Monday, 27 September 2010

New archives list - Sir Ivor Jennings - education and constitutional law across the Commonwealth

We're pleased to announce another handlist added to the ULRLS Archives Catalogue.
The Sir Ivor Jennings papers (ICS125) are a vaulable resource for the history of, and hiostory of education in, Sri Lanka, and for constitutional history across many nations within the Commonwealth.
Sir (William) Ivor Jennings, constitutional lawyer and educationalist, was born in Bristol on 16 May 1903 and died in Cambridge on 19 December 1965. Jennigs held academic appointments at Leeds University in 1925-1929, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he was first lecturer, (1929-1930) and then reader in English Law (1930-1940). His publications in this period included works on the poor law code, housing law, public health law, town and country planning law and laws relating to local government. He also wrote on constitutional matters in The Law and the Constitution (1933), Cabinet Government (1936) and Parliament (1939).
Appointed principal of University College, Ceylon in 1940, he was its first Vice-Chancellor (1942-1955) when it became the University of Ceylon. He described his life there in Road to Peradeniya, an unpublished autobiography, which was posthumously published in 2005 (ref: C/14); see also Jennings' The Kandy Road (ed. H.A.I. Goonetileke, University of Peradeniya, 1993). He was frequently consulted on constitutional, educational and other matters and was Chairman of the Ceylon Social Services Commission (1944-1946), a member of the Commission on University Education in Malaya (1947), a member of the Commission on the Ceylon Constitution (1948), President of the Inter-University Board of India (1949-1950), Constitutional Adviser and Chief Draughtsman, Pakistan (1954-1955), a member of the Malayan Constitutional Commission (1956-1957), and Chairman of the Royal University of Malta Commission. He was also Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia, in 1938-1939 and Visiting Professor, Australian National University in 1950.
As the colonial period ended, he became particularly interested in the Commonwealth and the newly independent nations and was valued as a commentator on the subject. He delivered the 1948-1949 Wayneflete lectures at Magdelen College, Oxford on `The Commonwealth in Asia', the 1950 George Judah Cohen Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney on `The Commonwealth of Nations', the 1957 Montague Burton lecture on International Relations at the University of Leeds on `Nationalism, Colonialism and Neutralism' and a series on `Problems of the New Commonwealth' at the Commonwealth Studies Center at Duke University, North Carolina, USA in 1958. He re-published an earlier work on laws of the empire as Constitutional Laws of the Commonwealth (3ed. 1956) and published The Approach to Self-Government (1956) and works on Ceylon and Pakistan. In 1954 he became Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and Downing Professor of the Laws of England in 1962, holding both posts until his death. In later life he returned to his study of the British constitution, with the publication of Party Politics (1960-62). He was knighted in 1948, made a QC in 1949, and awarded the KBE in 1955.
The collection of papers held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies comprises of material relating to both the legal and educational career of Jennings.

  • A. Education: material collected by Jennings as Vice-Chancellor of Ceylon University, Chairman of the Royal University of Malta Commission and a member of other educational bodies in or relating to Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malaya and Uganda.

  • B. Constitutional issues: material on constitutional and legal issues in Australia, Canada, Ceylon, Cyprus, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Japan, Malaya, Maldives, Malta, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Singapore, South Africa, and Sudan;

  • C. Books and other writings: including material relating to British Commonwealth of Nations, Colonial Constitution Law, Laws and Liberties of England, Road to Peradeniya (unpublished autobiography);

  • D. Other material: material outside previous other categories, including British government publications and volumes of press cuttings.

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