Indigenous Law in Aotearoa and Australia (LAWS90214)
Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)
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About this subject
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This subject will be taught intensively in Aotearoa-New Zealand in collaboration with our host, the University of Auckland.
The subject aims to equip students with expert knowledge on current Indigenous legal issues in Aotearoa and Australia, including contemporary treaty Issues and the influence of Indigenous law in settler legal systems. Comparative perspectives on the ways in which Indigenous law is recognised, taught and practised will be emphasised. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the ways that settler law does and does not recognise Indigenous law and Indigenous law-making authority in these legally pluralistic countries. We will learn from Indigenous scholars and community leaders about strategies for asserting Indigenous law as part of self-governance, and the place of concepts of legal theory, legal traditions, sovereignty and territory in these debates.
The focus of the subject will be on the following key areas of substantive law, including:
- Tikanga Māori (Māori law) in Aotearoa-New Zealand’s legal system, and the law of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and agreement making between Iwi, hapu and settler governments, and Australian treaty-making processes and agreement making with traditional owner communities.
- The theory and practice of Legal Pluralism in Aotearoa-New Zealand and Australia.
- Special topics and contributions such as: cultural and intellectual property, Iwi governance, self-governance and nation-building, the negotiation and enforcement of treaties and treaty settlements, the impact of international law on Indigenous rights and law, and Indigenous approaches to agreement-making in the criminal justice sector.
Indigenous students are strongly encouraged to apply for this subject, and the subject is open to all students that have an interest in Indigenous law. The subject aims to facilitate the building of a network of committed and talented advocates for Indigenous peoples and their interests.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should have developed:
- an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles and mechanisms that structure Indigenous peoples' legal systems and experiences of law in New Zealand;
- the capacity to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles and mechanisms;
- the skills to compare and contrast approaches to law affecting Indigenous peoples in New Zealand and Australia;
- the skills to engage effectively in debate regarding different approaches to Indigenous law and legal systems;
- the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyze existing and emerging legal issues relating to the interaction of Indigenous and settler law in New Zealand and Australia;
- the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding Indigenous law and legal systems to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences, and to contribute to constructive public and scholarly debates on these issues.
- Cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging expressions of legal pluralism in settler states;
- Specialist comparative knowledge of Indigenous legal issues in Aotearoa and Australia;
- An ability effectively communicate – in both oral and written forms - complex information and arguments about Indigenous law and legal systems;
- The capacity to reflect on Indigenous research methodologies and critically deploy these in learning and research tasks;
- The skills needed to analyse and propose solutions to particular issues arising from the intersection of settler and Indigenous law;
- The skills needed to argue for law reform and for just agreements and treaties;
- The ability to research independently and at a high level, including the capacity to make persuasive and logical arguments about the place of Indigenous law and legal traditions in the law of Aotearoa and Australia;
- The capacity to listen respectfully to, and read about, Indigenous accounts of their law and self-governance, and to reflect on one's own assumptions and experiences of law in the light of Indigenous knowledge and methodologies;
- Skills necessary to successfully write a research paper containing a persuasive extended argument on a topic related to Indigenous law;
- The capacity to explain and apply concepts and frameworks from one jurisdiction in comparable contexts in one's home country, and to explain how these concepts do or do not contribute usefully to just forms of legal pluralism.
Last updated: 14 March 2023