THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES: The History of Arbitration: Legislation and Practice

This paper will take a long view of the history of arbitration in England, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, contrasting Parliamentary efforts to shape the process and enforcement of arbitration with the experience of arbitrators and parties. The Arbitration Acts of 1698 and 1889 have been interpreted as totemic events, important markers in a process of modernisation or even improvement of arbitration, that also incorporates changes made in tandem with the legal reforms of the mid-nineteenth century. This paper will reassess the status of legislation that concentrated on the relationship between arbitration and the courts, by exploring the practices of arbitrators, popular attitudes to arbitration and detailing how Parliament applied arbitration in many other contexts, including the enclosure of common land, labour relations and regulation of the railways.

Dr Francis Calvert Boorman studied history, politics and political philosophy at the University of York. He has a PhD from the Institute of Historical Research, with a thesis about the social and political history of Chancery Lane in the late 18th century. His research interests include the histories of arbitration, the legal profession and London, as well as local, social and political history.

Francis has worked with Professor Derek Roebuck on the history of arbitration since 2013, initially as a research assistant for Derek’s books The Golden Age of Arbitration: Dispute Resolution Under Elizabeth I (2015) and Arbitration and Mediation in Seventeenth-Century England (2017). English Arbitration and Mediation in the Long Eighteenth Century (History of Arbitration and Mediation) in collaboration with Professor Derek Roebuck and Dr Rhiannon Markless was published in 2019.

Francis is now working on the ‘Access to Justice: History of Arbitration in England and Wales’ project based at IALS.

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
Dr Francis Boorman (Associate Research Fellow, IALS). Chair: Professor Carl Stychin: Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS).
Event date: 
Thursday, 24 February 2022 - 4:00pm