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Most people against recognising Aboriginal customary law think there’s only one law in Australia. AAP/Joe Castro

Why Australia won’t recognise Indigenous customary law

Few in Australia understand the context and true meaning of customary law. Denials of its validity are often based on ignorance or on specific examples devoid of context.
Has anything changed in the 30 years since the ALRC’s Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws report? Mick Tsikas/AAP

From little things: the role of the Aboriginal customary law report in Mabo

The Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws examined the interaction between two legal systems – one based in British law and the other in the customary laws of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.
Country provides a site where Aboriginal and mainstream forms of law can come together and have dialogue – an outcome made possible by Eddie Mabo (L). AAP/NAA

Law reports push piecemeal changes to native title, but still fall short

The ALRC report made some useful recommendations about how settler law could deal more fairly with Aboriginal people by taking their traditions and customs into account.
A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

Boneta-Marie Mabo's art responds to a colonial past in which Aboriginal women were fetishised as "black velvet". But it also celebrates strong women, including her activist grandmother Bonita Mabo.
Martha Koowarta, her late husband John and her Wik people have had to fight since the 1970s for their land rights in north Queensland to be properly recognised. AAP Image/David Sproule

Fighting for their country: inside the battle for Cape York

This week’s Federal Court ruling that the Wild Rivers declarations introduced by the former Queensland Labor Government were rushed and invalid was the long-awaited result many Cape York Indigenous groups…
Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait Island of Mer during the High Court challenge. AAP/National Archives of Australia

Advocates or activists: what can lawyers learn from Mabo?

Australians have just celebrated Mabo Day – this year marking the 20th anniversary of the landmark High Court decision that changed the course of land rights in Australia The case has special resonance…

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