Source: (2002) Reform. 80: 11-15. Downloaded 29 April 2004.

As the authors of this article note, in 1986 the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) published a significant report entitled The Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws. Since then much has occurred to strengthen the report’s fundamental arguments: namely, that forms of customary law continue to influence the lives of many Aboriginal people; and that recognition of Aboriginal forms of law would be invaluable both in healing some past wrongs and in assisting Aboriginal communities in maintaining order and social harmony. Nevertheless, claim the authors, most of the report’s key recommendations remain unfulfilled. In this framework, they report on a current initiative – under the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia – to study customary law in Western Australia. Specifically, the aim of this study is to revisit the work of the ALRC, to regionalize the ALRC’s 1986 report, and to explore the possible expansion and operation of indigenous community justice mechanisms.

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