Approaches from legal scholarship include primary sources such as statutes and case law, as well as legislative histories which legal scholars rarely consider ‘history’ in the same way as historians. Rather, legal scholars often look to legislative histories to discern the intent of the legislature in enacting laws for the sole purpose of interpreting a statute’s meaning. This study utilises the research tools employed by legal scholars – statutory law, case law, and legislative histories – to examine the establishment of the legal system in Northern Ireland. The study will focus on the early period of devolution (1921 – 1948) and explore how a subordinate Parliament at Stormont used the law and the creation of a legal system to solidify Northern Ireland’s identity as a nation-state.

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