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The Legal Understanding of SlaveryFrom the Historical to the Contemporary$
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Jean Allain

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660469.001.0001

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Contemporary International Legal Norms on Slavery

Contemporary International Legal Norms on Slavery

Problems of Judicial Interpretation and Application

(p.304) 16 Contemporary International Legal Norms on Slavery
The Legal Understanding of Slavery

Holly Cullen

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the problems of judicial interpretation and application of the meaning of slavery. It reviews the 1926 definition of slavery and observes the continued presence of de facto slavery, which disables the victim in a number of ways. It analyzes the case law on slavery from Kunarac that uses the application and interpretation of the definition of slavery. It also considers Australian cases, which have the greatest judicial attention to the powers attaching to the right of ownership. This chapter concludes that international instruments give clear definitions of forced labour and slavery, although the courts have struggled to use slavery as a distinct legal category.

Keywords:   judicial interpretation, 1926 definition of slavery, de facto slavery, kunarac, Australian cases, right of ownership, forced labour, legal category

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