Skip to main content
Unit of study_

LAWS3435: Indigenous Peoples and Public Law

2020 unit information

This course explores the relationship between Indigenous peoples and national and international public law systems. We begin with an exploration of Indigenous legal systems and governance structures. Students will see how this different way of seeing the world, and being in the world, impacts upon interactions with the mainstream legal system. We will examine the differing perspectives on history to see how they have shaped ever-changing laws and government policies. We will investigate issues such as: changing definitions of Aboriginality that have been imposed upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; the over-representation of Indigenous Australians in the criminal justice system; paperless arrest laws in the Northern Territory and fine legislation in Western Australia; the legal mechanisms used to execute the Northern Territory Emergency Response; the utility of International Law, Human Rights Law and International bodies to Indigenous people; meanings of self-determination; native title and land rights legislation; and contemporary examples of Indigenous nation building. Opinions on the issues covered in the course are many and varied so students will be encouraged to explore each topic through discussion and lively debate.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Sydney Law School

Study level Undergraduate
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences.
  • LO2. work individually to prepare and present a debate on a topic in class.
  • LO3. critically analyse an issue by the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.
  • LO4. synthesise multiple viewpoints and practices to generate novel ideas and solutions to contemporary problems.
  • LO5. demonstrate their cultural competence by recognising their subjectivity, celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and knowledge systems, and gaining a nuanced understanding of contemporary issues.
  • LO6. demonstrate their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law and knowledge systems.
  • LO7. demonstrate their information and digital literacy by applying legal research skills.
  • LO8. demonstrate an understanding of the evolving nature and practice of the law, and the inter-relationship between the law, politics and social policy.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

There are no availabilities for this year.
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Find your current year census dates

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.