This book explores the relationship of a colonial people with English law and looks at the way in which the practice of law developed among the ordinary population. Paula Jane Byrne traces the boundaries among property, sexuality and violence, drawing from court records, dispositions and proceedings. She asks: What did ordinary people understand by guilt, suspicion, evidence and the term "offense"? She illuminates the values and beliefs of the emerging colonial consciousness and the complexity of power relations in the colony. The book reconstructs the legal process with great tetail and richness and is able to evoke the everyday lives of people in the colonial NSW.
Table of Contents
Author's note; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; List of figures; List of tables; 1. Introduction; Part I. Law and the Person: 2. Labour; 3. The house; 4. The body; Part II. Offence in the Wilderness: 5. The creation of bushranging; Part III. Suspicious Characters: Police and People: 6. The structure and style of policing; 7. Popular use of law; Part IV. The Court Room: 8. Deciding what was good and bad; 9. Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.