Mabo Case Analysis

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Introduction There are many disadvantages in the law that Indigenous people suffer with, some attempts have been made to change the relationship between indigenous people and the law of Australia This essay will examine some of those disadvantages and will describe some changes that are needed for Indigenous people of the community so they can regain some social status that has avoided them in the past. The first discussion will address the legal signifance of the Mabo case, define and analyse what took place and what was achieved. The second discussion will look at reconciliation and its role in advancing the rights of Indigenous Australian’s. The…show more content…
Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms offer many advantages for Aboriginal people over traditional court proceedings. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities should be able to implement models in their own communities, which recognise traditional cultural values and traditional structures of decision making.” (Behrendt 1995, p.6) Behrendt also argues that alternative methods of dispute resolution should be developed that embody the cultural values of Indigenous people and are perceived as acceptable by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, these would be ideally and necessarily be developed by the Aboriginal communities themselves. “In Australia, Indigenous peoples recognise that real change in our situation requires a fundamental shift in the structures of power which will allow Indigenous people to regain control over their own lives.” (Poynton 1994, p.68) Dodson who is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner also argues “Genuine change will only occur when there is a genuine redistribution of…show more content…
A report by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 1986, contained recommendations on the way in which customary law could be recognised within the framework of general law in Australia. The ALRC’S recommendations were based on the following principles: • Aboriginal customary law should be recognised in appropriate ways, by the Australian legal system. • Such recognition must occur within the framework of the general law. • The creation of new and separate legal structures should be avoided unless the need for those is clearly demonstrated. Specific recommendations for recognition of aspects of customary law were made in respect of: • Marriage and family matters, child custody, fostering and adoption. • The criminal law (including policing, interrogation, evidence and sentencing). • Hunting, fishing and gathering rights. • Local justice mechanisms for Aboriginal communities. The ALRC noted many arguments in favour for recognition of Aboriginal customary law: • Recognition would advance the process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non—Aboriginal people. • Non-recognition can lead to injustice in specific situations where traditional law governs a person’s

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