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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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The Rule of Law in a Penal Colony: Law and Politics in Early New South Wales

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ISBN13: 9780521522977
ISBN: 0521522978
Published: June 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £41.99

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Ironically, the first civil case to be heard in Australia occurred at the behest of two convicts under sentence. Of course, convicts had first-hand experience of criminal law, but all the settlers were part of a culture which emphasised the rule of law as the guarantee of its fundamental political value, British liberty.

This book, written by a lawyer and unique for its perspective based in both legal and social history, illuminates the important role played by the concept of the rule of law in the transformation of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free society. Dr Neal lucidly outlines the interaction between law and politics in early New South Wales and shows that because there were no official political structures, the courts served as a de facto parliament and a means of political expression.

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Other Jurisdictions , Australia
1. Great changes
2. Free society, penal colony, slave society, prison?
3. The rule of law
4. The courts
5. The magistracy
6. The police
7. The campaign for trial by jury
8. Conclusion