Law & History Conference 2019

Wednesday 11 December 2019 to Saturday 14 December 2019

The 38th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society will be held at Victoria University's City Queen Campus from 11 to 14 December 2019.

The conference invites those who bring an historical perspective on law to consider together the many ways our work has in the past, and continues into the future, to matter.

This historical perspective on law is broadly defined - and includes those who position law in a temporal frame, who write legal history or histories of laws, lawmaking, legal ideas, jurisprudence, jurisdiction or legal institutions and their personnel.

Theme: Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices

Writing law’s history has long been understood as a purposeful practice, both necessary and never complete, as the eminent British historian FW Maitland noted more than a century ago. Today, with the flourishing of imperial and postcolonial scholarship, Maitland’s advocacy of researching law’s past prompts renewed attention to the progenitors, methods and politics of our disciplinary practices.

The imperative of capturing and presenting that knowledge seems greater than ever before. Yet for those of us engaged in historical study it can often appear that what we do, and why we do it, is not always well recognised or as valued as it should be. Simultaneously, questions abound about the implications of our practice and its political impact or purpose.

This conference will examine the value of studying law's history in its many forms.

Conference details

  • Dates: Wednesday 11 to Saturday 14 December 2019
  • Times: 9am – 6pm
  • Location: City Queen Street Campus, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria Australia

Proposals for papers/panels

Please email proposals for either individual papers (20 mins) or panels of 3 or 4 speakers or both to

Individual paper proposals must include an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a biographical statement (no more than 100 words) for each speaker.

Panel proposals should include the above, plus a panel title and brief rationale for the panel as a whole (no more than 300 words).

Deadline: 30 May 2019. The Organising Committee plans to notify successful proposals in June 2019.

All presenters must be financial members of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society for 2019.

Please go to the ANZLHS website to register or renew your membership.

Keynote speakers

  • The Honourable Justice Chris Maxwell, President of the Victorian Court of Appeal
  • Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University
  • John Hudson, Professor of History, School of History, St Andrews University
  • John Maynard, Professor, Indigenous Education and Research, University of Newcastle
  • Shaunnagh Dorset, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney

‘From Encounter to Treaty’ Panel

  • Ann Genovese, Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
  • Mark McMillan, Professor and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Engagement, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University
  • Julie Evans, Associate Professor (Honorary), Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
  • Joanna Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in History, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University

Kercher Scholarship

Only those postgraduate students who are currently enrolled in an Australian or New Zealand university may apply for a Kercher Scholarship to attend the conference. Two scholarships are usually awarded, one to an Australian and the other to a New Zealand postgraduate student, on the basis of merit through a process of application to the conference organisers.

Each Kercher Scholarship is valued at AUD$500 and is a contribution towards the cost of an economy class airfare and / or accommodation. Recipients will also have the conference registration fee waived and will be awarded a year’s membership of the Society.

Please email your application to the Conference Convenor, Dr Jason Taliadoros at by 31 August 2019.

Contact us

Conference Convenor

Dr Jason Taliadoros, Deakin Law School, +61 3 9246 8182,

Conference Committee members

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11 December 2019, 9:00am to 14 December 2019, 6:00pm


City Queen 256, 283, 295 & 300 Queen Street

Get in touch

Dr Jason Taliadoros
Deakin Law School
+61 3 9246 8182