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Ross Cranston

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780199292073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199292073.001.0001

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Civil Rights and Social Wrongs: the Australian Aboriginals

Civil Rights and Social Wrongs: the Australian Aboriginals

(p.237) 8 Civil Rights and Social Wrongs: the Australian Aboriginals
How Law Works

Ross Cranston

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the negative influence of European law on the lives of Aboriginals in Australia. In providing an overview of law's role in white-Aboriginal relations during the period since 1788, this chapter first begins by explaining the status of the courts accorded the Aboriginals and on the implication of this for matters such as their civil and land rights It then addresses the destructive public policies enshrined in legislation, such as the protective-segregative policies for Aboriginals of full descent, and the assimilation policies for those of mixed descent. Furthermore, it tries to draw these themes together with some observations on the role in recent decades of the law in Aboriginal affairs. It is stated that the successful working of the civil law depends on individuals knowing and taking advantage of their rights.

Keywords:   civil rights, social wrongs, Aboriginals, Australia, European law, courts, land rights

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