Lords of the Land: Indigenous Property Rights and the Jurisprudence of Empire

Hardcover | January 26, 2012

byMark Hickford

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The recognition and allocation of indigenous property rights have long posed complex questions for the imperial powers of the mid-nineteenth century and their modern successors. Recognizing rights of property raises questions about pre-existing indigenous authority and power over land thatcontinue to trouble the people and governments of settler states. Through focusing on the settlement of New Zealand during the critical period of the 1830s through to the early 1860s, this book offers a fresh assessment of the histories of indigenous property rights and the jurisprudence of empire. It shows how native title became not only a key construct forrelations between Empire and tribes, but how it acted more broadly as a constitutional frame within which discourses of political authority formed and were contested at the heart of Empire and the colonial peripheries. Native title thus becomes another episode in imperial political history in whichincreasingly fierce and highly polemical contestation burst into violence. Native title explodes as a form of civil war that lays the foundation (by Maori ever after challenged) for revised constitutional orders. Lords of the Land considers histories of indigenous property rights not only as the stuff of entwined streams of a law of nations and constitutional theory but also as exemplars of the politics of negotiability - engaging relations of struggle and ambition for power, together with the openness andlimits of incoming settler polities towards indigenous polities and laws. This study is an examination of rights as instruments of analysis and political discourse, constructed and contested in and through time. Anchored in the striking experiences of New Zealand and the politics of trans-oceanicempire, it tells a tale of indigenous political autonomy and how the vocabularies of property rights mediated relations between empire and the indigenous political communities found in newly settled lands.

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The recognition and allocation of indigenous property rights have long posed complex questions for the imperial powers of the mid-nineteenth century and their modern successors. Recognizing rights of property raises questions about pre-existing indigenous authority and power over land thatcontinue to trouble the people and governments...

Mark Hickford is currently in the Prime Minister's Advisory Group at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in New Zealand, and an Adjunct Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. He is 2008 New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellow and a Crown Counsel. Dr Hickford holds a doctorate from Oxford and is a...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:542 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 26, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199568650

ISBN - 13:9780199568659

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Table of Contents

1. Preliminaries: Overture - Forging Native Title in an Empire of Variations, 1837-18622. An Empire of Variations: Problems of Settlement and the Property Rights of Indigenous Populations3. Incredulity from a Distance: Disputing the Content of Indigenous Proprietary Entitlements, 1840-18444. 'Vague Native Rights to Land': Constitutionalism, Native Title, and Pursuing Settling Spaces, 1844-18535. Extricating 'Native Title from its Present Entanglement' - Recognising Diversity and the Problem of a Liberal Constitution6. Exploring the Dynamics and Consequences of 'Occasional Association'7. 'Tribunals Independent of a Prince': 1859-1862 Exploring the Dynamics and Consequences of 'Occasional Association' part II8. Conclusions: Constitutional Design and the Treaty of Waitangi: Balanced Constitutions, Native Title, and the Normativity of Political ConstitutionalismBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"There is no doubt that this will be a major and very important work on mid-century imperial legal history and political thought...This is an impressively rich history by an author deeply familiar with the primary and secondary material. It is a vivid and sophisticated evocation of theearly-Victorian intellectual milieu. It covers a period of British imperial history where there has been a shortfall of scholarship on the role of law and the nature of legal thought in that period. It will establish Hickford authoritatively as an important legal and imperial historian." --P.G. McHugh, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge