Torres Strait Islanders: a case for teaching legal pluralism in law and practice

Loban, Heron (2008) Torres Strait Islanders: a case for teaching legal pluralism in law and practice. In: Australasian Law Teachers Association 63rd Annual Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?. p. 91. From: 2008 Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?, 6-9 July 2008, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Teaching Indigenous customary law in a conventional law degree in Queensland is rare. There is the obvious exception in property law with native title and at times in criminal law in relation to defences and punishment. For Torres Strait Island people, parts of the customary law have been recognised within the legal system and with some effect. The example of Mabo v State of Queens/and [No 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1 relates to the legal recognition of customary laws related to land and sea - 'property' law. Until recently the Family Court of Australia had a set of Practice Directions relating to the traditional adoption of Torres Strait Island children and sat as a Court in the Torres Strait to make consent orders to give effect to an agreement made according to customary law - 'family' law. The former example illustrates the scope of the law for clear legal recognition of customary law, while the latter example illustrates the scope for recognition of customary law in the legal system in a 'practical' way.

This paper will examine the concept of plurality of laws in theory and in practice in relation to Torres Strait Island customary law and seek to evaluate the legal scope and practical benefits of teaching customary law in a conventional law degree.

Item ID: 27969
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0646-49497-5
Keywords: customary law, legal education
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2013 06:12
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9499 Other Law, Politics and Community Services > 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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