This course explores the relationship between Indigenous peoples and national and international public law systems. We begin with an exploration of Indigenous legal systems and governance structures. Students will see how this different way of seeing the world, and being in the world, impacts upon interactions with the mainstream legal system. We will examine the differing perspectives on history to see how they have shaped ever-changing laws and government policies. We will investigate issues such as: changing definitions of Aboriginality that have been imposed upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; the over-representation of Indigenous Australians in the criminal justice system; paperless arrest laws in the Northern Territory and fine legislation in Western Australia; the legal mechanisms used to execute the Northern Territory Emergency Response; the utility of International Law, Human Rights Law and International bodies to Indigenous people; meanings of self-determination; native title and land rights legislation; and contemporary examples of Indigenous nation building. Opinions on the issues covered in the course are many and varied so students will be encouraged to explore each topic through discussion and lively debate.
2 x 2hr seminar/week for 10 weeks.
Class presentation (20%) and 5000wd essay (80%)