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Lessons from history: colonial foundations of criminal justice in Victoria

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The Hon Chris Maxwell will take us on a fascinating journey through criminal justice in colonial Victoria, drawing on Paul Mullaly's work.

Drawing on Paul Mullaly’s foundational work, ‘Crime in the Port Phillip District 1835-51’, the lecture will highlight key aspects of criminal justice in colonial Victoria:

  • jury trials
  • the role of the trial judge
  • early ideas about proof and punishment

The lecture will explore the value of legal history as a window into social and political history and as an aid to understanding the present state of the law.

We are delighted that The Hon Chris Maxwell will deliver the Royal Historical Society of Victoria's inaugural Paul Mullaly History and Law Lecture during Law Week 2023.

About the lecture:
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria was much saddened at the death of long-serving member, His Honour Paul Mullaly QC, in 2022, just shy of his 93rd birthday. Paul contributed substantially to the RHSV over many years and in many ways, however his greatest contribution has been his transcription and annotation of Judge Willis’ Port Phillip Casebooks, for which legal scholars will always be in his debt. To honour Paul’s contribution, we have established this biennial lecture on history and law in our Distinguished Lecturer series.

Presented by:
Royal Historical Society of Victoria

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