Global legal biography

Philip Bajon, Victoria Barnes, Emily Whewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to contribute to the growing body of scholarship on legal biography. In Britain and the United States, a long standing tradition is to focus on the lives of judges. Existing studies focus on a subject’s early life and background, showing that this experience had an impact on legal ideas and law-making. Yet, there is now a recent resurgence in interest in legal biography that focusses on legal figures elsewhere in the world. The scholarship on figures in supranational entities, such as the British Empire and the European Union, breaks away from the national view of law and adopts a transnational and comparative focus. Scholars grapple with concepts and approaches of following lawyers who go beyond borders and transcend regions. By critically examining the legal biographies of actors in the former British Empire and the European Union, this article considers the value of a global perspective involving an inter-regional lens and the methodological barriers that remain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-153
Number of pages27
JournalComparative Legal History
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • comparative legal history
  • global legal history
  • legal biography
  • life writing
  • transnational legal history


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