Paul D. Halliday

Julian Bishko Professor of History
Professor of Law

(434) 924-6385

Nau 454
Office Hours: On Leave Fall 2017

Field & Specialties

Legal History
British, Imperial, and Global History, 1500-1850

Education

BA, Wesleyan University, 1983
MA, University of Chicago, 1988
PhD, University of Chicago, 1993

Publications

“Birthrights and the Due Course of Law,” in Lorna Hutson, ed., Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700 (2017), 587-603

 

“Habeas Corpus,” in Mark Tushnet, Mark A. Graber, and Sanford Levinson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution (2015), 673-94

 

Authority in the Archives,” Critical Analysis of Law, 1 (2014), 110-42

 

“Blackstone’s King,” in Wilfrid Prest, ed., Re-Interpreting Blackstone’s Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Context (Hart, 2014), 169-87

 

“Laws’ Histories: Pluralisms, Pluralities, Diversity,” in Lauren Benton and Richard J. Ross, eds., Legal Pluralism and Empire, 1500-1850 (NYU Press, 2013), 261-77

 

Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire (Harvard University Press/Belknap Press, 2010; paperback, 2012)

•  Inner Temple Book Prize, 2011; New Statesman, "favourite read," 2010

 

Co-author, with G. Edward White, “The Suspension Clause: English Text, Imperial Contexts, and American Implications,” 94 Virginia Law Review (May, 2008), 575-714

• Sutherland Prize of the American Society for Legal History, 2009

 

Dismembering the Body Politic: Partisan Politics in England’s Towns, 1650-1730 (Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback, 2003)

Current Research

I first became interested in how law accommodates new ideas and social practices while writing Dismembering the Body Politic, a book concerned with the origins of partisan politics and law's response to it. In Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire, I explore how the writ of habeas corpus arose from royal power, not against it. By making the judge sovereign, habeas corpus protected and transformed ideas about the many kinds of liberty claimed by those who used the writ  in England, Quebec, India, and beyond. Habeas corpus thus gave people across the empire new ways to shape the exercise of authority. Only legislative action, in Parliament or in colonial assemblies, would hinder the work of judges who used the writ to "hear the sighs of prisoners."

 

I am pursuing a number of leads these days. My main interest is to develop a history of the senses and law's material forms in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For instance, I am curious about how court clerks and their archival practices generated judicial authority and about how the design of English and imperial courthouses shaped the law made inside them. More generally, I am interested in imperial constitution making from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries and the role of judges from the Caribbean to Mauritius and beyond. I am also exploring early modern discourses of law and human rights, legal practices involving prisoners of war, and the use of actions for false imprisonment.

 

Courses Taught

HIEU 2111: History of England, to 1688

HIEU 3291: Seventeenth-Century Britain: Politics in Thought and Action

HIEU 3471: History of English Law, to 1776

HIST 5559: Global Legal History

HIEU 7261: Graduate Colloquium on Early Modern English History

HIST 8240: Law: Transnational and Imperial Contexts, to 1850

 

Graduate Advising

Graduate students working with me have conducted research on everything from religious history in the sixteenth century to global history in the eighteenth. I can provide most help to students interested in legal history, including those who may ultimately seek employment in law or the legal academy. In part owing to the dearth of academic posts in early modern British history, I encourage all my students to develop broad-ranging ideas and methods with the help of colleagues in Latin American, Islamic world, European, and early American history and in other departments such as Art and Architectural History. Students should keep an open mind about where their interests and professional life might take them, within and beyond the academy, as they progress through the PhD and beyond. Potential applicants should contact me. Nothing is more important to navigating graduate school than working with an advisor well suited by temperament and interests to help you develop your own intellectual agenda.

 

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

Contact:
(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts