Sources of Australian Contemporary Law<br />ATSI Customary Law<br />International Law<br />
there was no single system of law between the groups, but there were many common aspects and many groups shared alliances <br />Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law is based on tradition, ritual and socially accepted conduct<br />for this reason it is known as ‘customary law’ <br />Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Customary Law<br />
Ownership of Land<br />possession of land was a key principle in British law<br />Indigenous cultures considered the land as sacred that could not be owned by any one person<br />
when the British settled Australia they made a legal claim under international law that the land was terra nullius, meaning land belonging to no one<br />
ATSI Customary Law Today<br />customary law can sometimes be taken into account when an Indigenous Australian is charged with a crime<br />Indigenous elders can sometimes be consulted by those maintaining or enforcing the law<br />
Should ATSI customary law be incorporated into the Australian Legal System?<br />Is it fair?<br />Should everyone be treated by the law equally?<br />Discussion Point<br />
international law governs the relationship between countries (known as states or ‘nation-states’)<br />one of the main criticisms of international law is that it lacks enforcement <br />International Law<br />
Customary International Law <br />not a written document, it is based on traditions and customs<br />Treaties<br />the most common source of international law<br />international agreements are written and binding on the countries that sign and ratify them <br />they can be bilateral or multilateral<br />
The United Nations<br />192 members<br />5 major organs of the UN<br />Most important – General Assembly, Security Council and International Court of Justice<br />International Organisations<br />
for international law to become Australian law new legislation is usually required (enacted into domestic law)<br />State Sovereignty of the Australian Government allows them to agree or decline areas of International Law<br />E.g Kyoto Protocol<br />Relevance of International Law to Australia<br />
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