Unresolved tensions : Warlpiri law, police powers and land rights


Following the intrusion of non-Indigenous police officers, including a female officer, on a restricted Walpiri ceremony ground in Lajamanu (northern Tanami Desert, Northern Territory), this article highlights the conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous laws, and brings to the fore questions regarding the legal rights of Indigenous people where there is a transgression of sacred sites under the current Commonwealth and State legislation. The article also draws attention to the dynamic cultural and political strategies the community relied on in the absence of legal redress. The Lajamanu community’s approach to developing mutual respect reveals a space where Indigenous and non-Indigenous laws can coexist.

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This document has been sourced from the Indigenous Law Bulletin, previously known as the Aboriginal Law Bulletin, database published on Austlii (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/IndigLawB/). AustLII advises that it is not the copyright owner of the source documents published on AustLII and is not able to give permission for reproduction of those source documents (refer copyright policy disclaimer dated October 2010). Queries about copyright should be referred to the publisher - the Indigenous Law Centre and the University of New South Wales.