HIS1115 Legal History


You are to write an essay on one of the following topics. Each topic is accompanied by a range of relevant secondary sources that have been selected to develop your research.

  1. Assess the historical accuracy of the 2013 film, Belle, including its portrayal of Lord Mansfield.
  1. In the final report of the Select Committee on Transportation (1837–8), Sir William Molesworth deployed abolitionist language to condemn convictism as a form of slavery. Critically analyse whether convictism was analogous to slavery. Why was the comparison between convictism and slavery made by Molesworth and his contemporaries so effective?
  2. What were the crucial factors that allowed for the successful prosecution of the Myall Creek massacre? Despite being proclaimed British subjects, how did the procedures of the   Common Law 


    structurally exclude Aboriginal people?

  1. Explain how the married state left a woman vulnerable under the common law. You may choose to limit the scope of your discussion to one or more of the following topics: (1) the common law doctrine of coverture; (2) the law of dower; (3) the law of divorce; or (4) ‘marital chastisement’.

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