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Clash of Systems: Indigenous People & Law



24 June 2011

This second semester intensive explores complexities in accommodating the coexistence of indigenous and non-indigenous legal and social systems.
Clash of Systems: Indigenous People & Law examines historical and contemporary dilemmas arising from the clash between indigenous principles and the colonial legal system when dealing with issues such as governance, property, the environment and criminal justice.

Topics covered include:

  • The meaning of "governance" and issues surrounding service delivery in societies whose systems of governance have not been recognised by the colonial legal system
  • Criminal justice and dispute resolution
  • The Australian Constitution and citizens' rights
  • Differing concepts of property rights and intellectual property
  • Cultural heritage, sustainability and the environment
  • The impact of International Law, globalisation and human rights
  • The role of history

Taught by Tanya Mitchell, it will compare and contrast Australian approaches to these dilemmas with those taken in other common law jurisdictions.

Tanya Mitchell is admitted as a Legal Practitioner to the Supreme Courts of SA and NSW.

Her experience is not limited to private practice.

She worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service as a Senior Solicitor-Advocate for 5 years (including working with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency based in East Arnhem Land).

In 2006, she returned to South Australia to work on the Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children in State Care under the auspices of the Honourable Mullighan QC.

She then travelled overseas and lived and worked in Ethiopia.

She previously taught at Macquarie University and her specialisation is criminal law.

She is also currently undertaking a postgraduate research degree at Sydney Law School.

The unit is available to study through the following Sydney Law School degree programmes:

Candidates can also enrol in this subject on a Legal Professional Development (LPD), Single Unit Enrolment or Cross-Institutional basis.

For further enquiries or to apply or enrol, please contact the Postgraduate Team.

Further information on the 2011 Sydney Law School Postgraduate Program


Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 3247012f78121b13370119064d0a081321305436572b422e10121a163c