Indigenous Peoples, Issues and the Law

10 Units

This course empowers students to critically evaluate the relations between Indigenous peoples in Australia and the Australian legal system, from colonisation to the present day. It uses critical race theory as a lens through which to view the operation of law in a range of areas, including criminal law, property, constitutional law and international law. Indigenous Peoples, Issues and the Law is the only stand-alone course in the Law curriculum to centralise the study of Indigenous-related content, perspectives and law.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 1 - 2018 (Newcastle City Precinct)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply critical race theory principles to a body of knowledge regarding the interactions between Indigenous peoples and the Australian legal system, in a range of contexts for professional practice;
  2. Critically evaluate, through research and synthesis of complex concepts, the operation of Australian law and legal institutions in relation to Indigenous peoples;
  3. Interpret contentious issues affecting the legal status and experiences of Indigenous peoples in Australia, and apply legal doctrine and other conceptual tools to solve problems in preparation for professional practice;
  4. Demonstrate advanced communication skills to justify conclusions on key legal issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Australia, to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

The topics in this course include:

  1. Critical race theory
  2. Colonisation, dispossession and land
  3. Development of government policies in relation to Indigenous peoples
  4. The Stolen Generations and child welfare
  5. Anti-discrimation law
  6. Land rights and the native title
  7. Indigenous peoples and the criminal justice system
  8. Self-determination and international law
  9. Sovereignty and the Treaty debate
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice program.
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6000, LAWS6001, LAWS6002A & B, LAWS6003A & B, LAWS6004A & B
Assessment Items
  • Participation: Seminar Participation and weekly written learning summaries
  • Presentation: Presentations - individual
  • Written Assignment: Research Brief

Contact Hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Online Activity

Online 20 hour(s) per Term Full Term
Five online learning modules - 4 hours work per module.


Face to Face On Campus 16 hour(s) per Term Full Term
Face to face on campus for a condensed term - 16 hours across 5 seminars.

Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for LAWS6094
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