A Legal History of Legal History in England and Wales





legal education, legal history, universities, England and Wales, legal scholarship


This article explores the development of the study of legal history as a subject in the law schools of England and Wales. It outlines changes in university education more generally, and in legal scholarship in particular and how those changes impact the particular subject under study. Drawing on empirical studies and personal reflections relating to past experience it concludes by speculating on potential different outcomes, both positive and negative, which may emerge when the universities of England and Wales emerge from the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the piece was written.


Download data is not yet available.


Baker, John H. 1979. The Teaching of English Legal History in the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland). Unpublished Discussion Paper held by the author.
Google Scholar

Butterfield, Hebert. 1931. The Whig Interpretation of History. London: George Bell & Sons.
Google Scholar

Churchill, David. 2018. “History, periodization and the character of contemporary crime control.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 18(4): 475–492. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818811905
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818811905

Denvir Catrina. Ed. 2020. Modernising Legal Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108663311
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108663311

Ireland, Richard W. 2015. “Why Everything We Know About Criminal Justice History is Wrong.” Law, Crime and History 5(1): 130–142.
Google Scholar

Jenkins, Dafydd. 2003. “Legal History at Aberystwyth.” Cambrian Law Review 34: 27–55.
Google Scholar

Lawrence, Paul. 2018. “Historical criminology and the explanatory power of the past.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 18(4): 493–511. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818794237
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818794237

Ormrod, Roger. 1971. The Report of the Committee on Legal Education [“The Ormrod Committee”]. Cmnd 4595. S.l.
Google Scholar

Polden, Patrick. 2010. “The Education of Lawyers.” In The Oxford History of the Laws of England. Edited by William Cornish, J. Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, Keith Smith. 1175–1201. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.003.0034
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.003.0034

Sandberg, Russell. 2021. Subversive Legal History: A Manifesto for the Future of Legal History. London and New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429200618
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429200618

Slatter Michele. Richard W. Ireland. 1985. “Report on legal history in the universities and polytechnics of the United Kingdom.” Journal of Legal History 6: 214–232. https://doi.org/10.1080/01440368508530839
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01440368508530839

Twining, William. 1994. Blackstone’s Tower: The English Law School. London: Stevens & Sons/Sweet & Maxwell.
Google Scholar

Watkin, Thomas G. 2012. The Legal History of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Google Scholar

Williams, Melanie. 2003. “John Van Druten – A Lawyer Drawn To Fame: From ‘Aber Bay’ to Cabaret.” Cambrian Law Review 34: 71–82.
Google Scholar

Yeomans, Henry. 2018. “Historical context and the criminological imagination: Towards a three-dimensional criminology.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 18(4): 456–474. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818812995
Google Scholar DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818812995




How to Cite

Ireland, R. W. (2022). A Legal History of Legal History in England and Wales. Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Iuridica, 99, 99–111. https://doi.org/10.18778/0208-6069.99.07