Aboriginal Customary Law

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Aboriginal law had lasted for hundreds of years before white settlement of Australia in 1788. The laws were based from the Dreamtime and were formed by ancestors, spirits and Aboriginal beliefs. These laws were passed down by a word-of-mouth tradition and as there were many different tribes consisting of many clans spread out over a large area, separate laws were adapted to specific tribes and areas. Aboriginal customary laws were developed and based on the aboriginal relationship to the land as well as the view that property (land) and individual belongings were owned by the community as a whole. All items were collectively used and land was not owned by a particular tribe. Aboriginal customary law that governed aboriginal life was…show more content…
Aboriginal customary law is a central part of many Aboriginal people's way of life. There is less possibility of an Aboriginal seeing a decision as unjust if it is part of customary law. The opposite is true of the European legal system. This is because the European system is one that has been imposed on them and there fore is not seen to understand their needs. The integration of Aboriginal customary law into the Australian legal system is not a problem as far as the Australian constitution is concerned. Acts that currently exist include the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act (Cth) 1976 which allows indigenous claims to Crown land in the NT to be made on the basis of traditional concepts of ownership, also in existence is the Aboriginal Communities Act (WA) 1979, allowing aboriginal communities to make their own (customary law) by-laws. The Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Protection Act (Cth) 1984 is the corner stone of more than 20 Commonwealth, State and Territory enactments that protect Aboriginal heritage sites and other property. As part of customary law current role in criminal law, Circle Sentencing is a indigenous
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