The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies

edited by Hamar Foster, Professor of Law, University of Victoria, Andrew Buck, Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University, Queensland, and Ben Berger, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School. Published with the University of British Columbia Press, 2008.

In recent years Canadian legal historians have shown an increasing interest in imperial themes and the comparative legal history of British colonies, and this book reflects that turn to comparing ourselves with other settler colonies. It examines the legal cultures of British colonies or former colonies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and covers such topics as dower, prohibition, libel law, and the clash of colonial and indigenous legal regimes. The volume is rich in empirical detail, and ends with a reflection on the state and future of the discipline by Professor John P.S. McLaren.

Reviews of The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies

[This] is a collection of essays on a hugely ambitious topic, an attempt to measure the impact of British law upon the colonial societies around the world where it was implanted. Old imperial histories would have seen this process as an unmitigated blessing. The authors here promise a rather more nuanced view. Christopher Moore, Law Times, 15 October 2008
This work belongs in every Canadian academic library, and certainly in every Canadian law library. Michael Lines, Canadian Law Library Review, vol 35, 2010

Reviews have also appeared in the following publications:

  • Mariana Valverde, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Vol 42, 2009, pp. 285-287.