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Australian Critical Decisions

Remembering Koowarta and Tasmanian Dams

Ann Genovese (Melbourne Law School, Australia)



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18 October 2018
The 1980s was a time of significant social, political and cultural change. In Australia, the law was pivotal to these changes. The two High Court cases that this book explores - Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen (1982) and the Tasmanian Dams case (1983) - are famous legally as they marked a decisive reckoning by the Court with both international law and federal constitutionalism. Yet these cases also offer a significant marker of Australia in the 1980s: a shift to a different form of political engagement, nationally and internationally, on complex questions about race and the environment. This book brings these cases together for the first time. It does so to explore not only the legal legacy and relationship between Koowarta and Tasmanian Dams, but also to reflect on how Australians experience their law in time and place, and why those experiences might require more than the usual legal records. The authors include significant figures in Australian public life, some of whom were key participants in the cases, as well as established and respected scholars of law, history, environment and Indigenous studies. This collection offers a combination of personal recollections of the cases, as well as a consideration of their ongoing significance in Australian life.

This book was originally published as two special issues of the Griffith Law Review.
Edited by:   Ann Genovese (Melbourne Law School Australia)
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 174mm, 
Weight:   513g
ISBN:   9780367077068
ISBN 10:   036707706X
Pages:   294
Publication Date:   18 October 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction Ann Genovese 1. Koowarta: AWarrior for Justice A Brief History of Queensland's Racially Discriminatory Legislation and the Aboriginal Litigants Who Fought It Marcia Langton 2. Internal and external affairs: the Koowarta case in context Hilary Charlesworth 3. Justice in whose eyes? Why lawyers should read black Australian literature Nicole Watson 4. Recovering the foundations of Koowarta: the struggle of the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission to purchase land in Queensland Alexander Reilly 5. Koowarta: constitutional landmark, transition point or missed opportunity? Sean Brennan and Megan Davis 6. Practising law and politics in 1980s' Australia: the liberating effect of Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen Maureen Tehan 7. Koowarta and the rival Indigenous international: our place as Indigenous peoples in the international Mark McMillan 8. Koowarta: a vital turning point for Aboriginal rights and Australia Summing up the symposium The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG 9. Reflections on legal issues in the Tasmanian Dams Case The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM 10. The Tasmanian Dam Case: an advocate's memoir The Hon Michael Black AC QC 11. Limitlessness in Australian Constitutional Legal Narrative: The memory of Black's Address in the Tasmanian Dam Case Rebecca LaForgia 12. Experiences of coming to law: An Interview with Bob Brown on the Tasmanian wilderness society as client in the Tasmanian Dam Case Martin Clark 13. Nineteen eighty three: A jurisographic report on Commonwealth v Tasmania Ann Genovese and Shaun McVeigh 14. Tasmanian Dams and Australia's Relationship with International Law Madelaine Chiam 15. Making sense of indigeneity, aboriginality and identity: race as a Constitutional conundrum since 1983 Mark McMillan and Martin Clark 16. Law and the practices of 'damming': Tasmanian Dams Case as a turning point Lee Godden

Ann Genovese is a professor and an historian of modern Australian jurisprudence. Her projects aim to bring to life stories of how Australians have practiced and experienced their law since 1950. She works at Melbourne Law School. Recent publications include Sovereignty: Frontiers of Possibility (2013) and Rights and Redemption: History, Law, Indigenous People (2008).

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