Colonial Reparations, Collective Redress and the Colonial Legal Service in the Post-War British

Helen O'Shea

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    In the context of current debates surrounding the success of colonial reparations in the case of Kenya, this paper explores the historiography of the complex engagement of the British colonial legal service in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations in the post-Second World War period. It surveys tangential approaches that help shed light on the possible usefulness of exploring the extent to which twentieth century British courts were neutral arbiters of justice or active participants in the various emergency campaigns. Given the complex historical relationship between British courts and the conduct of counterinsurgency campaigns, the paper concludes by questioning the extent to which empirical historical research on the British colonial legal service might feed into the legal arguments for reparations from different national perspectives and help chart the relationship between colonial emergency law and its legacy today. In doing so, the following underscores the utility of using interdisciplinary collaborative approaches connecting history, law and political science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2-N45-2763
    Pages (from-to)16-24
    Number of pages3
    JournalInternational Journal of Law and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • British colonial legal service
    • emergency law and order
    • Kenya
    • Hanslope disclosure
    • reparations
    • COIN


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