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NCJ Number: 66724 Find in a Library
Title: MATTER OF JUSTICE
Author(s): C D ROWLEY
Corporate Author: Australian National University Press
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 256
Sponsoring Agency: Australian National University Press
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia
Books Australia
Norwalk, CT 06855
Sale Source: Books Australia
25 Van Zant Street
Norwalk, CT 06855
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THIS BOOK DISCUSSES THE TREATMENT OF THE ABORIGINES (PERSONS NATIVE TO AUSTRALIA) BY COLONIZERS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS UNDER LEGAL SYSTEMS IMPOSED ON THE ABORIGINES AND DETAILS REFORMS TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS.
Abstract: THE COLONIZATION OF AUSTRALIA BY THE BRITISH INCLUDED ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE THE ABORIGINES' CULTURE TO REFLECT THE BELIEFS AND VALUES OF BRITISH CULTURE. THROUGH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES AND ULTIMATELY THROUGH THE IMPOSITION OF A LEGAL SYSTEM THAT USED LAWS AND SANCTIONS AS A MEANS OF SOCIAL CONTROL OVER THE ABORIGINES, EXISTING PATTERNS OF ABORIGINAL LIFE WERE ASSAULTED. ADDITIONALLY, THE LAND OCCUPIED BY THE ABORIGINES WAS TAKEN AND USED WITHOUT REGARD FOR ANY INHERENT RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO HAD OCCUPIED IT FOR CENTURIES. THE DESTRUCTION OF ABORIGINAL SOCIETY MEANT THAT MOST ABORIGINES LOST ANY HOPE OF FINDING A PLACE IN THEIR OWN SOCIAL ORDER, AND BIGOTRY AND SUBJUGATION WERE EXPERIENCED IN THE WORLD OF THE WHITE SETTLERS. A BUREAUCRACY WAS CONSTRUCTED WHICH DEVELOPED A PATERNAL AND ULTIMATELY DEMEANING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NATIONAL, STATE AND TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE ABORIGINES. LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS HAVE TENDED TO PERPETUATE THE DEPENDENCY AND INFERIORITY OF ABORIGINES. WHILE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE ABORIGINES TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK AND FIND THEIR IDENTITY IN THE CULTURAL WAYS OF THE PAST, REASONABLE AUTONOMY SHOULD BE GRANTED ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES IN THE REGULATION OF THEIR AFFAIRS. THIS HAS BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE ENACTMENT OF THE ABORIGINAL COUNCILS AND ASSOCIATIONS ACT, WHICH MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES TO INCORPORATE AND RECEIVE GOVERNMENT FUNDING. IN IMPLEMENTING THE INTENT OF THE ACT EVERY EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO ENSURE THAT THE ABORIGINAL LEADERSHIP IS GIVEN A ROLE IN FUNDING POLICY, SO THAT PATERNALISM DOES NOT CONTINUE IN GOVERNMENT DEALINGS WITH ABORIGINAL COUNCILS AND ASSOCIATIONS. ABORIGINES MUST ALSO BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATIC OPERATIONS AND THE LEGAL STRUCTURE SO THAT THEY CAN USE THEIR POWER TO OBTAIN JUSTICE AND CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES. FOOTNOTES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Australia; Discrimination; Governmental planning; Legislation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66724

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