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A unit suitable for both law and non-law students, this unit introduces students to Indigenous people’s experience with the legal system in Australia and selected other jurisdictions (United States, Canada and New Zealand), and the interactions between non-Indigenous and Indigenous legal systems. With regard to both the historical and contemporary setting, the unit examines these themes in a variety of contexts including land rights and native title, Indigenous peoples and environmental management, the criminal justice system, and Indigenous ownership of intellectual and cultural property.

The subject matter is rapidly changing, and new issues such as the negotiation of a treaty in Australia between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and constitutional law reform to give Indigenous peoples a voice in the Commonwealth parliament, are considered. The unit also considers options for law and policy reform in a variety of contexts including the criminal justice system and women’s rights.

Summary 2021

Unit name Indigenous Peoples and the Law
Unit code LAW182
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Global Cultures and Languages|Law

Professor Benjamin Richardson

Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare the historical and contemporary role of Indigenous legal traditions and legal practices in Australia and other relevant countries.
  2. Identify and apply in specific contexts, the laws, institutions and policies that affect Indigenous peoples, especially in regard to land rights and environmental management.
  3. Assess directions for law reform relating to Indigenous peoples.




Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:




Coursework essay, 2500 words (40%), Final Exam, 2 hours (40%), Tutorial participation (20%).

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