Aboriginal customary law emphasises harmony, entwines the land and the people and ensures surviving. It looks towards the needs of the tribe much like the common law looks towards the needs of society and uses that as the basis for its decisions. However unlike common law, aboriginal customary law is unwritten, unchanging and can vary between the many different indigenous tribes – “there are over 500 indigenous nations in Australia with different cultures, languages and needs”. Consequently, due to the wide spread vast amount of indigenous nations, it would be merely impossible to add just one set of aboriginal customary laws and that one set would have to remain unchanged leaving no room for reform in order to aid the community when scrutiny over the matter occurs. The customary law is also unrecorded and would become diff...
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... other legislation and institutions have successfully improved the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian’s promoting change, harmony and providing support. The Australian government aim to improve social inadequacies and although the results at times may be limited are ultimately improving Non indigenous and Indigenous Australian’s relations as well as improving the social position of Indigenous Australian’s. Thus recognition of customary law is not essential to improving the status of indigenous Australians and the proposal itself provides the possibility of negative outcomes which could perhaps worsen their status and lead to a decline in their social position.
Michael Sanson et al, Connecting with the law (Oxford University Press, 2d ed, 2010)
Catriona Cook et al, Laying down the law (LexisNexis Butterworth’s, 2012) 79.
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