Surrency Prize

The Surrency Prize, named in honor of Erwin C. Surrency, a founding member and first president of the Society and for many years the editor of its former publication, the American Journal of Legal History, is awarded annually for the best article published in the Society’s journal, the Law and History Review, in the previous year.

Surrency Prize Committee

Shaunnagh Dorsett (2014), Chair, University of Technology, Sydney <email>

Kenneth F. Ledford (2013), Case Western Reserve University <email>

Malick Ghachem (2014), Massachusetts Institute of Technology <email>

Maribel Morey (2013), Clemson University <email>

Reva Siegel (2014), Yale University <email>


Past Winners

2017Jeffrey S. Adler, “The Greatest Thrill I Get is When I Hear a Criminal Say, ‘Yes, I Did It’: Race and the Third Degree in New Orleans, 1920-1945" [34: 1-44]
2016James Campbell, “Murder Appeals, Delayed Executions, and the Origins of Jamaican Death Penalty Jurisprudence,” [33: 435-466]; Christopher W. Schmidt, “Divided by Law: The Sit-ins and the Role of the Courts in the Civil Rights Movement,” [33: 93-149]
2015Fahad Ahmad Bishara, “Paper Routes: Inscribing Islamic Law across the Nineteenth-Century Western Indian Ocean,” [32: 797-820]
2014David Fraser and Frank Caestecker, “Jews or Germans? Nationality Legislation and the Restoration of Liberal Democracy in Western Europe after the Holocaust,” [31: 391-422]
2013Laura M. Weinrib, “The Sex Side of Civil Liberties: United States v. Dennett and the Changing Face of Free Speech,” [30: 325-386]
2012Rebecca J. Scott, “Paper Thin: Freedom and Re-enslavement in the Diaspora of the Haitian Revolution” [29:1061-1087]
2011Michelle McKinley, “Fractional Freedoms: Slavery, Legal Activism, and Ecclesiastical Courts in Colonial Lima, 1593-1689” [28:749-790]
2010Daniel R. Ernst, “The Politics of Administrative Law: New York’s Anti-Bureaucracy Clause and the O’Brian-Wagner Campaign of 1938” [27:331-371]
2009Gautham Rao, “The Federal Posse Comitatus Doctrine: Slavery, Compulsion, and Statecraft in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America” [26:1-56]
2008Hekki Pihlajamäki, “The Painful Question: The Fate of Judicial Torture in Early Modern Sweden” [25:557-592]
2007[Co-winners:] Alison D. Morantz: “There’s No Place Like Home: Homestead Exemption and Judicial Constructions of Family in Nineteenth-Century America” [24:245-295]; John W. Wertheimer, “Gloria’s Story: Adulterous Concubinage and the Law in Twentieth-Century Guatemala” [24:375-421]
2006Andrea McKenzie, “‘This Death Some Strong and Stout Hearted Man Doth Choose’: The Practice of Peine Forte et Dure in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England” [23:279-313]
[Honorable Mention:] Sally H. Clarke, “Unmanageable Risks: MacPherson v. Buick and the Emergence of the Mass Consumer Market” [23:1-52]
2005Amalia D. Kessler, “Enforcing Virtue: Social Norms and Self-Interest in an Eighteenth-Century Merchant Court” [22:71-118]
2004[Co-winners:] Sarah Hanley, “‘The Jurisprudence of the Arrêts’: Marital Union, Civil Society, and State Formation in France, 1550-1650” [21:1-40]; Daniel J. Hulsebosch, “The Ancient Constitution and the Expanding Empire: Sir Edward Coke’s British Jurisprudence” [21:439-82]
2003Stephen Jacobsen, “Law and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe: The Case of Catalonia in Comparative Perspective” [20:307-347]
[Honorable Mention:] Ronen Shamir, “The Comrades Law of Hebrew Workers in Palestine: A Study in Socialist Justice” [20:279-305]
2002Maria Ågren, “Asserting One’s Rights: Swedish Property Law in the Transition from Community Law to State Law” [19:241-282]
2001James A. Jaffe, “Industrial Arbitration, Equity, and Authority in England, 1800-1850” [18:525-58]
2000Norma Landau. “Indictment for Fun and Profit: A Prosecutor’s Reward at Eighteenth-Century Quarter Sessions” [17:507-536]
1999[Co-winners:] Christine A. Desan, “Remaking Constitutional Tradition at the Margin of Empire: The Creation of Legislative Adjudication in Colonial New York” [16:257-317]; Michael Willrich, “The Two Percent Solution: Eugenic Jurisprudence and the Socialization of American Law, 1900-1930” [16:63-111]
1998G. Edward White, “The American Law Institute and the Triumph of Modernist Jurisprudence” [15:1-47]
1997Timothy S. Haskett, “The Medieval Court of Chancery” [14:245-313]
1996Barbara Y. Welke, “When All the Women Were White and All the Blacks Were Men: Gender, Class, and Race on the Road to Plessy, 1855-1914 ” [13:261-316]
1995George Behlmer, “Summary Justice and Working-Class Marriage in England, 1870-1940” [12:229-275]
1994Philip Girard, “Themes and Variations in Early Canadian Legal Culture Beamish Murdoch and his Epitome of the Laws of Nova Scotia” [11:101-144]
1992Peter Karsten, “The ‘Discovery’ of Law by English and American Jurists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries: Third-Party Beneficiary Contracts as a Test Case” [9:327-381]
1991[Co-winners:] N.E.H. Hull, “Restatement and Reform: A New Perspective on the Origins of the American Law Institute” [8:55-96]; Eileen Spring, “The Heiress-at-Law: English Real Property from a New Point of View” [8:273-296]
1990Co-winners: Dr. Paul Romney, "From Constitutionalism to Legalism: Trial By Jury, Responsible Government, and the Rule of Law in the Canadian Political Culture"; Richard M. Fraher, "Conviction According to Conscience: the Medieval Jurists’ Debate Concerning Judicial Discretion and the Law of Proof."
1989Christopher L. Tomlins: “A Mysterious Power: Industrial Accidents and the Legal Construction of Employment Relations in Massachusetts, 1800-1850” [6:375-438]
1988Gregory S. Alexander, “The Transformation of Trusts as a Legal Category, 1800-1914” [5:303-350]
1987David J. Ibbetson, "Words and Deeds: The Action of Covenant in the Reign of Edward I."
1985M.H. Hoeflich, "Regulation of Judicial Misconduct from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages"
1983Judith Romney Wegner, "Islamic and Talmudic Jurisprudence: the Four Roots of Islamic Law and Their Talmudic Counterparts"
1982Michael Dalby, "Revenge in the Law in Traditional China"