Dr Charlotte Smith has been awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant of £9982.74 for her project: “The Colonial Bishoprics Fund and the Birth of the Worldwide Anglican Communion: Legal Transplants, Networks and Constitutional Change in the British Empire”. This project offers a fascinating case study of the impact of common law approaches to empire upon the transmission of law and constitutional ideas within the British Empire. It also, at a pivotal point in the development of the Worldwide Anglican Communion today, seeks to inform a better understanding of the legal frameworks, ideologies, and relationships underpinning global Anglicanism, and of the forms and consequences of legal relationships between metropolitan and daughter churches across the common law world. It achieves these two objectives through the completion of the first ever legal history of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund. This charitable trust, founded by individual subscribers in London in 1841, was the primary means of funding and co-ordinating Church of England efforts to export the Anglican Establishment, with all its legal and constitutional privileges, across the expanding British Empire. Through its activities the seeds of what became global Anglicanism were sown.
Members of the School of Law were out in force at the 2020 Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference, which was hosted by the University of Exeter, and took place virtually in September. The work presented by our colleagues reflect the wide variety of impactful and important research that is being undertaken across the School.
Dr Charlotte Smith gave the key note speech for the Legal History subject section. Her paper was entitled ‘Legal Biography and Religion: Some Reflections’.
Professor Paul Almond presented a paper entitled ‘Smoked Kippers and Red Herrings: ‘Euromyths’ and the UK Regulatory Environment’.
Dr Rachel Horton presented her research on ‘Assisted Dying and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.’
Dr Ruvi Ziegler was the co-convenor for the Migration & Asylum subject section, and he gave a paper on the ‘Political rights of aliens’ in the Civil Liberties & Human Rights subject section.
Professor Gerard McMeel QC gave the keynote speech at the Contract, Commercial and Consumer Law subject section. His paper was entitled ‘An English Commercial Code’, and is based on his project to restate the key principles of English commercial law.
Finally, Dr Peter Coe, who is taking over the Convenorship of the Media & Communications Law subject section from this year, gave a paper in that stream entitled ‘The Internet, social media, citizen journalism and increased access to the public sphere: a new reality for free speech or just an illusion?’
Dr Charlotte Smith’s article ‘The Disruptive Power of Legal Biography: The Life of Lord Phillimore – Churchman and Judge’ has been published in the latest issue of The Journal of Legal History. The article uses a biography of Lord Walter George Frank Phillimore, a prominent high churchman and judge in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to explore the ability of legal biography to disrupt settled or uncritical readings of his comments on the nature of an established church in the case of Marshall v Graham (1907). In so doing it highlights the impact of the nineteenth century’s legal and constitutional reforms upon high churchmen and lawyers such as Phillimore and examines the impact of his churchmanship upon his personal and professional life.