Dalhousie Law Journal


legal history, legislation, Australia, New Zealand, mining law, electoral law, constitutional law, land law, comparative law


This paper considers the use between 1850 and 1900 by Anglo-Canadian legislatures of legislative precedents from the Australian and New Zealand colonies and argues that while a wide range of Australasian laws were considered by Canadian legislators, the most significant Australasian influences are to be found in mining law, electoral and constitutional law and land law The paper goes on to explore, by use of archival, parliamentary and published materials, the processes by which Canadian legislators acquired their knowledge of these Australasian initiatives. While governmental and institutional channels (including the Colonial Office) played a significant part in the transmission of information, it is suggested that personal experience of leading local figures was often of great importance, as were legal periodicals. Commercial interests were also particularly important in the campaigns for adoption of Torrens system land registration legislation.