Christian Burset

Primary field of interest: 

Europe

Bio: 

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I am a Ph.D. candidate interested primarily in Anglo-American legal history. My dissertation explores why Britain embraced a policy of legal pluralism in the second half of the eighteenth century. Until the 1740s, most jurists and policymakers agreed that English law should govern all British subjects. Colonies could enact locally appropriate legislation, but none could stray from the fundamentals of English law, such as trials by jury. By the 1770s, however, Britain had rejected earlier efforts to develop a unified imperial law. The Quebec Act restored French law to Canada; Hindu and Islamic law governed most Indian subjects; and in England itself, judges reshaped the common law’s scope by encouraging the formalization of arbitration and segregating commercial litigation from other lawsuits. My project seeks to explain these changes, which had a profound impact on the development of Anglo-American arbitration, commercial law, and civil procedure.

My research is funded through the generosity of the Fox International Fellowship Program, the History Project at the Joint Centre for History and Economics, the William L. Clements Library, the Yale MacMillan Center, Yale International Security Studies, and the Beinecke Library.

I hold a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. in history from Princeton University.