Publication Details

M. Leiboff Theatrical jurisprudence and the imaginary lives of law in pre-1945 Australia, (2014) Melbourne Law School, (8 December 2014) http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/melbourne-law-school/news-and-events/news-and-events-details/diaryid/8556

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Melbourne Law School


If there is anything like an imagined pre-1945 past in Australia, it is one steeped in an Anglophone legal ascendancy. But this is an imaginary past in so many ways. Non-British Europeans came to Australia long before 1945. These earlier Europeans were marked by differences of voice and face, but were eager British subjects, as likely to actively take advantage of law as they were to be subjected to its strictures. By theatricalising their ordinary and extraordinary legal lives through archive and memory, we are reminded that there is more to law of the South than formal accounts which have largely erased their existence, and the fragility of accounts of law beyond living memory.