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Call for probe into integration of Aboriginal law

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 7 November 2003


There are calls for a national inquiry to be held into Aboriginal customary law and how it can be combined with mainstream law.

The Northern Territory Law Reform Committee has released recommendations into Aboriginal customary law and wants a separate inquiry into the use of 'payback'.

NT Attorney-General Peter Toyne says the way the justice system deals with payback is sufficient.

But Chris Howse from the Territory's Aboriginal Justice Advocacy Committee says the issue of Aboriginal payback is complicated and should be examined in a national inquiry.

"The Commonwealth needs to step into the picture," Mr Howse said.

"If it does, we would look at payback and we would look also at the possibility of plural legal systems such as we have in Malaysia, such as existed in fact in the United States up until the early part of this last century, whereby a traditional type of law can co-exist with the mainstream legal system."


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