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Justine Collins
Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

Prior to organized legal mechanisms by colonial legislators and English Parliament concerning emancipatory measures, certain members of the planter class throughout the colonies chose to manumit their slaves via various mechanisms of their own, through their own efforts, based chiefly on personal sentiments. These measures were a ‘mixity’ of laws adopted from medieval English society, English Property Law and innovative regulations of colonial legislators. This presentation focuses on the laws and mechanisms, adopted and adapted from the metropole in light of colonial plantation societies. In addition, Manumission discussions also sparked issues related to amelioration, abolition and emancipation within the island colonies all of which eventually became law, effects of which trickled from one colony to another. This presentation looks at these laws and their impact on the plantation societies and the schisms created as a result.

Final year PhD Candidate at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History. My thesis focuses on tracing legal transplantation within the British West Indies. Prior to starting my doctoral research I did a double MA degree between the University of Sheffield, UK and Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. My MA course focused on comparative international law and global politics.

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