Skip to main content
Research_

Legal history

Exploring the development of legal rules and practices

We aim to produce innovative research that sheds fresh light on received historical wisdom and pushes the boundaries of legal knowledge.

Our vision

Inspired by the contemporary relevance of Australia’s legal history, we aim to produce cutting-edge research that sheds fresh light on received historical wisdom. Our work pushes the boundaries of legal knowledge in aid of greater understanding of our legal system, and aims to inform the development of the law.

Our work

Legal history explores the influence of temporal, institutional and other conditions on the development of legal rules and practices. Historical analysis of key planks of the legal order – principles of private law, constitutional precepts, and criminal law practices – sheds new light on these topics. 

Scholarship based on historical research methods (and allied approaches such as socio-legal studies) offers fascinating and provocative accounts of law. We reassess issues that may be subject only to doctrinal analysis or examined via legal-philosophical analyses (the type of scholarship inspired by normative philosophical thinking), and critically evaluate assumptions and legal orthodoxies.

Our experts in legal history