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Chief Minister finds another way to defy the federales

By johnboy - 10 July 2006 45

Jon Stanhope is having a good day, he’s found another way to piss off the Commonwealth while re-enforcing his right-on credentials.

This time the Canberra Times reports that he’s decided to resist federal pressure to “disregard indigenous customary law when sentencing”.

Mr. Stanhope thinks this is blaming the victim, which is odd because normally it’s the perpetrator being sentenced… Oh, wait, is he saying that indigenous people are always the “victim” regardless of what they have been found guilty of?

What’s Your opinion?


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45 Responses to
Chief Minister finds another way to defy the federales
johnboy 2:02 pm 10 Jul 06

The mayor can’t help himself in attempting to be the world statesman and it also distracts from the poor fiscal management of the ACT

And the burning down of a large chunk of it while he was too busy having coffee to fulfill his responsibilities as acting minister for emergency services.

Mr Evil 1:58 pm 10 Jul 06

“I smell distraction all over this one…”

Yeah, maybe it has something to do with the Bushfire Inquest recommencing this week?

barking toad 1:57 pm 10 Jul 06

Nailed it Indi – or at least part of it.

The mayor can’t help himself in attempting to be the world statesman and it also distracts from the poor fiscal management of the ACT

Indi 1:38 pm 10 Jul 06

I smell distraction all over this one…

Big Al 1:24 pm 10 Jul 06

As usual, the regular cacophony of shit-bags have come out to demonstrate their misunderstanding of the way the judiciary use things like customary lore in sentencing so there’s no real point pursuing further conversation on that point.

On the other hand Thumper has provided the opportunity to take the thread in an interesting on-topic direction with:

“It also may help if he read up on his Indigenous history of the area because he will find that the people that lived in, or around this area were extremely transient and that customary lore was somewhat not set in stone due in the main to the fact the peoples only ever met here at certain times of the year before disappearing off to their own lands again.”

Whilst the Aboriginal people of the Canberra area – the Ngunnawal and Wolgal – participated in a hunter-gatherer economy, it would be misguided to believe that implied some form of seasonal movement away from the Monaro. Not insignificant numbers of Aboriginal people lived here throughout the year. Furthermore, traditional Indigenous cultural structures in fact tend to be extremely rigid rather than the other way around – law/lore is the one unchanging (and unchangeable) constant – controlling both spiritual and secular Aboriginal life.

Flood makes no assertion in ‘The Moth Hunters’ regarding extreme transience nor does she draw a relationship between hunter-gatherer economic strategies and customary lore other than noting the breakdown in both with the arrival of white settlers. Not in the 1980 edition of her book, nor in her 1973 PhD thesis upon which the book is based.

Thumper 1:03 pm 10 Jul 06

Or possibly I should have said, next time a victim steals my car, trashes it and burns it to the ground, I should be thankful to Mr Hedgehog’s wise words of wisdom.

Fuck me…..

Thumper 1:02 pm 10 Jul 06

exactly Mr Fire….

bonfire 12:54 pm 10 Jul 06

i dont think were ‘taking them on’ or attacking anyone (except the druggies).

theres a very jeffersonian streak in canberra which is at odds with the way in which proposals for our liberties are on one hand reined in (drug driving tests) and expanded (customary law to be used to mitigate sentencing) depending on which special interest group the alp wish to curry favour with.

ghughes 12:49 pm 10 Jul 06

I love this website….
In just a week we have been able to take on people with a mental illness, people with a drug dependence and now indigenous australians.

Look forward to the next group of people I can feel justified in hating

Thumper 12:48 pm 10 Jul 06

In Mr Stanhope’s visionary black armband view of the world, Aboriginals are always the victims.

But then again, do you think the Feds could give a rats what Mr Stanhope thinks?

A word, ‘no’.

And as this is a Federal issue, not State, Mr Stanhope hasn’t got a leg to stand on.

It also may help if he read up on his Indigenous history of the area because he will find that the people that lived in, or around this area were extremely transient and that customary lore was somewhat not set in stone due in the main to the fact the peoples only ever met here at certain times of the year before disappearing off to their own lands again.

I recommend ‘The Moth Hunters’ by Josephine Flood.

Apart from that, its discriminatory against everyone else. I mean, when is it customary to break into a car, steal it, burn it to the ground?

Okay, if you’re a bogan from Kambah….

Nevertheless, the time has come for urban dwelling Aboriginals to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. Many Aboriginal leaders have stated the exact sentiments.

Urban Aboriginals have been disconnected from customary lore (not law) and land for decades and decades. Therefore there is no reason for them to be treated any different to anyone else.

However, there would be cases where customary lore should be taken into consideratiuon in sentencing. These cases would be from remote communities, not, as stated, from urban.

Once again Mr Stanhope just can’t help himself.

How about fixing fucking Canberra before the world? My taxes are paying for your little flights of self righteousness.

Mr Evil 12:14 pm 10 Jul 06

Big Al, the problem is where do you draw the line? Tribal law is being used to protect some bastards from being properly prosecuted for murder, paedophilia and rape, and this is not at all acceptable to most forward thinking people.

One law for all Australians.

Some cultures now living in Australia also think that female circumcision is perfectly acceptable too, so should we turn a blind eye to that because it’s a cultural thing too?

bonfire 12:02 pm 10 Jul 06

youre forgetting tribal alp law.

VYBerlinaV8 11:53 am 10 Jul 06

One set of laws for all is the only way to go. Anything else is trouble.

As far as removing judges ability to consider things goes, I think the less leeway they have the better. The current approach seems to be that they look at the maximum sentence then find a range a of factors that makes the sentence less severe, often resulting in penalties perceived by the community as less than sufficient. Giving them yet another excuse will not help this situation.

Bugger tribal law.

Big Al 11:42 am 10 Jul 06

The reality is that the Feds are beating up some sort of story on the customary law thing to try and look like they’re doing somthing. The danger in accepting the Feds position (appart from surrendering a right that you have no need to surrender) is that by removing a judges ability to consider the fullest range of issues in sentencing is inherantly bad law – whether its Aboriginal customary law or anything else that they look at when deciding on a sentence.

Ari 10:39 am 10 Jul 06

The Aboriginal groups around here don’t practice customary law.

Is it being used as an excuse in ACT courts?

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