The Relevance of Colonial Appeals to the Privy Council

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Texts and Contexts in Legal History: Essays in Honor of Charles Donahue, Page: 413-428

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Bilder, Mary Sarah
Comparative and Foreign Law; Legal History
article description
For the past two centuries, the colonial appeals to the Privy Council fell between the cracks on both sides of the Atlantic. For Americans, the creation of the Supreme Court and the absence of published reports of appeals implied legal discontinuity between “American” (post-1787) law and the pre-1787 British imperial world. For the British, the loss of the Atlantic colonies and the lack of printed precedents in appeals implied legal discontinuity between English common law and the colonial appeals. Elsewhere I have written about the importance of the appeals for colonial American legal history and the history of the development of the global law of the colonial world. Here I want to focus on the importance of the appeals for English legal history.