06 October 2009

Lecturer honoured in leading law journal

Colchester Campus

Lecturer Peter Luther has been recognised for his skills as a legal historian by a leading law journal.

One of his articles has been selected as one of the 12 most influential articles ever published in Legal Studies.

As part of the Society for Legal Scholars (SLS) centenary celebrations in 2009, Legal Studies compiled a special online collection of the most influential articles it has ever published. Members of the SLS have been asked to select their favourite articles from the shortlist, with the article receiving the most votes to be announced next month.

Mr Luther’s short-listed article ‘Campbell, Espinasse and the sailors: text and context in the common law ' (1999) was described as a ‘beautifully crafted and diligent piece of “garret” scholarly research which was a delight to have from the moment it arrived’.

Commenting on the accolade, Mr Luther, who is Deputy Head of the School of Law, said: ‘I am flattered to be included in the Legal Studies shortlist - and not a little surprised, because so much of the study of law concentrates on very recent developments that the history of the subject can be overlooked.

‘It was a challenge - and a real pleasure - to be able to offer some new insights into a 200-year old case.’

Mr Luther’s article discusses Stilk v Myrick, a leading case in the law of contract from 1809, in which a merchant seaman unsuccessfully sued the master of his ship to try to recover a bonus he had been promised. Two law reporters gave different reasons for the decision and later courts have struggled to make sense of this apparent contradiction. The article looks again at the case, in the context both of the history of law reporting and of the developing law of contract, to try to shed some further light on it.

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