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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Between Law and Custom: 'High' and 'Low' Legal Cultures in the Lands of the British Diaspora - The United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, 1600-1900


ISBN13: 9780521792837
ISBN: 0521792835
Published: June 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £99.99



Despatched in 6 to 8 days.

When British authorities established colonies in North America and the antipodes (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Fiji) from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries, they introduced law through Parliamentary statutes and colonial office oversight.

Jurists set aside some aspects of English Common Law to meet the special conditions of the settler societies, but both the 'responsible governments' that were eventually created in the colonies and the British immigrants themselves set aside even more of the English law, exercising 'informal law' - popular norms - in its place. Law and popular norms clashed over a range of issues, including ready access to land, the property rights of aboriginal people, and crown/corporate liability for negligent maintenance and operation of roads, bridges, and railways.

Drawing on extensive archival and library sources in England, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Karsten explores these collisions and arrives at surprising conclusions.

Subjects:
Legal History
Contents:
Part I. Land:
1. Law versus customs
2. Corncribs, manuring, timber, and sheep: landlords and tenants
3. Getting title: squatters and proprietors
4. Protecting one's 'prope'ty': 'takings', easements, nuisances, and trespasses
Part II. Agreements:
5. 'We have an agreement': the formal and informal law of sales, third-party beneficiaries, common carriers, and contingency-fee contracts
6. Work: the formal and informal Laws of Labor contracts
Part III. Accidents:
7. Judicial responses to negligence claims in Britain and her Diaspora lands, 1830-1910
8. Beneath the iceberg's tip: personal injury suits, out-of-court settlements, and trial court jury awards: the 'real' accident law in nineteenth-century England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States
Conclusions.