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Background paper on contemporary issues facing customary law and the general legal system : Roebourne - a case study

Trees, K. (2004) Background paper on contemporary issues facing customary law and the general legal system : Roebourne - a case study. Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.

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    Abstract

    The Law Reform Commission is currently enquiring into and reporting on Aboriginal customary laws in Western Australia. Because I have a strong relationship with many people in Roebourne I have been asked to discuss with them Aboriginal customary law and how it functions in their lives today, and report on their responses.

    My report on the people's responses is included in Parts II and III of this paper. Respectively, these parts deal with customary law in Roebourne today and the role of customary law in dealing with current issues. So as to provide a background of understanding to these responses, in the first Part of this paper I have given a brief description of Roebourne and of customary law. I have also outlined four key factors relevant to a discussion of the role of customary law, as identified by the people I have spoken with. In preparing this report I have been conscious that it is not my role to critique the responses made to me. Therefore, in Parts II and III of this paper I have attempted to present the information as it was given to me. I have, however, included some of my own observations of these discussions in the conclusion.

    People in Roebourne have had similar discussions with Commissioners and researchers who are also reporting to the Law Reform Commission on the role of customary law, so this paper forms only a part of their response. Further, for many reasons, including the demands on people's lives, the nature of the issues discussed, the nature of relationships between men and women and the time it takes for people to give their accounts, all the people who could speak on this issue have not had the opportunity to do so. The views expressed here therefore necessarily come from a selection of people.

    Publication Type: Book
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Media, Communication and Culture
    Publisher: Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
    Notes: Background paper (Law Reform Commission of Western Australia) ; no. 6
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11948
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