Putting Indigenous Issues into the Curriculum: Succession and Equity

(2012) 4 Ngiya: Talk the Law

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2012-49

13 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2012

See all articles by Prue E. Vines

Prue E. Vines

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Date Written: October 10, 2012


The paper argues that there are reasons to put Indigenous people’s issues ahead of other groups such as ethnic groups or other disadvantaged groups in the law curriculum, and that even if all disadvantage fell away we should still be teaching Indigenous issues in every subject. The fact that the Indigenous people of Australia created a legal and cultural landscape into which all the rest of us came is important and gives us access to a continuing cultural construct of matchless richness. I also argue there are some fundamental techniques for considering Indigenous issues in the legal curriculum, including rules of interaction in the classroom and rules of authority such as expecting students to sue culturally appropriate parameters for authoritative information. In the same way that the High Court of Australia is the highest source of mainstream legal authority, so the statements made by particular Elders will be more authoritative on certain subjects than those made by other people. The paper then goes on to set out some ways of considering Indigenous issues in areas of law not often thought of as giving rise to such issues – the areas of equity and in particular, succession law. The paper ends by discussing some principled techniques of teaching to be used when dealing with Indigenous issues. A classroom and subject matter based on academic rigour in relation to rules of respect for cultural difference based on a comparative approach rather than an emphasis on disadvantage seems the most useful way to consider these issues.

Suggested Citation

Vines, Prue E., Putting Indigenous Issues into the Curriculum: Succession and Equity (October 10, 2012). (2012) 4 Ngiya: Talk the Law, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2012-49, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2167119

Prue E. Vines (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

High St
Sydney, NSW 2052

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