Walking with Empire

Socio-Legal Research Centre
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Feminist Law Journal, 2013, 38 (1), pp. 59 - 74
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This article considers the place of movement in common law and, in particular, the relation between movement and place in the time and space of common law in the Colony of New South Wales. Attending to jurisdiction as a way of sliding beneath the rhetoric and representations of sovereignty and territory that tend to dominate the ways in which we understand the place of law, this article links movement to place and suggests that it is through practices of movement that common law comes to be in place. Drawing on testimony provided in a 1799 colonial trial, the elliptical centre of this article is a burial party that walked into the woods beyond an emerging frontier settlement to bury the dead. Redescribing the movements of this burial party through an attention to some of the technical and material practices of common law provides a way of illustrating how common law moves and how common law comes to be, or at least how common law seems to come to be, in place. Offering a jurisprudential linking of movement to place, therefore, this article suggests it is through material practices of movement in both space and time that common law comes to rest in place. Put simply, this is the suggestion that movement forms common law's place.
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