Indigenous Legal Judgments
Bringing Indigenous Voices into Judicial Decision Making
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 28, 2021
This book is a collection of key legal decisions affecting Indigenous Australians, which have been re-imagined so as to be inclusive of Indigenous people’s stories, historical experience, perspectives and worldviews.
In this groundbreaking work, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars have collaborated to rewrite sixteen key decisions. Spanning from 1889 to 2017, the judgments reflect the trajectory of Indigenous people’s engagements with Australian law. The collection includes decisions that laid the foundation for the wrongful application of terra nullius, and the long disavowal of native title. Contributors have also challenged narrow judicial interpretations of native title, which have denied recognition to Indigenous people who suffered the prolonged impacts of dispossession. Exciting new voices have reclaimed Australian law to deliver justice to the Stolen Generations and to families who have experienced institutional and police racism. Contributors have shown how judicial officers can use their power to challenge systemic racism and tell the stories of Indigenous people who have been dehumanized by the criminal justice system.
The new judgments are characterised by intersectional perspectives which draw on postcolonial, critical race and whiteness theory. Several scholars have chosen to operate within the parameters of legal doctrine. Some have imagined new truth-telling forums, highlighting the strength and creative resistance of Indigenous people to oppression and exclusion. Others have rejected the possibility that the legal system, that has been integral to settler colonialism, can ever deliver meaningful justice to Indigenous people.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Megan Davis
Nicole Watson and Heather Douglas
Part 1: Sovereignty
- Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (1971) 17 FLR 141.
- Cooper v Stuart (1889) 14 App Cas 286.
- Walker v NSW (1994) 182 CLR 45
- Tickner v Chapman (1995) 57 FCR 451.
- Members of the Yorta Yorta Abriginal Community v Victoria  HCA 58.
- Akiba on behalf of the Torres Strait Regional Sea Claims Group v Commonwealth of Australia (2013) HCA 33.
- Kartinyeri v Commonwealth  HCA 22.
- Commissioner of Corrective Services v Aldridge (No. 2)  NSWADTAP 6.
- Eatock v Bolt  FCA 1103.
- Dempsey v Rigg (1914) St R Qld 245.
- State of South Australia v Lampard-Trevorrow  SASC 56.
- Backford & Backford and Anor (No 2)  FamCAFC 206.
- Roach v Electoral Commissioner  HCA 43.
- Nona v Barnes  QCA 346.
- Bugmy v R  HCA 37.
- Report of the Inquest into the Death of Miss Dhu (Perth, 16 December 2016).
Essay: Oscar Monaghan
Commentary: Eddie Synot and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne
Judgment: Eddie Synot and Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne
Commentary: Tanya Mitchell and Amanda Porter
Judgment: Amanda Porter and Tanya Mitchell
Part 2: Land and Sea Country
Commentary: Narelle Bedford and Peter Billings
Judgment: Narelle Bedford and Peter Billings
Commentary: Simon Young
Judgment: Marcelle Burns
Commentary: Alison Whittaker
Judgment: Virginia Marshall
Part 3: Racism and Discrimination
Commentary: Larissa Behrendt and Taryn Lee
Judgment: Larissa Behrendt and Taryn Lee
Commentary: Debbie Bargallie and Jennifer Nielsen
Judgment: Jennifer Nielsen and Debbie Bargallie
Commentary: Simon Rice
Poem and Note: Alison Whittaker
Part 4: Family and Identity
Commentary: Trudie Broderick
Judgment: Nicole Watson
Commentary: Terri Libesman
Judgment: Kirsten Gray
Commentary: Keryn Ruska and Zoe Rathus
Judgment: Keryn Ruska and Zoe Rathus
Part 5: Criminalisation and Criminal Neglect
Commentary: Jonathan Crowe and Dani Larkin.
Judgment: Dani Larkin and Jonathan Crowe.
Commentary: Heather Douglas and Heron Loban
Judgment: Heron Loban and Heather Douglas, translation Deenorah Yellub.
Commentary: Mary Spiers Williams
Judgment: Mary Spiers Williams
Commentary: Suvendrini Perera
Judgment: Hannah McGlade
Heather Douglas is a Professor at the Law School, University of Melbourne.
Nicole Watson is a Munanjali and Birri Gubba woman from south east Queensland. Nicole is a Senior Lecturer and Discovery Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award Fellow at the University of Sydney Law School.