Indigenous People, History and the Law

Subject 730-394 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours
Prerequisites: Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory .
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Subject Overview: This subject is a study of the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the law brought to Australia by the British from 1788 onwards, with an emphasis on twentieth century Australian history. Topics studied will include notions of sovereignty and the state; possession and use of the land; citizenship and political rights; land rights and native title and the courts; and indigenous activism through litigation. Students will be expected to participate actively in the weekly seminar discussions. The seminars will introduce students to a range of scholarship and perspectives through the invitation of guest lecturers and speakers. Weekly readings will be given in advance. The approach taken in this subject will be an interdisciplinary one that takes account of historiographical and jurisprudential limits and possibilities for indigenous rights and justice. In so doing, this subject aims to support students to undertake research which encompasses the ideas and/or method from another discipline, in order to understand better the experience of indigenous Australians with law, and how the past has shaped the present. The research undertaken will result in preparation of a substantial piece of legal writing. Students will be expected to submit a detailed research proposal by the end of week 8. In weeks 11 and 12 of the semester, students will be required to present a brief work-in-progress outlining their research project, and to participate in providing feedback to other students in the subject. Students may also combine Indigenous People, History and Law with another optional Law subject or Advanced Legal Research (single semester) and prepare a 10,000 word research paper as combined assessment for both subjects. The approval of both the IPHL coordinator and the optional Law subject coordinator or Advanced Legal Research coordinator is required. Students are awarded the same mark for both subjects. The subjects may be taken in the same semester or in sequential semesters .

Objectives: A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should: § have a critical understanding of the historical relationship between Indigenous Australians and the Anglo-Australian legal system § develop research and writing skills on issues concerning the history of Indigenous Australians and Anglo-Australian law.
Assessment: Research essay 5000 words due in the examination period (100%)
Prescribed Texts: Curthoys, Genovese and Reilly, (2008) Rights and Redemption: History, Law and Indigenous People
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills: · attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage · the capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources · the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection · the capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information · the capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing · the capacity to plan and manage time · the capacity to participate as a member of a team · intercultural sensitivity and understanding In addition, by completing this subject, students will have the opportunity to practice and/or be assessed in the following skills specific to the discipline of law:
  • legal research and writing skills, including an ability to:
    • formulate a feasible and interesting research question (under general direction)
    • develop and substantiate a reasoned argument (thesis)
  • interpretation of the historical context of law;
  • understanding social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and constructing an argument
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies Major

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