Aboriginal Laws and the
Sovereignty of Terra Nullius
1. I want to begin with a story and a return to the beginning when
there lived a giant frog. This frog drank all the water until there
was none left. The creeks, lagoons, rivers, lakes, and even the
oceans dried up. As the animals grew thirsty they came together
to find a way to get the frog to release the waters back to the
land. They decided the only way was to make the frog laugh, and
they did this. When the frog laughed it released the water, and
then the community realised it had to turn the large frog into a
smaller one, so that it could no longer dominate and would be brought
to share equally with all other living beings.
2. In presenting this essay I speak as a survivor of the frogs
greed and its colonising powers of terra nullius, in all
of its past, present and contemporary incarnations. The racist colonising
theory terra nullius, despite its rejection in the Mabo
decision, continues to find new global forms to embody itself.
Acting in ways, which continue to deny the inherent sovereignty
of Nunga - Aboriginal peoples laws of place.
3. This denial of the sovereignty of Aboriginal laws breaches all
ideals of international human rights. The
overlaying of the imposed legal systems of Australian federal and
state governments, deny pre-existing Aboriginal laws that have lived
in this land from the beginning. The imposed legal system and policies
of assimilation are an attempt to subjugate Nungas to the power
of the colonial state. Australia is a place taken without the consent
of the natives - with no treaty or agreements ever signed
- where terra nullius filled a lawless void, is now hungry
to construe our consent to the theft of our lands and the genocide
of our peoples.
4. Now post-Mabo and the death of terra nullius,
questions lay at the feet of the Australian state. What legitimises
your entry? Do you still require the consent of the natives? And
if we give it to you now what meaning will you or I give to that
agreement? For who will hold the colonising state and its growing
globalised identity to honour and respect our laws, territories
and right to life? No one has in the past.
5. Will there be a treaty agreement that is negotiated from a place
of equality? For a place of equality to exist first we need to be
returned to who we were before the coming of Cook. We must reclaim
our being as independent nations, in control of our territories
where we live under our laws of respect for all things with our
relationship to the natural world. If we were to have all of that
returned to us what would be left to agree to? Peaceful co-existence
6. As we know, to reach a place of equality is big. Most people
consider it a romantic ideal, or the dream of fanatics, or sickly
referred to as a wet dream, by one Aboriginal political
lobbyist who I will not name. It may be, but the current reality
in the life of Nungas, and the struggle to survive as intact Nunga
peoples demands it. The alternative is to be vanished, to extinguishment.
So this treaty speak has many dimensions to it. One is: until we
reach a place of the fullness of equality, we will remain in the
business of burying the dead and struggling to save Nunga lives
from the ongoing struggle against genocide.
7. Agreements entered into that are not based on equal recognition
of our international identities as sovereign peoples, will be agreements
that are contained by the domestic paradigm, that is:
they will be agreed to within the power context of the state. (See
Schulte-Tenckhoff,1998:239) Many will suggest thats the political,
economic globalised reality. And yes. But it is one, which kills
indigenous peoples. So yes we need to put in place different realities.
Different ways of knowing from the ways of the west.
8. Agreements, which have evolved so far within the Australian domestic
paradigm, include the recently negotiated Indigenous Land Usage
Agreements. These agreements are mandated by the Native Title Act.
Consider the reality of the unequal power of Nunga communities in
contrast to the state and powerful corporations. And consider the
stolen generations decision in Cubbillo, where one of
the applicants Peter Gunner argued that his removal was an act of
genocide. Gunners application was in part defeated by the
courts determination, that the thumb-print of his mother was
evidence of her consent to his removal and his subsequent abuse.
This is an example of the state constructing the unworthy
victim, which Trask speaks of but is also an example of the
power of the state to construct consent. My question is: will Indigenous
Land Usage agreements in the future stand as agreements where Nungas
have given consent to the violations of our laws, lands and natural
resources, and like Gunners case our own genocide?
9. I will return to Cooks arrival on our shores. At that time
and from thereon Aboriginal laws were and are still being breached.
asking permission to enter the country
submitting to the Aboriginal laws of place
paying the rent or making a contribution to the community of place,
for the use of land, water, and a lifestyle that has murdered ours
as it eats into the future of us all.
10. These are basic common courtesies expected of international
relationships between nations. They are certainly the base protocols
that are expected amongst and between indigenous peoples. They are
protocols that have not only been seriously breached since the time
of Cook but they are deemed by the state to not even exist. In the
place of respect for law, we have, what has become almost a principle
of corporatist best practise. That is to get away with
the maximum in terms of negative recognition of Nunga peoples laws,
lands and well-being. It is a practise of the frog - one of enlargement
- that has now gone global.
11. In response to violations we have experienced in the loss of
an entire continent and every other human disaster imaginable, the
state has responded
through a discussion on reconciliation
the creation of native title rights, based on the validation of
the act of state and the states right to acquire territory
through the extinguishment of native title
the yet to come apology from government.
12. The process of reconciliation is the dream of every frog as
it continues slurping the water, and as Wole Soyinka (1999) argues:
at the end
absolution is granted without penalty or
forfeit. Unless we are to become somehow somewhere, the
worthy victim, that Huanani Trask speaks of in her essay in
13. In my truth reconciliation will not even begin to occur until
there is a return of what has been stolen from us. And it must be
returned along with a dismantling of the unequal power of the frog.
The return of our nationhood, lands, culture, laws and our health
and our well-being is the necessary basis for our survival.The Australian
state retains control over Nunga territory, the ruwi (land) of my
ancestors, through a power, which mantles a white Australian homogenous
identity, over nunganess. The colonisers perceived this Nunga place
as available to be filled with their beginnings of history,
and evolving spirit.
14. Their new empire state was theorised by great white men
as being part of an evolutionary process, which would shift the
centre of civilisation from Europe, moving further west to the lands
of Great Turtle Island America. Their civilising mission veered
southward to this continent, our old peoples ruwi, to this
place where they perceived their violent invasion would bring their
evolved spirit to a place free and open to discovery,
like a virgin awaiting their penetration. But they came to a place
where there was Nunga history, songs and stories of spirit-law,
embodied and encoded in land and the greater natural world and universal
order of things. As the first white people walked to the shore the
old people thought they were spirits returning (when we smoked our
dead before burial their skin peeled away leaving a colour like
the white man) and they were accordingly called Krinkris.
The krinkris imposed violence, in all its forms, rendering our life
and our laws pre-historic, invisible, un-evolved in time, in presence
15. They viewed our laws of ruwi as pre-historic ancient tribal
systems, and exotic customs. In the overall futuristic planning
of things our ways of life were to become outpaced by the functional,
objective qualities and inherent rationality of their state.
A parallel process to bringing their rules exists in
the way the state was part of the march of God in the world.
(See Dallmayr, 1991: 330) For Aboriginal peoples were viewed as
being at the initial stages of their inevitable evolution to becoming
a state, for it was known that world history takes
account only of peoples that form a state. (Hegel cited in
McCarney 2000: 154) The intent of our disappearance had been set
and made lawful. For we were the unacknowledged enemy?
16. Our laws of ruwi are ancient. They come from a time the old
ones called Kaldowinyeri - the dreaming. A place of lawfulness,
a time before, a time now, and a time yet coming to us. A time when
the first songs were sung, as they sang the law. Laws were birthed
as were the ancestors - out of the land and the songs and stories
recording our beginnings and birth connections to homelands and
territories now known as Australia. Our laws are lived as a way
of life; they are not written down as the knowledge of the law comes
through the living of it. Law is lived, sung, danced, painted, eaten,
walked upon, and loved; law lives in all things.
17. Aboriginal Law holds the position of the European idea of sovereignty.
But is different in that it is not imposed by force of arms and
is not exclusive in its embrace. All peoples come into the laws
of place as they come into ruwi, even krinkris, but the greater
majority has no sense or recognition of laws of place as they are
controlled by the idea of sovereignties of state and other growing
global identities. Laws of ruwi and the first peoples are its carriers
as they are the caretakers of both ruwi and law. Law is in all things.
It has no inner or outer, for one is all, all is one. Law is what
holds this world together.
18. The experience lived before the time of Cook was more than the
idea of sovereignty; it was freedom from the muldarbi
or demon spirit. I use muldarbi here to describe the coloniser,
and all forms of exploitation and power that are dispossessing and
destructive of indigenous peoples. Freedom is yet to be known by
the muldarbi and its agents of power. The time before is what the
muldarbi called pre-history, but it was our known black
history. This is now sought again. So that we may become free to
live without the fear of genocide. Nungas coexisted in the law;
we were not waiting to be discovered or waiting to be
granted the right to be self-determining, for we were
already the truth of who we are as Nungas. We had arrived
our identity is set in law and land. The colonial state cannot grant
us who we are, for it was never theirs to give. Who we are emanates
from law. We cannot seek back the ability to be from the one who
has not yet become a (legitimate) being of the law. Yet we dialogue
with the muldarbi in the language of self-determination, in the
struggle to reclaim a territory, which is free of its genocide.
19. Nunga relationships to ruwi are more complex than owning and
controlling a piece of property. State sovereignty is established
through the power of force and the planting of a flag, wherefrom
the land becomes enslaved and a consumable, which is traded or sold.
We are the natural world; it is a mirror of our self, our Nunganess,
so how can we sell our self? We nurture ruwi as we do our self,
for we are one. The non-indigenous relationship to land is to take
more than is needed, depleting ruwi and depleting self. A way with
the land that is separate and alien, unable to understand how it
is we communicate with the natural world. We are talking to relations
and our family, for we are one. We seek permission from the spirit
world for our actions; nothing is assumed. When food is taken from
ruwi thanks are given, in hope that food will again be provided
in the future. Our ways, considered backward and not a part of the
steps of the evolving spirit, are however ways which
guarantee a sustainable model not only for Nungas but for all in
the wake of their own embrace of Nunganess.
20. In imposing sovereignty over indigenous laws, the
state through military force rapes its way into existence. Creating
a sovereignty of violence, and not of law. Law is creation. It is
a song; it is a love of law, and its land and its peoples; it is
all things and in all things. This muldarbi sovereign erases peoples,
their memories and ideas of laws, in constituting state sovereignty.
Terra nullius then and now
21. Imperial Britain imposed terra nullius, of territory/land,
law and people, and covered every part of my Nunga being with its
myth of emptiness. This justified the lie that a space existed and
still exists for their invasion and settlement of the ruwi of my
ancestors as part of Gods good plan. Their claimed sovereignty
denied ours and in planting the flag supported by violence
- an act of state, they violated the laws of the first peoples.
Terra nullius and its violence made Nungas and our laws invisible,
while our ruwi become (I use this tense because it is, as I know
it, a continuum) enslaved, commodified and entrenched in their rules
22. In 1975 the United Nations General Assembly brought the question
of terra nullius and its application to the territory of
the peoples of Western Sahara before the International Court of
Justice (ICJ: 12). An opinion was sought as to whether the people
of the Western Sahara were eligible for decolonisation following
the withdrawal of Spain from the region. The court decided that
territories inhabited by peoples living as organised societies
were not to be considered empty of peoples and open to state acquisition
on the basis of occupation. The court also decided that the Western
Sahara peoples were political entities vested with political sovereignty
and able to enter into relations with other sovereign states.
23. Yet following this decision the Western Sahara peoples were
again displaced by the invasion of these same territories by Morocco.
Today they remain colonised in the same position as Nungas following
the High Court decision in Mabo No 2. The ICJ decision made
no impact in realising de-colonisation, and the people of this region
remained voiceless and incarcerated. The only difference was the
changed identity of the dominant occupying state.
24. Following the decision of the ICJ in Western Sahara terra
nullius in theory became a discredited doctrine, and no longer
a tool for the justification of colonialism. Terra nullius was
seen as a racist doctrine, and relic of a colonial past.
The rejection of terra nullius was followed by the Australian
High Court, but like the people of Western Sahara, Nungas are subjugated
to the colonising state, but one which unlike Western Sahara remained
the same in its identity. The only change was its call for legitimacy
an act of state. (See Brennan in 66 ALJR: 408, 421-422) An
act of state sovereignty held by the power of force. And while justice
is held by force, freedom never arrives. (See Derrida J, 1997: 91)
It is only the continuance of exploitation and the filling of gaps
with pragmatism, while all else continues as before. This is what
washes the shores of where Cook walked before. (See Watson, 1998:
25. In declaring the death of terra nullius in
relation to the property law of Australia, the High Court created
an illusion of doing justice. (Mabo v Queensland (1992) 107
ALR 1:18, 28, per Brennan J, and at 82 per Deane and Gaudron JJ,
and at 141, per Toohey J) But in reality, the injustice of terra
nullius was replaced by a new form the power of
extinguishment. A colonising theory is not only renewed by the High
Court, but also justified and purified; once more made good as an
act of god - an act of state by which the Australian state constituted/s
sovereignty. The creation of native title is the muldarbis
attempt to further erode and subvert Nunga identities.
26. The Native Title Act 1993 created a native title claims
process, based on the common law rules established in Mabo (No
2). If I am able to prove that I am sufficiently native, that is,
still holding the same law that my grandmother held in 1788, and
the ruwe of the law has not been extinguished by other property
interests over the land, then I may hold a form of native title.
A title that is determined by the Commonwealth Native Title Act
1993 and now State legislation following the Commonwealth Native
Title Act 1998 amendments. In the world of native title many
claims compete for the same ruwi. Conflict is highlighted. And the
muldarbi appears good, humane as it works in annihilating our being
in a way, which appears to be establishing rights.
27. Seeking a declaration from the coloniser and the granting of
title to land has never been my ancestors journey or mine.
We know the land is belonging to the ancestors and us in their place.
We are both owners and carers during our short time on earth. It
is the frog who is in need of legitimacy. Native title is a way
of giving the frog what it does not have. We have never consented.
28. Native title will not give traditional owners the power needed.
That is to say no. No to a nuclear waste dump or a space base, being
developed on our countries. It will allow for the meagre bartering
of the crumbs, which fall from the muldarbis table. Native
title is the domain of space bases and nuclear waste dumps, wanting
title over land named and determined for their short time and space
on earth. As Nungas travel back to those places as carers for a
troubled and sick landscape of the future dawning.
29. The decision in Mabo No 2 to remove terra nullius
from the language of Australian property law did little in returning
Nunga rights to land. The power of the state to steal and remove
us from ruwi continues today in modern forms as trans-national corporations
in their merging to become an even bigger greedier frog, are empowered
to steal and plunder the remaining internal organs of our ruwi-ancestors.
(See Watson, 1997:391)
30. Mabo No 2 represents a further layering of the muldarbi;
in its rule of extinguishment of native title, it works to achieve
the oneness of the state, as it skilfully poses as a form of recognition
of indigenous rights. A complete rejection of the doctrine of terra
nullius would have involved the question, what constitutes the sovereignty
of the Australian state? Instead the court decided the question
was not justiciable. That is, that the question of sovereignty could
not be heard before the Australian legal system. (See Mabo v
Queensland (1992) 175 CLR, 1:31-35 and 78)
31. However in the struggle to survive inside the belly of the muldarbi
Nungas are compelled to enter the states native title processes.
Native title applicants are required to prove the extent to which
their nativeness has survived genocide. If nativeness is not proven
it is considered extinguished. If it is proven it is open to extinguishment.
Native title is extinguishment. Extinguishment is a form of genocide.
We have no real options. In relation to the native title benefits
described by native title advocates, it is true that there are a
number of native title applicants who will be spared the nightmare
of a nuclear waste dump or a space base imposed on their ruwi. While
some native title applicants may find merit in the native title
process and the possibility of protection of country against environmental
destruction, there remains a wide discretion and power in the state
to continue to do as it chooses in relation to the acquisition of
our lands. The recognition of native title has provided the state
with an administrative means for managing extinguishment and genocide,
while looking benevolent in the process.
32. There are some indigenous peoples who will in the short term
appear more fortunate than others, as they provide the state with
its much needed positive image of native title. And the corporations
play the game also by pumping up the image of a massive native title
rights agenda, suggesting native title is an infringement on their
right to development and exploitation.
33. There is a pattern in the history of dispossession of Nunga
peoples. For it appears to be in the interest of the state to protect
some indigenous places, for it is appealing to the tourist,
the seeker of the naturale and the exotic, the beauty and wisdom
of the Aborigine. While out of their sights the ugliness is glaring
as the ruwi screams. Some indigenous peoples have fared better than
others under colonialism. As today some groups will have the impact
of extinguishment felt more fully than others. They are not able
to protect their country from development and destruction by powerful
corporations. Others for the moment may secure protection over their
lands. However in the long term everyones fate is determined:
as they come for me in the morning, it is you they come for
next. Perhaps that is already appearing for the Ananungu peoples
of South Australia in their battle to hold on to the minimal protection
granted to them under the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights
34. In the genocide game we may perhaps have only the choice of
how we take it. We may enter the native title process and become
a consenting party to the genocide, where one is stamped native
or extinguished, but whatever the stamp, once in the process you
are open to a determination of extinguishment at a time determined
by the state. Those in the process may be fed a small price until
their ultimate extinguishment. Those remaining outside the process
resisting absorption into native title rules, go untitled, non-consenting
and perhaps it is only here that we have the possibility of freedom,
and like the ancestors myall blackfellers we live to
die outside the boundaries of the muldarbi claimed sovereign territory.
To be in a place we have always been, a creation of Nunga laws.
Illusion of recognition
35. The never-ending hopefulness that we will become recognised
for who we are fades post-Mabo (No 2). When terra nullius
was identified as the muldarbi, there was support for change and
pulling Nungas from the belly of genocide. But we have been left
with the illusion of change and those who hold this illusion true
breathe out a false belief that a special Aboriginal advantage was
created by native title at the expense of white advantage. Similar
to the myth of terra nullius they have created a racist muldarbi
fear and loathing of a native title right. The racism exceeds any
36. Our survival of genocide grows more complex, as we wade against
the popular belief that we are healed and rescued by native title
rights and reconciliation, ever hopeful of someone in the place
of God saying sorry. And whether we want to be in it or not we are
left with the burden of having to please explain. Or
remain silent. Which itself is construed as a form of consent. So
it is a damned place we reside. One of ever looming annihilation.
Unless of course we become equal, the impossible dream, unless the
number of dreamers drastically changes globally. So in the place
of the impossible dream we reside where the muldarbi power reduces
the dominant culture to its state of siege and a fear of a thousands
blacks out there, with a picture of us all carrying a native
37. What change did Mabo bring for Nungas? Very little, it
opened a door that slammed shut in our face. The court failed to
deliver a full rejection of terra nullius. A pragmatic decision
that retained all things as they were before. Only the image of
the state was revamped and made good again.
38. Mabo No 2 continues to legitimise a violent brutal landing.
In a context of violence there is no possibility of dialogue on
the conditions of their entry. Today there is continuing violence
and there remains with it little possibility of dialogue, which
is truthful and real, beyond the rhetoric and political
propaganda of the state. There has never been a dialogue. There
is an assumed constituted power over Nungas, but I never came into
the muldarbis order. I was never invited nor ever consented.
I am still living in the place of law, a non-citizen
, preferring the unsettled myall frontier: in respect of the place
held by the ancestors. A place of my lawful being.
39. And we continue to ask the question of the Australian state,
by what lawful process have you come into being? It is met with
a silence of an unrecognised violence a power of the state
to annihilate all that is different. (See Watson, 1993: 5-8) Without
answering the question the state offers, reconciliation and native
title. While leaving intact the scars of annihilation as it continues
to bore even deeper into the earth and the Nunga being.
40. The sovereignty of the state claims to overpower Aboriginal
laws. But our laws go before and beyond a sovereignty, which is
held by a physical force of arms. Aboriginal law is exterior to
a claimed sovereignty of the muldarbi, an exteriority that renders
their claimed sovereignty a breach and violation of our natural
order as their rules and regulations maintain the unlawfulness of
Universalising the colonised (dis)order
41. The UNs justification for excluding indigenous peoples
from the General Assembly is based on geographical barriers or the
blue water thesis, that is where Indigenous peoples
territories lie within the imposed boundaries of the colonial state.
And are deemed beyond the possibilities of de-colonisation. This
is a ruling, which makes a lie of the U.Ns claimed intention
to end colonialism, in its General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)
of December 1960, in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence
to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
42. The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial
Countries and Peoples expresses both contradiction and conflict
between peoples and states over who holds sovereignty. Paragraph
6 of the Declaration protects the territorial integrity
of nation states like Australia, the United States, Canada, and
New Zealand. Their crimes are absolved and the struggle for freedom
of colonised peoples is made illegitimate while the states go undeterred
in their genocidal impact on indigenous peoples.
43. The decolonisation movement itself has had an impact on the
meaning of self-determination and the contexts in which it was allowed
to take form. In the past 30 years it has been applied in a context
of decolonising territories rather than peoples. Western Sahara
is a good example. Indigenous peoples claim to self-determination
is seen as a challenge to the territorial integrity
of existing states. States argue that these claims may result in
a potential threat to world peace. This is as though peace was a
known and lived reality that is not already in fragments. And as
though it is even an agenda held by indigenous peoples. That is
to heal like with like, as though violence is our way.
44. In offsetting any possibility of indigenous nations taking a
firmer grip on global issues. The Chairperson of the UN Working
Group on Indigenous Peoples (WGIP), Erica Daes, stated at the 1992
WGIP session that the right to self-determination of indigenous
peoples was used in its internal character, that is short
of any implications which might encourage the formation of independent
states. (UN.doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/93.para80) Also Professor Rosalyn
Higgins, a member of the International Court of Justice, expressed
the view that state boundaries had to be maintained for reasons
of world peace. (I was present at this meeting, and the comments
were also cited in Sanders, D, 1993: 80, 81) Clearly the UN at this
stage would support a limited right of self-determination for indigenous
peoples. One exercised within the jurisdiction of the state and
at the discretion of the state. This is a guarantee of the continuing
colonial relationship between colonising states and indigenous peoples.
Sovereignty - first peoples law
45. The state has been influenced by centuries of domination and
consumption of smaller groups to establish larger political identities.
The larger group identity then subsumes all others, eating up all
else to become one, big frog. The name nation is attached
to us by them in a confined colonising sense. Serving only as an
indicator of our place as the first peoples. A place they perceive
as having no international identity. We are known as first nations
peoples, of the past, with no present and a future they are in the
process of killing.
46. They apply the term nation to us in anthropological terms, which
has no political, and international law meaning. However we have
adopted the language and the word nation so as to communicate who
we are, with dominant occupying states about our lawful place, ownership
and custodianship of our territories. And not in a way, which is
more of the same. That is: not so as to become a player in the same
greedy game of dominance.
47. The concept of nation state and sovereignty from an indigenous
perspective is different to the idea of a modern state, which is
backed up by nuclear weapons and armies on stand-by. These ideas
of state sovereign power are in contrast to the idea of the wholeness
of a people coming from Kaldowinyeri - the dreaming the creative
processes which created the natural world and which seeks to continue
the cycles of life.
48. From an indigenous perspective nation carries its
own meanings. The word nation needs to be exploded and
expanded to properly reflect and accommodate the philosophy of Nunga
laws. Expanded to include the voices of the natural world, so that
the ruwi of the first nations has a voice. We are not merely on
and in the land, we are of it, we speak as one voice of the Creation,
the voice or song law. Land and people are one voice one song.
Am I the enemy? And who are our obligations to anyway?
49. They considered my ancestors people who remained outside, the
sovereign frontiers, as their enemy. We were sovereign
peoples, and we practiced our sovereignty differently from European
nation states. Our obligations were not to some hierarchical god,
represented by a monarch. Our obligations were to law and we were
responsible for the maintenance of country for the benefit of future
carers of law and country.
50. Whereas the settlers feel that they must consume us. They feel
that they have an historic right to us, and often that they are
us. Yet in their play for the one nation state they annihilate all
about us, which is different, revealing a deep psychosis of some
form or other.
51. Sickness is what then emerges, an equally natural sickness,
an evil naturally affecting nature. It is divided, separated from
itself. When such an event occurs, one must speak of a pathology
of the community. In question here is a clinic of the city. (Derrida,
52. So in my speaking of laws of creation of Kaldowinyeri, I am
shot down by the agents of the muldarbi for being a romantic. I
describe a vision of the past that is present and is future, I speak
of what they know not ever to exist other than in my
own primitive imaginings, or if found to have ever existed is extinguished
by this modern world. We are led to only ever know that which is
presented to us by them and the power of the muldarbi frog in all
of its manifestations as the states and the trans-national corporations.
53. The picture conjured by the state and expressed by Derrida is
one of sickness, a clinic of the city, where the healing,
the hope and the law are vanquished by the sovereign state, but
this is only within their own nightmare horizons, for the universal
law and order of things outpaces and over powers all muldarbi things.
It is how we out-think the muldarbi horizon to know the place of
kaldowinyeri that begins to alter the pattern and despair for the
Dr. Irene Watson is an Indigenous woman of Tanganekald and Meintangk
peoples, the traditional owners of the Coorong and lower southeast
of SA, a lawyer and academic. She has published and lectured extensively
on the construction of Aboriginal peoples' identities in both domestic
and international law. Dr. Watson worked on the UN Draft Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples until 1994, and was appointed
in 1996 by the Chiefs of Ontario to sit as one of 7 Indigenous judges
on the First Nations International Court of Justice. She was awarded
the University of Adelaide Bonython Law School Prize in 2000 for
the best law thesis, and recently self-published a short history
volume Looking at You Looking at Me.
A version of this essay has also been been published by Kluwer
in their Journal, Law and Critique, "Buried Alive".
Dallmayr, Fred (1991) Re-thinking the Hegelian State,
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Hegel and Legal Theory, Routledge New York.
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