University of Technology Sydney

76068 Indigenous Peoples and the Law

Requisite(s): ( 70317 Real Property OR (70110 Introduction to Law AND (76006c Public International Law OR 70108c Public International Law OR 76110c Introduction to Public International Law)))
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The Anglo-Australian legal system was built upon the dispossession of the land, resources, and knowledges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This subject explores the historical and contemporary relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and the Australian legal system. It begins with a critique of the Australian legal fiction of 'settlement' in the context of the structure and operation of pre-existing and continuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies. This is not merely an historical account: the subject explores the fundamental flaws in the construction and purported legitimation of the jurisdiction of the Anglo-Australian legal system as a means to understand and critique current and future developments within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal relations.

Within this framing, the subject explores constructions of Indigeneity in the law and broader society, set within a broader international and comparative perspective, and with attention to the international rights and protections within which Anglo-Australian law should be evaluated. It considers cutting edge areas of legal and policy development within this broader framework, paying attention to the sustained efforts in law reform, activism and advocacy of Indigenous people and Peoples themselves.

Topics studied are set out in the Content Topics and in the Programme, and complemented by student presentations and by a research essay.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.