This project is closely associated with the AHRC funded research network: ‘Subjects of law: rightful selves and the legal process in imperial Britain and the British empire’.
This research network brings together scholars of history, law and literature, with specialist knowledge of imperial Britain, colonial North America and the Atlantic world, the dominions of Australia and New Zealand, Mandate Palestine, colonial west Africa, India, Malaya and Hong Kong to investigate how, in the process of demanding and defending their rights, people from a huge variety of socio-cultural backgrounds were compelled to translate their beliefs, traditions, practices, interests, claims and finally, themselves so as to fit recognisable categories within the legal systems of the British empire. It aims to investigate the social, cultural and political effects of that process on Britain and on countries of the erstwhile British empire, as well as on the common law systems in all these countries. It proposes to do so in particular by encouraging research in the underexplored but voluminous and rich records of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), the erstwhile final court of appeal for the British empire.
The principal and co-investigators of this project as well as the research network are:
Dr Nandini Chatterjee (History, University of Exeter)
Dr Charlotte Smith (Law, University of Reading)