Waikato, 3 December 2010
Law Text Culture: Volume 15 2011
Guest Editors:
Professor Nan Seuffert, Te Piringa Faculty of Law
Dr Tahu Kukutai, Senior Research Fellow, Population Studies Centre

Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines (CEAD)

We are excited to host the first Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines (CEAD) conference and hui at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. This, the first in what will be a quadrennial international conference, will take place on 17 - 19 November 2010. We welcome scholars, professionals, and students from all disciplinary backgrounds to share in the rich diversity that the conference and hui promises.


28th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference 2009

Conference theme =Lands and Peoples in History and Law

The 28th annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society will meet in the historic Old Government Building, home to the Law School of Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand, from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 December 2009. Stuart Banner (University of California Los Angeles) has kindly agreed to deliver the keynote address. Stuart is the author of a number of books, including Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska (2007). A number of ‘Bruce Kercher Postgraduate scholarships’ will be made available by the ANZLHS, in order to encourage and assist participation in the conference by postgraduate students from Australia and New Zealand.


27th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference 2008

Conference webpage is located at

The 27th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference will be held at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, from 11 - 13 December 2008. Keynote speakers will be Diane Kirkby (La Trobe University) and John McLaren (University of Victoria, British Columbia)


2007 Conference Fenceposts in Legal History

  • The conference was held at the Faculty of Law, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia .


Trajectories of Law in History: The Future Behind Us
The 24th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society

University of Auckland, New Zealand: 10-12 July 2005

Generations of Law:
The 23rd Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society

2-3 July 2004

St George’s College, Perth, Western Australia

The Conference webpage is at


The 22nd Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society
10-11 July 2003

The Chifley Hotel, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

The Conference webpage is at

Law, History and Post-Colonial Theory: A One Day Symposium
Friday 6 December 2002 , 9.00am to 5.00pm
University of Waikato Hamilton, New Zealand

The 21st Annual Conference of the
Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society

11-13 July 2002
The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

Prospects and Retrospects: Law in History 2001
The 20th Annual Conference of the
Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society
Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand
6th- 8th July 2001
Proceedings available from

Centre for New Zealand Jurisprudence
The School of Law
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105 Hamilton
New Zealand


The 18th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society
Includes downloadable versions of papers
9-11 July 1999
Newcastle, Australia

Empires, Colonies, Legal Cultures

A Joint Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society and the Canadian Law Association
3 - 5 July 1998
Melbourne, Australia



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