Displacing the Judiciary: Customary Law and the Threat of a Defensive Tribal Council: A Book Review of Raymond D. Austine, Navajo Courts and Navajo Common Law: A Tradition of Tribal Self-Goverance (2009)
America Indian Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 379, 2011
23 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2010 Last revised: 3 Apr 2011
Date Written: March 2011
Displacing the Judiciary: Customary Law and the Threat of a Defensive Tribal Council is a brief article framed as a book review of RAYMOND D. AUSTIN, NAVAJO COURTS AND NAVAJO COMMON LAW: A TRADITION OF TRIBAL SELF-GOVERNANCE (2009). Raymond Austin is a former Justice of the Navajo Supreme Court and his book is an important contribution to Indian law and tribal law scholarship that should be of interest to general readers. Austin shows the origins of Navajo customary law norms and how the Navajo court system has incorporated those norms into Navajo common law. Although the majority of the article is dedicated to reviewing NAVAJO COURTS AND NAVAJO COMMON LAW, I also discuss an ongoing tribal power struggle and the related effort of the Navajo Tribal Council to block the Navajo courts from using customary law.
Keywords: Navajo, Customary Law, Indian Law, Self-Determination, Tribal Courts, Tribal Council
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation