History of Law (the non-Python version)


For the sake of consistency I’m going to open with my tangential thoughts.  Which of course, being a bit of a movie buff was that I feel the various iterations of Robin Hood would be apt for a revisit about now.  If I had the time that is.  But of course I would save the best for last (although that being said I haven’t seen the Russel Crowe version yet, for fear of it being terrible).

My first thought though, on opening up The New Lawyer and this module’s notes was ‘history? really?’.  After which I was again promptly put in my place within the opening paragraph of Chapter 4 (and again when I decided to see what this module’s tutorial questions were).

From the British law history component I certainly found the information about the British feudal system and the signing of the Magna Carta to be most interesting (in case my opening paragraph didn’t give that away already). Quite honestly I found it difficult to interpret in some circumstances.  The New Lawyer asks us what rights the Magna Carta gave to English citizens and whilst some were fairly clear, others I did find myself reading multiple times.  That being said, interpretation of documents such as this is not really something I have done before (beyond interpreting insurance PDS’s) and I feel with the examples and research questions given in The New Lawyer it is something I am improving with, but will have to focus on also.

An issue that tends to be in fairly prominent discussion on a recurring basis is the many issues surrounding law and Indigenous Australians.  Working through this module I learnt much about the systems currently in place designed to help, and was reminded of the systems we’ve had in the past that we’d perhaps rather forget.  It would not be unusual, I think, that we may see some strides forward (hopefully) in this area of law particularly in the coming years with the success of the Murri court and Circle Sentencing from QLD and NSW respectively.  I wondered whether signing of a treaty would be much of a useful tool in resolving many of these issues.  Having our textbook discuss this in detail only a few paragraphs later gave me a much greater insight into the background and potential of this issue.

Lastly I wanted to share my answer to a question asked by The New Lawyer

Who are the traditional owners of the lands on which you live? What can you find out about these owners?

This was not quite as easy as I had perceived.  Initial searching on Google led me wrongly to a website inferring that the Darkinjung may be traditional owners, however it was not clear on the matter (Although I did discover the Darkinjung language is extinct).  Further searching led me to Wikipedia (where I for a change did not end up reading 11 other unrelated entries) that indicated that they did not claim to be the traditional owners.  The Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council are though the self-appointed caretakers of the Central Coast of NSW.  The Traditional Owners of where I live in Lisarow were the Guringai (named Kuring-Gai by John Fraser).  Further Norman Tirdale suggested that the tride Fraser had called Kuring-Gai, were in fact a small part of a much larger central tribe, the Awakabal.  The only maps I could find however suggest that the Guringai land was from Tuggerah lakes and South, the Darkinjung actually are noted as having a small tract in the middle, before the Awakabal land starts to the North, so there has been some conflicting information here that I was, so far, unable to resolve.
As always feel free to comment and discuss.
Thanks for reading!

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